Towards a Hermeneutics of “Woo!” and “Hoo!”

In the United States, the nonsense exclamation “Woo!” is often used to proclaim the pleasures of drunkenness. While largely female in usage, not a negligible amount of men employ a robust “Woo!” to signal that the sheet is aloft and caught in a fulsome wind.

Less known, and more useful, is the nonsense syllable “Hoo!” which, when properly and enthusiastically sounded, serves as a palliative for a hangover.

“Hoo!” a fellow exclaims, sitting up in bed, his head wrapped in a pillow. “This is a remarkable hangover!”

The hangover is greeted warmly, embraced, and, so celebrated, subsides. Variants of “Hoo!” are also effective—”Hoo Boy,” for instance, or “Haroooah!”


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