Did coin phrasers of old live long enough to witness the spreading of their catchy limericks? With the internet, I can imagine modern phrases reaching the corners of the globe in short order (I realize the earth doesn’t have corners, but I’m hoping my blogs can capture the conspiracy theorist audience).
As a child I remember picking up some dandies from television and from my grandfather the fruit farmer.
The Beverly Hillbillies introduced me to “a hoot and a holler,” while Grandpa was fond of saying, “You bet your hoopin.” I still have no clue as to what a “hoopin” is, but its surely something of great value, or it wouldn’t symbolize a risky wager.
“A hoot and a holler” is sheer brilliance. It saddens me to think the author of the phrase might never have received his/her due for this phrase. Can you imagine using a “hoot” as a measure of distance? And then to think that act would not be enough on its own to reach the destination, so a “holler” was added to take the baton at the point where the hoot’s sound waves expired. At that juncture the holler would “run” the final span. I guess the holler gets the glory for crossing the finish line, but where would it have been without the hoot’s contribution?
I choose to think the holler would step to the podium and publicly thank, in loud bellowing words, the fact there’s no “I” in team, but there most certainly IS a “holler.” Stay tuned for the future dissection and analysis of additional phrases, both ancient and contemporary.