yippee, yipee antedating (the exclamation not the political group) (1906)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 15 18:16:39 UTC 2009

(OED 2nd) yippee, n. and int. orig. U.S. An exclamation of delight or

OED has a 1920 cite from the novel Main Street by Sinclair Lewis.
Merriam-Webster Online says: Date: 1914. Unabridged Random House at
Dictionary.com says: Origin: 1910–15.

The ADS list archive has many postings containing yippie and yippee
but none contain citations of 1906 or before. Popik's website covers
yippie but not yippee.

Citation: 1906, The Shorn Lamb: a Comedy Drama in Four Acts by
Lawrence Grattan, Lawrence Grattan (maybe self-published).

Orderly. The Texans are upon us! Run for your lives! (Exit R.U.E.)
Austin. Yippee! The boys are comin'!
Dave. I'll be jiggered! (Mary runs to Dave's arms.)


The 1909 citation below uses the alternative spelling "yipee" and
shows the word deployed as part of a yell by a cowboy herding animals.

Citation: 1909 March, "The Reckoning" by Robert Lounsbury Black, page
507, McClure's Magazine, Vol. 32, No. 5.

Overtopping the rear, two cowboys swayed to the walk of their ponies.
At intervals one or the other frightened a yearling back into the mass
with a herding yell – "Ai – ee - o – o, Aa – o, Yipee, Chow," – or,
with a sweep the arm and a sudden jerk backward, snapped a lagging
steer with the thirty feet of rope dragged from the saddle.


The 1910 citation below also uses the alternative spelling "yipee" and
displays another shorter yell.

Citation: 1910, The Invaders: a Story of the "Hole-in-the-Wall"
Country by John Lloyd aka Jacque Lloyd Morgan, page 395, R. F. Fenno &
Company, New York.

There was a thunderous clatter of hoofs outside. "Yip, yip, yipee!
Shoot him! Kill him!" and a half score of reckless riders came dashing
around the house as noisily as a pack of hounds in full cry?



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

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