[Ads-l] rebel yell and yeehaw

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 15 23:25:03 EDT 2017


I wonder what the connection is between "yee-haw"and "hee-haw" is, if any.

Back in 1961, a tarheel barracks-mate, Edgar B. Lacey, Jr., demonstrated
for me what he said was the rebel yell. It wasn't yee- or hee-haw, but it
was certainly a yell. Sadly, though loud, it was so generic that he could
easily have generated it just for the occasion. Also, he was in the same
elite - no blacks, no Jews, no "rebels" - unit of Russian "linguists" -
numbering ca. 200 head of EM - that I was a member of. So, he and the only
two other white Southerners, the "Southern Gentleman" from Albany, GA, and
the "Country Hick" from Pascagoula, MS, by way of Weslaco, TX, were not the
kind of people that you'd trust or expect to know or care anything about
the rebel yell.

Of course, with enough people shouting it, anything works. The battle-cry
of the once-mighty, much-feared Cossacks was a simple _gik_: [gi:! gi:!
gi:!], shouted in falsetto.

Those of sufficient maturity may recall the following battle-cry:

Galaxy Magazine - Volume 8, Issues 1-6 - Page 137
https://books.google.com/books?id=gLoSAAAAIAAJ
1954 - ā€ˇSnippet view
And then the little man cupped his hands to his mouth and hooted mournfully
into the twilight, _"Wa-wa-wa-wa-wabbit twacks!"_

On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 9:28 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> A US Marine Corps recruiting poster of 1918 reads, remarkably,
>
> "E-E-E-Yah-Yip  Go Over With U.S. Marines"
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/3551356171/in/set-
> 72157604204316251/
>
> I read the "Yip" as a clumsy way of conveying a high-pitched squeal, rather
> than the representation of an actual vocable.
>
> An interesting relative of both the "yip-yip-yip" type of rebel yell and
> the later, iconic "(Y)ee-ha!"
>
> JL
>
> On Sat, Jun 20, 2015 at 8:33 AM, 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
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > -------------------
> >
> > Yesterday I found myself serendipitously driving behind a panel truck
> that
> > advertised
> >
> > YEE-HAW!  A FINE SOUTHERN BEER.
> >
> > YOU'LL SAY IT WHEN YOU DRINK IT!
> >
> > Proof:
> > https://trademarks.justia.com/864/49/you-ll-say-it-when-you-
> > drink-86449331.html
> >
> > JL
> >
> > On Sat, Jun 13, 2015 at 5:02 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
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > -------------------
> > >
> > > Another early Yeehah!
> > >
> > > "The Cumberland Three" was a folk-pop band of the Kingston Trio sort.
> In
> > > 1960 they released a pair of LPs of souped-up Civil War songs on the
> > > Roulette label: "Civil War Almanac: 'Yankees,' Vol. 1" and
> "...'Rebels,'
> > > Vol. 2."
> > >
> > > On track B3 of the latter album, an extreme "Yeehah!" is specifically
> > > identified as "the rebel yell."
> > >
> > > The Cumberland Three, as far as I can tell, hailed from the West Coast.
> > >
> > > JL
> > >
> > > On Sun, Jun 7, 2015 at 4:45 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
> > > >
> > > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > -------------------
> > > >
> > > > 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
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > > > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > --
> > > > > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle
> the
> > > > > truth."
> > > > > >
> > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > --
> > > > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > > > truth."
> > > > >
> > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > > truth."
> > > >
> > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> > truth."
> > >
> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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