"hokey cokey"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Jan 26 18:31:55 UTC 2013

>From an article in the NYTimes' sports pages, January 23, 2013, section B,
p. 17; otherwise,
on the difficulties that have arisen in turning the stadium built for the
London Olympics into a profitable general sports venue:
Much of the problem stems from what appears to have been poor initial
decisions. When the stadium was built, the post-Games plan called for it to
be drastically reduced in size — it is designed roughly along the   lines
of a layer cake, with removable tiers — then used as a 25,000-seat track
and field site.  But track and field competitions rarely draw more than
several thousand spectators at a time. “There was an element of hokey cokey
in that first proposition,” Biggs said. So the organizers came up with a
new idea: find a soccer team to move in.

Jonathon Green's Dictionary of Slang has an entry for "hokey cokey",
meaning "karaoke", supported with one citation, from 1998.  He adds a
comment "note also the trad. Cockney dance "The Hokey Cokey"".

I'd explain the "hokey cokey" in the Times with reference to "hokum" and
"cokey" (cocaine) -- that is, the first proposition was a combination of
fakery and delusion.
But I defer to others.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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