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Grand Panjandrum
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Postby Slava » Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:49 pm

Without the !:
Dr. Goodword wrote:

• yahoo •

Pronunciation: yah-hu • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun & Interjection

Meaning: 1. [Noun] A clod, bumpkin, hick, klutz, lout, rube or philistine. A clumsy, unsophisticated person without much learning. 2. [Interjection] A cry of happy excitement or exultation, as in Yahoo! I won the lottery!

Notes: The founders of the Yahoo!® search engine apparently neglected to read Gulliver's Travels before picking a name for their company or they might have chosen a less ambiguous one, say, Geronimo! The noun, yahoo, is an old word for an uneducated dirt farmer. Now that farmers are as well-educated as the rest of us, the name applies to any clumsy bumpkin, from the country, city, or points in between. Yahooism "acting like a yahoo" has been tried, as well as yahoodom "all yahoos taken together". Use them at your own risk.

In Play: This Good Word is still used most widely in reference to someone lacking a penchant for clear thinking: "Some yahoo from the Flat Earth Society wants equal time in our geography class." When the request was turned down, the same young fellow shouted, "Yahoo! I hate being in school, anyhow!"

Word History: The noun yahoo and the interjection are probably different words. The noun first appeared in Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel mentioned above. Yahoos in that novel were degraded humans used as beasts of burden by the Houyhnhnms, a breed of rational horses. The interjection is probably a variant of yoo-hoo or yo-ho, extensions of you used to attract someone's attention. Cowboys resort to it often when herding cattle.

Perry Lassiter
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Re: Yahoo

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Yahoo! as interjection does not strike me as calling, but celebrating, as in "Yahoo! Mom said we could go get pizza."

I've never had a bucolic feel about the noun yahoo. Perhaps you pick up connotations from where you hear and read the word. My association is a yahoo is some off-the-wall kind of guy, whether retro, nerdish, or politico.

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Re: Yahoo

Postby misterdoe » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:02 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:My association is a yahoo is some off-the-wall kind of guy, whether retro, nerdish, or politico.

Which was probably the thinking that went into the choice of name of Australian actor/comedian Yahoo Serious. You'd get it immediately if you ever watched his movies Young Einstein or Reckless Kelly. As you watch, you find yourself wondering, "Is this yahoo serious?!" :)

Though Reckless Kelly would have to be overdone for comedy, since its inspiration, real-life Australian folk hero Ned Kelly, was not at all a funny person...

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