Australian Geographic - - Need To Know - By Kel Richards

Aus­tralian Geo­graphic reader Robert War­ren has emailed to ask about “the ori­gin of the say­ing hooroo as a good­bye or see-you-later in Aus­tralian slang”. He says he thought it could be “African in ori­gin”.Well, there is quite a story be­hind this. It seems to have be­gun as a sailor’s term – huzza. One 1740 men­tion says it was “de­rived from the shouts sea­men make when friends come aboard or go off ”. Over time this changed to hur­rah and hooray. Pos­si­bly, the ex­perts say, the change was in­flu­enced by a bat­tle-cry of Prus­sian sol­diers in the War of Lib­er­a­tion (1812–13).Then Aussie ver­bal in­ven­tive­ness changed it again from hooray to hooroo – first doc­u­mented in The Bul­letin in 1906. Do you have a ques­tion about Aussie words? Email me at [email protected]

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