2023_#31: Weird Word Wednesday – Hootenanny

This week’s weird word is hootenanny. The definition of this word, according to Merriam-Webster, is a gadget or “a gathering at which folk singers entertain often with the audience joining in.” Share your weird words here. If you choose to take up the challenge, please add a pingback to this prompt.

Photo by Fey Marin on Unsplash 

My coworker was texting her sister yesterday, and she tried to text, “Ha, ha.” Somehow, her phone auto-corrected to “Hootenanny.” How in the world it went from “ha, ha” to “hootenanny” is anyone’s guess. Now, I imagine a hootenanny could be a “ha, ha” sort of event, though I’ve never actually attended one. Therefore, I’m not actually able to say with any certainty.

Personally, I thought a hootenanny was a rowdy ruckus, as in, “What’s all that hootenanny going on in there?” I’m actually glad I chose this word for today’s weird word. Otherwise, I might spend the rest of my life not knowing the true definition of the word. And consequently, mis-using it.

I like Wikipedia’s take on this word the best: “…an Appalachian colloquialism that was used in the early twentieth century U.S. as a placeholder name to refer to things whose names were forgotten or unknown. In this usage it was synonymous with thingamajig or whatchamacallit.” I can see myself using this word as a place holder. “Hey, see that hootenanny over there? Can you fetch that for me?”

So if you hear me using the word hootenanny, at least you know I’m using it correctly!


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