Rootin' Tootin'

A discussion of word histories and origins.
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Rootin' Tootin'

Postby Garzo » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:30 am

Well, there have a number of thunderstorms recently, and I haven't been allowed to play outside, so I've had to sit in watching cowboy films. I wonder if all you lovely people could embroider me a comprehensive history of the phrase rootin' tootin'. Please feel free to add any other cowboy slang you think may be appropriate.

-- Garzo the Dude.
"Poetry is that which gets lost in translation" — Robert Frost

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Postby tcward » Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:34 pm

"My website", as BD calls it, says this:

Reduplicated form rootin' tootin' "noisy, rambunctious" is recorded from 1875.

Not much else I can say...


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Postby Stargzer » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:57 pm

tcward wrote:"My website", as BD calls it, says this:

Reduplicated form rootin' tootin' "noisy, rambunctious" is recorded from 1875.

Not much else I can say...


Looking at "root" by itself:

root (v2.)
"cheer, support," 1889, Amer.Eng., originally in a baseball context, probably from root (v.1) via intermediate sense of "study, work hard" (1856).

as well as:


INTRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: root·ed, root·ing, roots
1. To give audible encouragement or applause to a contestant or team; cheer. See synonyms at applaud. 2. To lend support to someone or something.
ETYMOLOGY: Possibly alteration of rout[sup]3[/sup].


INTRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: rout·ed, rout·ing, routs
Chiefly British To bellow. Used of cattle.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English routen, to roar, from Old Norse rauta.

and the other half:

VERB: Inflected forms: toot·ed, toot·ing, toots

INTRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To sound a horn or whistle in short blasts. 2. To make the sound of a horn or whistle blown in short blasts or a sound resembling it. 3. Slang To snort cocaine.
TRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To blow or sound (a horn or whistle). 2. To sound (a blast, for example) on a horn or whistle. 3. Slang To snort (cocaine).
NOUN: 1. A blast, as of a horn. 2. Slang A drinking binge. 3. Slang Cocaine, especially a small amount snorted at one time.
ETYMOLOGY: Ultimately of imitative origin.

So we see that a tooin' tootin' cowboy could be not only boisterous but also inebriated! :)

And of course, "root" has a whole other meaning "Down Under!" :shock:

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