Antedating of "oojah" and "oojahkapivi"

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 19 17:26:44 UTC 2013

WB:  Hoojah ~ Turkish ~ WWI:  Cf. Nasr-ed-Din Hodja. In my folktale class,
I used "Nasr-ed-Din Hodja in the Pulpit", excerpted from Ramsay & McCullagh
(1914), _Tales from Turkey_, London. Good discussion of the character in
Clarkson & Cross's _World Folktales_ pp.289-292. Basically the Ottoman
<hoca> (in Turkish) was a pre-republican mullah. Nasr-ed-Din Hodja was <<a
fat little man in an enormous turban waddling along on a donkey, ready to
match wits with the great Tamburlaine, the Mongol emperor, or to draw
verbal swords in the market-place with one of his neighbors.>> (C&C 290f.)
He is still today a Turkish national figure;  the tourism ministry can show
you his tombstone dated AD 1284 at Akeshehir. Widespread tale type 1826
<<The parson has no need to preach>>.
My money is on the Ottoman trickster figure Nasr-ed-Din Hodja (hell-bent on
evading his duties) as being the source of this <hoojah>. Was <oojah> being
related to it? Then simple psilosis (aitch-dropping).

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