"ho ho ho" should be in the dictionary [was Re: Ho ho ho!]

Thomas Paikeday thomaspaikeday at SPRINT.CA
Sun Jan 30 16:08:38 UTC 2005

As a lexicographer, I'd say "ho ho ho" should be a dictionary
entry/definition because of its distinctive meaning. If it's relevant, here
is something that I wrote some time back in a trademark affidavit:

". . . iteratives like "Bang-Bang" and "Hear, Hear" may be repeated
indefinitely, but the lexeme, or meaningful linguistic unit that qualifies
as a dictionary entry, is composed of the same word repeated once. . . . The
odd triple formation, as in "Oyez, oyez, oyez!" is usually a rhetorical,
poetical, or similar use, as in "the tintinnabulation of the bells, bells,
bells" (Edith Sitwell?), "the hoop-hoop-hoop of the large-bodied,
grey-bearded monkey" (R. H. Elliot), or Santa Claus's trademark greeting

Thomas Paikeday

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 12:50 AM
Subject: Ho ho ho!

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Ho ho ho!
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> OED has "ho ho (ho) ! " as far back as the Middle Ages, but for some
> reason restricts it to a representation of "derisive laughter."
> Damn, Santa !  I thought you were laughing *with* us !  Sheesh !
> JL
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Meet the all-new My Yahoo! – Try it today!

More information about the Ads-l mailing list