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-   -   Hip hip, hooray! (

snopes 21 May 2014 06:45 PM

Hip hip, hooray!
Comment: Just wondering if the commonly used term at birthday parties,
"Hip hip, hooray!" is actually offensive to the Jews today? Some rumour
about it being anti-Semitic as it is claimed the enemies of Jerusalem
would cry "Jerusalem has fallen" - but in Latin is was "Hep hep", (which
stood for Hieroslyma est perdita - IE using the first letter of these 3
words) not "hip hip". And "Hu-raj" which apparently means we are on the way
to paradise.

Dr. Dave 21 May 2014 07:08 PM

Why would they yell an acronym in Latin and then an exclamation in Arabic?

To answer the first question, no, not AFAIK.

thorny locust 21 May 2014 07:28 PM

Single data point: I never heard of this claim.

Of course, I never heard of "hip, hip, hooray" being specific to birthday parties, either; or even particularly common at birthday parties.

Tootsie Plunkette 22 May 2014 01:25 AM

I heard this story many many years ago when I was in the SCA. I believe the local group changed to a different cheer, rather than offend; as I recall, the cheer just became "Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!" And it was about that time I stopped attending (nothing to do with the cheer, although I thought the story was highly unlikely) so I don't know if it has stayed that way.

Avril 22 May 2014 02:08 AM

This rabbi think so.

This guy thinks the rabbi is wrong.

The Straight Dope has a more nuanced perspective.

Alarm 22 May 2014 01:16 PM

I like Cecil's answer.

I think he's most probably right. IME, Cowherds use lots of different vocal calls to direct their charges and they tend to use the same ones unconsciously in other ways.

Now y'all get in line. Hep! Hep!

UEL 22 May 2014 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by Alarm (Post 1822960)
Now y'all get in line. Hep! Hep!

I read this and all I can think about is the final chase in the Blues Brothers.

Chloe 22 May 2014 03:42 PM

Were acronyms (as opposed to initial abbreviations) known in first century Rome? I know we say first century "A.D." but we don't pronounce it "AD."

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