rebel yell and yeehaw

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 25 14:16:02 UTC 2012

Charlie, all I know is that "HOO-rah!" (more usually, I think,
"OO-rah!") appears to be a post-Vietnam development. I don't associate
it with Vietnam War writing.  I don't believe I encountered it (in the
media, of course) before ca1990, and I don't believe I've ever
seen/heard it in Vietnam context.

Same goes for the Army's "HOO-ah!"

While we're at it, I noticed that the SC audience cheering Newt's slam
at the media the other night included a fair number of people (men
only?) who cheered with a deep, grunting "Wunh! Wunh! Wunh! Wunh!"
like they were receiving the Heimlich maneuver.

We've all heard this at football games, but any appearances in print
must be pretty recent. Like "Yee-haw!" maybe it'll some day be claimed
as the "real rebel yell."

I certainly never heard it before the late '70s - at the earliest. But
maybe I didn't go to enough games. In fact. I'm sure of it.


On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 8:51 AM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: rebel yell and yeehaw
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Jonathan, you if anyone would perhaps know the history of the exclamatory "Hoo'-rah" (with stress on the first syllable), commonly associated with the Marine Corps--for instnace, as a Corpsal response to "Semper Fi!"  Persumably it's derived from a variant pronunciation of "Hurrah/Hurray" (with stress on the second syllable), but when did it become separately lexified and adopted by the Marines?
> --Charlie
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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