Hip hip hooray

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For the Sneaky Sound System single, see Hip Hip Hooray (song). For the Play School album, see Hip Hip Hooray (Play School album).

Hip hip hooray (also hippity hip hooray; Hooray may also be spelled and pronounced hoorah, hurrah, hurray etc.) is a cheering called out to express praise or approbation toward someone or something, in the English speaking world and elsewhere.

By a sole speaker, it is a form of interjection. In a group, it takes the form of call and response: the cheer is initiated by one person exclaiming "Three cheers for...[someone or something]" (or, more archaically, "Three times three"[1][2][3][4]), then calling out "hip hip" (archaically, "hip hip hip") three times, each time being responded by "hooray".

In Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the cheer commonly follows the singing of Happy Birthday to You.


It has been suggested that the word "hip" stems from a medieval Latin acronym, "Hierosolyma Est Perdita", meaning "Jerusalem is lost",[5][6] a term that gained notoriety in the German Hep hep riots.

The call was recorded in England in the beginning of the 19th century in connection with making a toast.[7] Eighteenth century dictionaries list "Hip" as an attention-getting interjection. "Hip-hip" was added as a preparatory call before making a toast or cheer in the early 19th century, probably after 1806. By 1813, it had reached its modern form, hip-hip-hurrah.[8]

One theory about the origin of "hurrah" is that the Europeans picked up the Mongol exclamation "hooray" as an enthusiastic cry of bravado and mutual encouragement. See Jack Weatherford's book Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country, Volume 9. 1834, James Fraser. Google Books. p. 410. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  2. ^ Wright, John Martin Frederick (1827). Alma Mater: Or, Seven Years at the University of Cambridge. Black, Young, and Young, p. 19. Google Books.
  3. ^ Byron, Henry James; Davis, Jim (January 19, 1984). Plays by H. J. Byron: The Babes in the Wood, The Lancashire Lass, Our Boys, The Gaiety Gulliver. p. 42. Google Books. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  4. ^ Twain, Mark (1890 - 1910). The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories. Digireads.com Publishing, January 1, 2004. Google Books. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  5. ^ Gabay's Copywriter's Compendium, Jonathan Gaby, pub. (Elsevier) 2006, ISBN 0-7506-8320-1, p.669
  6. ^ Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham (1898). Dictionary of phrase and fable. Philadelphia: Henry Altemus. ISBN 1-58734-094-1. 
  7. ^ Read, Allen Walker (1961-05-01). "The Rebel Yell as a Linguistic Problem". American Speech 36 (2): 83–92. doi:10.2307/453841. ISSN 0003-1283. JSTOR 453841. 
  8. ^ Brown, Peter Jensen. "Three Cheers, Hip-Hip-Hurrah and Tom and Jerry". Early Sports 'n Pop-Culture Blog. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Murphy, Joseph W. (November 21, 2005 ). "Re: Hurray!!!! A Mongol Word?". Tech-Archive.net. Retrieved February 19, 2013.