hooyah / hooah / oorah

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hooyah / hooah / oorah

Post by unan » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:44 am

where did this word come from and what's its meaning? military?
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hooyah / hooah / oorah

Post by Shelley » Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:30 am

Isn't that what Al Pacino says all the time in "Scent of a Woman"?
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hooyah / hooah / oorah

Post by dalehileman » Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:51 pm

It might have originated as a war cry of the Navy SEALS
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Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:46 pm

.. google it Dale .. go on .. try something different and daring ..
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

hooyah / hooah / oorah

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:50 pm

.. oh damn Dale I saved you the trouble .. and there it was .. tah dah .. the first of 45 300 hits and it MUST be true because it's on Google ..
US Navy SEALs
UNDER HEAVY CONSTRUCTION!!! Welcome to HOOYAH! HOOYAH is the war cry of the United
States Sea, Air, and Land teams. Better know as US Navy SEALs! ...
hooyah.8m.com/ - 14k - Cached - Similar pages
WoZ of Aus 18/11/05
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

hooyah / hooah / oorah

Post by Hagar » Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:22 pm

It's military all right It goes back to the drill sergeants. The original expresson is Hooah. The command to March is shouted "Forward March". The march part is usually mispronounced as hooah.
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Post by dalehileman » Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:28 pm

Wiz: That's why I said "might." I have learned full well how risky it is in this bastion of mutual recrimination to make an offhand reference to a highly suspicious source
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:50 am

Interesting. I never heard the term HOOYAH or anything resembling it when I served in the Army 1964-66. So I’m assuming that it probably was used, at least in the Army, some time after that.

In one of my two sources (the other didn’t include this) on military stuff War Slang – American Fighting Words and Phrases from the Civil War to the Gulf War (1994) by Dickson, which is usually pretty good on this type of thing, his entry is under the Gulf War as follows:

HOO-AH / OOH RAH / URAH / YEEHAH: An all-purpose expression of enthusiasm for almost any situation in which the speaker is alive and well. For instance, it was almost invariably used to greet mail call. It was termed ‘the signature call of the American forces’ by the Houston Post. The expression was used to great effect by Al Pacino in the 1992 film The Scent of a Woman.
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But, of course, when hearing the term it is very difficult to tell exactly what the sound is, much less the spelling. HOOYAH! is undoubtedly one of several possible military spellings, which Dickson didn’t happen to include.

It’s funny, but when I saw the Pacino movie, I actually thought he was saying HOO-HA!, a classic Yiddish expression, which seemed to fit that usage in every instance (not that Pacino was playing a Jew), but a lot of folks who aren’t Jewish use Jewish expression - are you saying that I’m a putz? (<:). And, interestingly, the quotes from the movie that I found in a Google search spelled it HOO-HA or HOO-HAH (Quotes from Scent of a Woman) and one spelled it both HOO-AH! and WHOO-AH! in the same set of quotes (Memorable Quotes from Scent of a Woman)

Which all tells me that there is possibly some confusion on whether we are talking a military war cry or a Yiddish exclamation. Since the man uttering this is Lt. Col. Frank Slade, I would suspect that he was probably using the military war cry and not the Yiddish expression, although one never knows, but it sure looks like a lot of Jewish folks or users of Yiddish expressions may have taken it to be the latter as I did, and wrote it that way.

Note: The 1899 quote below suggests that HOOYAH may have begun its life as a possible cry of animal herders/trainers/drivers to get their charges moving.
<1899 “Patsy [[circus elephant trainer]] trots behind them making vicious downward jabs with his hook, while he shouts: [HOOYAH! HOOYAH!”—‘Los Angeles Times,’ 16 October, page 6> [[I came upon this quote in a newspaper archive search and it might be the fist appearance in print of ‘hooyah’ – and Patsy was not a Jewish animal trainer! (<:)]]

<1999 “When the energy of the group flagged, Big Mike, a 6-foot-3 250-pounder who played rugby in college, shouted the traditional Seal cheer of ‘HOOYAH! at the top of his lungs, often adding a seal bark that generally provoked more push-ups.”—‘New York Times,’ 14 May, page E46>

<2002 “A musical based on the life of Gov. Jesse Ventura [[former Navy SEAL]] . . . is progressing, with songs titled ‘HOOYAH’ and ‘The Heart is a Muscle.’—‘New York Times,’ 5 February, page B2>

<2005 “Jamie Foxx’s “HOO-HA” sounds a lot like Al Pacino’s in Scent of a Woman. The movie [[Jarhead]] was based on the book recalling the actual experiences of former Marine Anthony Swofford’s service in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.”—‘Storyboard’ – Newsletter for the Washington, D.C. Film Society, December>
Ken G – December 22, 2005
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Post by bogartt » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:55 am

Originally, an Army radio operator acronym. HUA... meaning Heard, Understood, Acknowledged.
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:10 am

Trevor, That is one of the rumors going round. But, an etymologist's rule of thumb is never believe any origin based on an acronym. However, it could be true – I don’t know. Wikipedia, which isn’t my first choice as a reliable source, has posted their story on this subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oorah, which may or may not be accurate.
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Ken G – January 8, 2006
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Post by Slateman » Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:09 am

"Hoya" is the mascot for a major university in the US, Georgetown University.
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