Huzzah! The mispronunciation of a cheer

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Randolph Bragg, who works as a costumed interpreter at Mount Vernon, shares his pet peeve with us this week. “It’s not really a myth, but I wish you’d try to help bust it anyway,” he writes. “I hear this waaaaay too often [at Mount Vernon] and it sets my teeth on edge every time.” What is it? The mis-pronunciation of the colonial era cheer: Huzzah! (Our version of Hooray!)

Here’s what Norman Fuss of the Journal of the American Revolution has to say about the cheer: 

“Go to any Revolutionary War period living history program or reenactment and you hear it again and again. “Huzzah for Great Washington and the Continental Congress!” “Huzzah for good King George and Parliament!” Huzzah this and Huzzah that all day. If our forefathers could come back to one of these events, they would be mightily puzzled. “What is this ”huzzah ?” they might say. “When we cheered, it was Huzzay.” Huzzay? Yes. Not Huzzah.”

How does Norman Fuss know this? His evidence comes from rhymes in poems and songs and is overwhelming. Read his complete article here. And from now on, make sure you say Huzzay! 

 

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4 Responses to Huzzah! The mispronunciation of a cheer

  1. Jake Pontillo says:

    The pronunciation ‘huzzay’ makes a lot more sense in the way that it would morph into our modern “hurray” …

  2. Tom Bertrand says:

    I know Mr. Norm Fuss to be a most meticulous and accurate researcher. I will believe what he says.

  3. Gary Bulthouse says:

    it’s “Who say”

  4. Randolph Bragg says:

    Thank you, ma’am.

    ==================== Randolph Bragg 2406 Apple Hill Road Alexandria, Virginia 22308

    On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 11:25 AM, History Myths Debunked wrote:

    > Mary Miley posted: “Randolph Bragg, who works as a costumed interpreter at > Mount Vernon, shares his pet peeve with us this week. “It’s not really a > myth, but I wish you’d try to help bust it anyway,” he writes. “I hear this > waaaaay too often [at Mount Vernon] and it sets my ” >

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