‘Woo:’ An in-depth look at a common phrase

Garrison Ebie

hispered it, maybe sung it, who knows. It’s not even a real word… yet. I’m sure Webster’s dictionary is working on that one this year.

What I’m referring to is an expression that gets entirely overused on any night of the week and slaughtered on the weekends. When alcohol is involved, it might be a substitute for a conversation. It’s a way to get someone’s attention and even a way to draw attention to yourself. It can be used to gauge one’s level of enthusiasm. It can be used as a reaction, or maybe even to express satisfaction.

This is one of the most versatile combinations of sound waves that humans have conjured up thus far in our existence, and even so, it still resembles an animal’s mating call.

I’m talking about “woo” or maybe “woooooooo!” as some people might be more familiar with.

Woo more often than anything, is an excuse to be loud. I’m guessing that yelling “yeahh” is not appropriate for all circumstances due to its root as a positive response that expresses agreement, so woo can mean just about anything and has no specific meaning whatsoever.

That’s perfect! What better way to say “Look at ME!” than to roll one of those woos off your lips? The phrase probably became so prevalent because it slips out of the mouth relatively easily. The “wha” part before the “ooo” even feels good coming out if you ask me.

Some might be more familiar with “woo hoo,” but in today’s age of abbreviation, thanks to the wonders of text messaging, we seem to have thrown away the “hoo” simply because an additional syllable takes way too much time out of our lives.

Perhaps I’m delving way too far into the specifics of what woo means. One thing that I am sure of is that I hear it all the time in Kent everywhere I go. For all you freshmen that are new to this place, before you learn anything, just know that woo is acceptable anywhere – even the supermarket. Like, say they have a special edition of macaroni and cheese with noodles that look like Scooby Doo. That is certainly woo-worthy.

What else is woo-worthy you ask? Well, more than anything, if you’re in a crowded room and your favorite song by Bon Jovi comes on the jukebox, by all means, woo your little heart out. You can even look around for someone else going woo and before you know it, you’ll have a new friend on Facebook.

Downtown Kent any night of the week between midnight and 2 a.m. is woo central. You don’t even need a reason to do it because then and there, it’s sort of like birds singing one of their triumphant bird songs, except it sounds a lot worse. Those unfamiliar with the landscape only need to be aware of the popular watering holes that young adults come in and out of, where many have been pounding down Jager bombs like it’s going out of style. Hence, the occurrences of woo may very well factor several times more than normal.

For example, someone might shout woo! Then a few seconds later, a reply woo from someone down the road just pops out of nowhere as if saying, “You’re totally right. This is awesome.” This tends to happen even when there isn’t necessarily anything awesome going on.

Remember, no sporting event is ever complete without thousands of belligerent, deafening woos. So on Sunday afternoons for the next five months, whether you like it or not, prepare yourself for one wild woo party because sports fans are guiltier than any other of this possible catch phrase.

Anyway, welcome back to Kent State University. I certainly hope you’ve all learned something useful about woo today. Have a fantastic semester.

Garrison Ebie is a senior electronic media production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].