No mo' "ho ho ho"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Nov 16 02:44:57 UTC 2007

Wilson, volume II of HDAS covers H through O.  The very first comment a colleague made to me was, "And that spells 'ho'!"

  So, yes.  Any time one encounters an H and an O in that sequence, he or she is expected to think "ho."

  Whether this has helped or hindered sales of H-O Oats, H-O scale trains, and chocolatey Ho-Hos, I can't say.


Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: No mo' "ho ho ho"

Come on, now, y'all! Can it really be the case that all uses of [ho]
have shifted their primary meaning to that of the BE [ho], "whore," so
that the first meaning that enters a person's mind when he hears [ho]
or reads "Ho," "ho," etc. is "prostitute"? That's not even true of all
monodialectal speakers of BE!

Aw, wait a minute. I get it! Y'all jus' messin' wit me, right?


On 11/15/07, Doug Harris wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Doug Harris
> Subject: Re: No mo' "ho ho ho"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Well, now that you mention it:
> A not-unrelated thought occurred to me yesterday when I passed a business
> with a sign advertising it as "Ho Market". Now it is _possible_ that
> someone would draw the wrong conclusion and/or make 'funny' comments to
> an employee or the owner. There's also the chance that someone would have
> described a late Hawaiian singer's child (if he had one) as son/daughter
> of a Ho. And some such name-callers imagine, somehow, that the insult
> recipient never heard that taunt before. Go figure.
> (the other) doug
> Wilson wrote:
> Could it truly be the case that *anyone* could possible believe that
> women or children hearing a man in a Santa Clause costume saying "Ho!
> Ho! Ho!" would think that the man was using the BE term for
> "Prostitute! Prostitute! Prostitute!"? Y'all must be done lost y'all's
> minds.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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