Football "Hut" (1956)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Dec 30 21:12:23 UTC 2004

On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 04:18:22 EST, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

>"Why is it called 'hut'?"--the announcers to each other on Monday Night
>Football last Monday. John Madden thought it was from the word "hike."
>Maybe they want pizza?
>This is one for Ben Zimmer or you military men, but I'll start it off
>before bed.
>4 October 1956, Newport (RI) Daily News, pg. 17, col. 2:\
>"Hut one, hut two, hut three..." and fullback Nick Barbato is off to
>five yard gain for De La Salle.

Sorry, Barry, I have nothing on this, besides the obvious similarity of
the quarterback's "hut (1, 2, 3)" to marching cadences such as "hup/hep
(1, 2, 3)".

I believe there's a discussion of "hut" in David Feldman's _When Did Wild
Poodles Roam the Earth?_ (also published under the title _Are Lobsters
Ambidextrous?_), the sixth in his "Imponderables" series.  I don't have
that at hand, but there's a follow-up on the topic in a later
"Imponderables" book, _How Do Astronauts Scratch an Itch?_ (searchable on


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