Boy Howdy!

Isn’t that a fun phrase? I used it last week, either in one of my posts or in a comment, and now I can’t get it out of my head. How it got into my head in the first place, I have no idea.  According to the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) it is a Texan-ism.  I’ve never been to Texas.

When I lived in New York I went out with a few Texans, businessmen just passing through don’tcha know, and I found them delightful gentlemen to spend an evening with.

DARE, like the OED, are wondrous books to scroll through. I was introduced to the OED in college and always swore I would get myself a copy, never did. They have, or had, a compact version that came with a magnifying glass because the print was that small – 20 volumes smooshed into 2.

William Safire wrote a language column for the New York Times Sunday Magazine and that’s where I first came across DARE – he was reviewing the volumes as they came available and I promised myself when it was completed I would get myself a copy of that too. I didn’t. I really should, what could be more fun than to get lost tooling around such an amazing dictionary.

Odd things that pop into my head most often are delightful things, fun stuff. Last night as I was drifting off to sleep a song popped into my head and I only knew the chorus, which I mentally sang over and and over…ear worm time when I should have been sleeping. “Hooka tooka, my soda cracker, Does your Mama chaw tobacca, if your Mama chaw tobacca, then hooka tooka, my soda cracker”

I gave up on the sleep idea and grabbed my iPad and looked up “Hooka Tooka”. Turns out to have been written by Ernest Evans aka Chubby Checker. The lyrics make no sense whatsoever but the tune is kinda catchy – 

Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Does your momma chaw tobacca
If ya momma chaw tobacca, say
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Does your momma chaw tobacca
If ya momma chaw tobacca, say
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Who your love, Who your love I say
You know I love my mother-in-law
If your love momma like you say
Why can’t momma chaw
Everybody yup
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Does your momma chaw tobacca
If ya momma chaw tobacca, say
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Momma loves momma loves you all
And you know I’m her son-in-law
If you love me like you say you do
Chaw tobacca too
Hey Ar
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Does your momma chaw tobacca
If ya momma chaw tobacca, say
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker
Hooka Tooka my soda cracker… 

Now then, as is my wont, when I saw there were other versions of Hooka Tooka I had to delve further into its meaning and origin. It’s somewhat interesting but since some of it involves Judy Henske I won’t bother boring you with it. (I don’t like Judy Henske.) And some of it revolves around “Icka Backa soda cracker” and/or “Acka Backa soda cracker” and I also won’t bore you with that.

I’m just gonna keep with my original earworm – which I had managed to get out of my head until I started writing this…Fun as it is, Make It Stop!

9 thoughts on “Boy Howdy!

  1. Boy Howdy is a fun saying! I giggled at Hooka Tooka being your ear worm!

    D A R E is interesting! I could get lost in there! I looked up Kansas and I didn’t see familiar words so I’m not sure how to use it but I could go down a rabbit hole checking out all the different words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Boy howdy is DARE rabbit hole territory! I love dictionaries that one in particular is just so damn fun! Hmm- it seems it ain’t free I did find “doodinkus” as being a Kansas word it means thingamabob LOL

      Like

  2. I grew up around midwest farmers so I heard “boy howdy” often enough to remember it now that you mention it here. I don’t know the Hooka Tooka song, but will share that in college if a girl thought a guy was a hunk she’d say, “he can eat crackers in my bed anytime!” Don’t think that saying came from that song, but I am reminded of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DARE, while anchoring “Boy howdy” to Texas, shows midwest usage, and I associate it with the South so it seems it is rather a common phrase. OK, probably not in the Northeast but still. As for the crackers in bed observation, I’ve heard that one too but more often I’ve heard, and used, the phrase “he can park his boots under my bed anytime”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Boy Howdy – ha! Someone said that to me many years ago and swore blind it was a Northern England phrase haha – l remember saying “Are you sure??”

    Was listening to Hooka Tooka as l read your post – nice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think New England is probably the one place I’ve never heard ‘boy howdy’ tho I would guess it isn’t a West Coast phrase either. I’ve got so much weird stuff tucked away in my long term memory – from songs to odd phrases, cool words and a huge amount of bits and pieces of poetry…it’s where my pin ball brain comes in – one thing always reminds of another and off I go…

      Liked by 1 person

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