ballyhoo[bal′ē ho̵̅o̅′; for v.also bal′ē ho̵̅o̅′]
ballyhoo definition by Webster's New World
- loud talk; noisy uproar
- loud, exaggerated, or sensational advertising or propaganda
Origin: erroneously associated, association with Ballyhooly, village in Ireland: origin obscure
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- ballyhooer noun
ballyhoo definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. bal·ly·hoos
- Sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity.
- Noisy shouting or uproar.
To advertise or publicize by sensational methods.
Origin: Origin unknown.Word History: The origin of ballyhoo has been the subject of much speculation. This spelling has actually been used for four different words: ballyhoo, “sensational advertising”; ballyhoo, a spelling of balao, a kind of fish; ballyhoo, a part of the name ballyhoo bird, about which more later; and ballyhoo, a sailor's epithet for an unpopular ship. This last ballyhoo (first recorded in 1836) was thought to be related to, or the same as, the word ballahou, from Spanish balahú, “a type of schooner common in the Antilles.” First recorded in 1867, ballahou, besides being a term for a specific kind of ship, was also used contemptuously of inferior ships. But the connection between these sailing terms or the name of the fish and our word ballyhoo, first recorded in 1901, has not been established. There may, however, be a tie between ballyhoo and the creature called a ballyhoo bird. According to a July 1880 article in Harper's, the bird had four wings and two heads and could whistle through one bill while singing through the other. Anyone who has ever been on a snipe hunt will know what hunting ballyhoo birds was like.