rebel yell and yeehaw

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 21 15:18:53 UTC 2012

Actually, there's a little negative evidence to report. As I've just
posted to James's blog, ex-rodeo rider Slim Pickens doesn't yell
"Yeehaw!" as he rides the H-bomb in _Dr. Strangelove_ (1964). He yells
variations of "Wahoo!"

A perfect "Yeehaw!" moment. IMO.


On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> Thanks, James, for mentioning the my excruciatingly learned posts on
> this matter.
> Update: nothing new to report, though I've kept the topic in mind.
> JL
> On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM, James Harbeck <jharbeck at> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
>> Subject:      rebel yell and yeehaw
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> I got the following comment today on my blog post on "yeehaw"
>> (
>> ----
>> Wrong. The reason "Yeehaw" exists in association to the West is
>> because so many Southerners ended up there after the Civil War
>> because their homeland had been sacked and burned and was under
>> Federal (Yankee) occupation - home itself was not friendly territory.
>> They probably did yell it on cattle drives; whether early Hollywood
>> actors and writers from New York, Chicago and maybe Alberta were
>> familiar with it is irrelevant.
>> "Yeehah!" is the Southernism that was identified as the "Rebel Yell"
>> which was in use since before the Civil War and was heard during the
>> Civil War... usually delivered at the top of one's lungs. Just
>> because you haven't observed its history doesn't mean that such
>> history doesn't exist. I grew up in rural South Carolina and this
>> goes back a long, long way, for generations.
>> ----
>> Needless to say, I think he is a little oversure of his version,
>> although it is in its way an interesting contribution to the
>> question. I would be glad of comment (by email or at
>> by any with
>> pertinent knowledge -- someone a little "closer" to it might speak
>> more authoritatively than I could.
>> Thanks,
>> James Harbeck.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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