Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 25 01:34:13 UTC 2009

Reminds me of UC Davis's "Bossie-Bossie-Cow-Cow!"
Some may recall that cows were once (are still?) generically named "Bossie."
The cow thing makes reference to UC Davis's origin in the now-defunct
University of California Farm School at Davis. For some reason,
"Agricultural and Mechanical" (> "A&M") didn't catch on in California
educational circles. So instead of "California A&M University," it's UC
Davis. Nevertheless, we alumni and students style ourselves as the
"California Aggies."


On Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 5:44 PM, Peter McGraw
<mrlanguageperson at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Peter McGraw <mrlanguageperson at VERIZON.NET>
> Subject:      Cheers
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I just celebrated my 50-year=A0reunion with about 100 other members of the
> =
> Class of 1959 of West Linn [OR] High School.=A0 Among the=A0e-mail
> messages=
>  we have been exchanging before and after this event were some
> reminiscence=
> s of one of our oldest teachers (also a former coach), who would sometimes
> =
> enliven the=A0"pep assemblies" that preceded football games=A0by leading
> th=
> e student body in cheers=A0used at West Linn games in "the old days."=A0
> On=
> e classmate says this teacher would have been approaching age 70 by the
> tim=
> e we knew him, so the cheers were probably from the 1920s.=A0 One=A0of
> thes=
> e, as this same classmate recalls it,=A0went: =0A=0A"'Oscee Wow
> Wow!=0A"'Wh=
> iskey Wee Wee!=0A"'Ol' eye mucky eye!' (or something like
> that).=A0=0A"Then=
> , with his arms down and in a low voice [he would] simply say
> 'Wow.'"=0A=0A=
> The third line seems to invite a fourth line concluding with the rhyme
> "Wes=
> t Linn High," but this classmate doesn't remember such a line.=A0 I can't
> s=
> ummon up a recollection of this teacher leading this particular cheer, but
> =
> I do remember hearing the cheer itself somewhere.=A0 =0A=0AThe words could
> =
> be nothing more than freely invented nonsense, of course, but it
> also=A0see=
> ms just possible they might be a garbled version of some earlier, no
> longer=
>  understood ditty of some kind--especially "Ol' eye [=3Dholy?] mucky eye."=
> =A0 Something along the lines of the children's jump rope ditties that
> have=
>  been traced back to old magic spells.=A0 =0A=0AThree questions for the
> lis=
> t:=0A=0A1) Has anyone else heard this same cheer (or a variation on
> it)?=A0=
>  =0A=0A2) Has anyone heard other cheers like it?=0A=0A3) Does anyone have
> a=
> ny information or thoughts on the origin of this or similar
> cheers?=0A=0APe=
> ter McGraw=0A(happily retired from Linfield College)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to come
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