Origin of "hoopie"

Patti Kurtz tb5fab at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 18 13:16:27 UTC 2008

Hi everyone.  A student in my composition class asked me "what's the origin
of the term "hoopie" (slang for someone from WV?"  I didn't know (but I
recall using this politically incorrect term as a college student in SW PA),
so I got curious and thought I'd ask here.  I did a little googling and
found a suggestion that it comes from "hooper" (one who fits hoops around
barrels) because of  the fact that people from the hills would come into
town to buy hoops for their barrels (presumably for moonshine, maybe?)  is
this accurate?  I checked my "shorter" OED (sorry, it's  all I have
available) and found no entry on "hoopie."

This is for my curiosity, not for the student's research or anything-- it
was just a discussion question he raised and it rang a bell with me because
of my experience with the term.


Patti Kurtz
Minot State University

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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