yahoo (was: 'Top Words from 2007'...)

David A. Daniel dad at POKERWIZ.COM
Tue Apr 1 23:25:28 UTC 2008

This seems to be turning into something much more convoluted than it needs
to be. There are two basic senses of yahoo: (1) the boorish, stupid person;
(2) an interjection of the yippee variety. In the hick sense there are two
pronunciations: YAH-hoo and YAY-hoo. For the interjection there is one basic
pronunciation: yaahhhh-HOOOOOO! The people at intended for the
company name to be the interjection, with respective pronunciation. Didn't
catch on, morphed into YAH-hoo, which is really neither here nor there in
terms of a meaningful name as it is not the interjection and it does indeed
refer to a yokel. Not what they had in mind. This will no doubt become a
case study at HBS as to why Google is doing so much better...

From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: yahoo (was: 'Top Words from 2007'...)


on 4/1/08 1:40 PM, Tom Zurinskas at truespel at HOTMAIL.COM wrote:

> Of interest here is that no one has heard of the pronunciaton YAH-hoo as
> majority form, even though that's the way the pronounces it.
> very strange.
> Tom Zurinskas,
Hunh?  I've never heard "yahoo" in the Swiftean sense & its derivatives
pronounced any other way than YAH-hoo. Furthermore, in my experience, the
"yippee!" sense is far less-used than the ignorant oaf sense.
Who remembers how the pilot that rode the bomb down at the end of Dr.
Strangelove pronounced it (if that was the word he used)?

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