Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 25 01:57:47 UTC 2009

At 9:34 PM -0400 8/24/09, Wilson Gray wrote:
>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."

Better that than "the UC Winos"   ;-)


>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
>from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>-Mark Twain
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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