Jerusalem

The Phrase Hip Hip Hooray Has Ancient Roots

Icestech.info – Today the phrase hip hip hooray is used in many countries as a cheering called out to express praise or approbation toward someone or something.

It’s not entirely clear who used the phrase for the first time. According to some sources the phrase can be traced to a Medieval battle, but there are also suggestions the words were first spoken by a German shepherd or yelled by 17th century sailors. Yet, another possibility is the phrase can be traced to ancient Mongolia.

Researching the etymology and history of the cheer “hip hip hooray” is by no means easy.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Most sources suggest that the word “hip” stems from a medieval Latin acronym, “Hierosolyma Est Perdita”, meaning “Jerusalem is lost” This was later shortened by Germanic tribes fighting Jews to “Hep Hep Hu-raj”, meaning loosely “Jerusalem is fallen and we are on the way to paradise.”
An almost identical phrase was used in a Hungarian battle cry “Huj Huj Hajrá”, which more or less just meant “faster, faster”.

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More Ancient History Facts

Another theory is that the phrase comes from a Germanic shepherds cry or a hunter’s cry “hep hep”, which was used to rally their trained dogs. It is also possible that this shepherd’s cry was not the origin, but rather itself was from the proposed Germanic battle cry “Hep Hep Huraj”.

Hip Hip Hooray

There are also two theories about the word “hooray”. One option is that it came from the 17th century sailor’s cheer, “huzzah. Other’s think it’s from a Mongolian exclamation of a similar sound, which is meant to be a cry of bravado.

So, we really can’t trace the beginning of the phrase, but one thing is clear – it’s still very popular.

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