[Ads-l] rebel yell and yeehaw

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 7 20:45:48 UTC 2015


Now there's a whole book on the subject:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Rebel-Yell-Cultural-History/dp/0817318488

Nothing linguistically new here, though there's a lot of discussion of the
yell as a primary postbellum cultural symbol that seems to have been ousted
by the Confederate battle flag (actually, naval flag) only during the Civil
Rights Movement.

Professor Warren's bulleted "key observations" include:

"As early as the summer of 1861 Southern screeching had occurred in both
major theaters of the war. ...

"The Rebel yell seemingly lacked words, word sounds, rhyme, and any
coherent rhythm....

"The yell resulted from bodies of men screeching in unison. The collective
effort created greater volume and complexity than could be achieved by any
one soldier...."

Etc. He also cites and dismisses claims that the yell originated at Troy,
in Britain or Ireland, among the Mongols, or in the ululations of Muslim
Spain.  Maybe Indian war-whoops contributed, maybe they didn't. Maybe slave
shouts too, but maybe not. You just can't tell with the rebel yell;
especially since, as Professor Warren correctly observes, there was no
single, standard, prescribed yell at all.

Prof. Warren, author of an earlier book on Civil War literature, cites a
plethora of rebel yell information.

Except, that is, for our multi-year discussion, which began in 2006.  I
find no mention of "Yeehaw!"  antebellum mules, "Red River," Stan Freberg,
"Doctor Strangelove," or the 1st Marine Parachute Regiment.

 But there is a photo of the dust jacket of H. Allen Smith's book.

JL

On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 6:58 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: rebel yell and yeehaw
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> One day earlier in _The Oregonian_ (Portland), p. 11.
>
> JL
>
> On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 6:44 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: rebel yell and yeehaw
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > For the record, here is the earliest "Yee-ha[w/h]!" I've seen that
> > explicitly refers to it as a "rebel yell":
> >
> > 1984 Joyce Lain Kennedy in _Springfield [Mass.] Republican_ B-8: The next
> > time your temper flares at the boss and you're tempted to "yee-haw!" a
> > rebel yell, remember who lost the Civil War.
> >
> > That's 123 years after the start of said war.
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:11 PM, Jonathan Lighter <
> wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > > -----------------------
> > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> > > Subject:      Re: rebel yell and yeehaw
> > >
> > >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > Make that "(1959)."
> > >
> > > JL
> > >
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