mrlanguageperson at VERIZON.NET
Mon Aug 24 21:44:45 UTC 2009
I just celebrated my 50-year reunion with about 100 other members of the Class of 1959 of West Linn [OR] High School. Among the e-mail messages we have been exchanging before and after this event were some reminiscences of one of our oldest teachers (also a former coach), who would sometimes enliven the "pep assemblies" that preceded football games by leading the student body in cheers used at West Linn games in "the old days." One classmate says this teacher would have been approaching age 70 by the time we knew him, so the cheers were probably from the 1920s. One of these, as this same classmate recalls it, went:
"'Oscee Wow Wow!
"'Whiskey Wee Wee!
"'Ol' eye mucky eye!' (or something like that).
"Then, with his arms down and in a low voice [he would] simply say 'Wow.'"
The third line seems to invite a fourth line concluding with the rhyme "West Linn High," but this classmate doesn't remember such a line. I can't summon up a recollection of this teacher leading this particular cheer, but I do remember hearing the cheer itself somewhere.
The words could be nothing more than freely invented nonsense, of course, but it also seems just possible they might be a garbled version of some earlier, no longer understood ditty of some kind--especially "Ol' eye [=holy?] mucky eye." Something along the lines of the children's jump rope ditties that have been traced back to old magic spells.
Three questions for the list:
1) Has anyone else heard this same cheer (or a variation on it)?
2) Has anyone heard other cheers like it?
3) Does anyone have any information or thoughts on the origin of this or similar cheers?
(happily retired from Linfield College)
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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