"hokey cokey"

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Sat Jan 26 21:27:54 UTC 2013

I don't know,  but the dance "hokey cokey" over there is identical to the "hokey pokey" here.  It's compulsory at wedding receptions.  Never seen it in this sense.

Paul Johnston
On Jan 26, 2013, at 1:37 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "hokey cokey"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Jan 26, 2013, at 1:31 PM, George Thompson wrote:
>> From an article in the NYTimes' sports pages, January 23, 2013, section B,
>> p. 17; otherwise,
>> http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/sports/olympics/london-games-over-future-of-olympic-stadium-remains-uncertain.html,
>> 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.
> I expect "hocus-pocus" (for the meaning) and/or "hokey-pokey" (for the sound) might be involved, although I have no speculation for the /p/ > /k/ part of it.  Maybe assimilation from the /k/ of the second syllable(s)?  Hic-haec-hoc > Hic-haec-coke?
> LH
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