Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Daily Hump: Huzza

Good news everybody!

By my estimates no character in the history of everything has used the interjection huzza more than Futurama's Professor Farnsworth. The word itself is simply an exclamation, like hurrah. The OED states:
[Huzza] is mentioned by many 17-18th c. writers as being originally a sailor's cheer or salute: ‘It was derived from the marine and the shouts the seamen make when friends come aboard or go off’ (North Exam. (1740) 617). It may therefore be the same as heisau! hissa! originally hauling or hoisting cries.
The OED provides us with an additional vital link, this time from 1549, which demonstrates an early modern connection between huzza and maritime activities:
The marynals began to heis vp the sail, cryand, heisau, heisau.
(Somewhat tangentially, that word heis in the quote above is the forefather of our modern verb heeze meaning to hoist. It's from the Icelandic word hisa.)

On a related note there are also huzza-men and huzza-women, but interestingly enough there are actual differences between their definitions beyond just gender. A huzza-woman is defined as "one given to noisy or riotous conduct: a rake, a gallant" while a huzza-man is one who is hired to shout "huzza".

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:: posted by David, 8:50 AM

1 Comments:

You haven't been watching MST3K on dvd. Huzza is a common exclamation. Nice Farnsworth pic. I would have picked that one too.
Blogger Loocite, at 12:07 PM  

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