Go Back > Urban Legends > Language

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 21 May 2014, 06:45 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,660
Cheer 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.
Reply With Quote
Old 21 May 2014, 07:08 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
Join Date: 28 June 2005
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 5,279

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

To answer the first question, no, not AFAIK.
Reply With Quote
Old 21 May 2014, 07:28 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,909

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.

Last edited by thorny locust; 21 May 2014 at 07:28 PM. Reason: data is not the same word as date
Reply With Quote
Old 22 May 2014, 01:25 AM
Tootsie Plunkette's Avatar
Tootsie Plunkette Tootsie Plunkette is offline
Join Date: 26 October 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 10,137

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.
Reply With Quote
Old 22 May 2014, 02:08 AM
Avril's Avatar
Avril Avril is offline
Join Date: 07 August 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 10,547

This rabbi think so.

This guy thinks the rabbi is wrong.

The Straight Dope has a more nuanced perspective.
Reply With Quote
Old 22 May 2014, 01:16 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,807

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!
Reply With Quote
Old 22 May 2014, 03:11 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 9,387

Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 22 May 2014, 03:42 PM
Chloe's Avatar
Chloe Chloe is offline
Join Date: 13 September 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 39,316

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."
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:03 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.