Rebel yell, "hooray" & "'ray!" hpst at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Dec 6 14:23:50 UTC 2006

A Brit friend mine gave me the following:

"Hip Hip! Hip Hip! Hip Hip!" the hurrah being implied as in three cheers.

I don't know how current it is since he is pushing 80.

Page Stephens

> [Original Message]
> From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Date: 12/5/2006 2:15:22 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Rebel yell, "hooray" & "'ray!"
> Someone asked a while ago whether Americans shouted "hooray!" in the 19th
C. The OED certainly suggests that they did, though its exx. (back to 1778
as "Hurrea") are British. Here is a cite (from a valuable article on the
"rebel yell" referred to earlier) that adds to our knowledge of spelling
conventions as well as of 19th C. styles of cheering in America:
>   1892 J. Harvie Dew in _Century Mag._ (Apr.) 955: In a moment more, one
of the Federal regiments was ordered to charge, and down they came upon
us....Then was heard their peculiar characteristic yell - "Hoo-ray!
Hoo-ray! Hoo-ray!"  etc. (this yell was called by teh Federals a "cheer,"
and was intended for the word "hurrah," but that pronunciation I never
heard in a charge). The sound was as though the first syllable, if heard at
all, was "hoo," uttered with an exceedingly short, low, and indistinct
tone, and the second was "ray," yelled with a long high tone slightly
deflecting at its termination. In many cases the yell seemed to be the
simple interjection "heigh," rendered with the same tone which was given to
>   The references to Union cheering that I've seen write "hurrah"
virtually without exception.
>   Virginia cavalryman Dew, a physician when he wrote his article in 1892,
agrees fully with the English accounts likewise unearthed by Read that the
mass "rebel yell" differed unmistakably from the Yankee "hurrah."  Or
"hooray," as the case may be.
>   JL
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