4

The etymology of the very casual greeting 「ヤッホー」 appears disputed and undecided. Various theories and hypotheses have been suggested. This site lists German, Hebrew, and 山伏 as possible sources. A lot of places claim it was a mountain climbing term (this, this, and many others). My question is when did it become popularized among young people as a fashionable greeting? When did become a thing in Japan? Where did it start? Did it start among members of a subculture (e.g. various teen subcultures in 渋谷/原宿)? I know the term has been around for at least 10, 15 years.

8
  • 1
    Could you explain what made you think ヤッホー is a fashionable greeting that may be related to 渋谷/原宿 subcultures? Did you hear it used in an anime, for example?
    – naruto
    Oct 21, 2020 at 6:48
  • 1
    I hear it used pretty frequently among my friends as a really casual greeting. Usually pronounced やっほ though. Oct 21, 2020 at 6:51
  • 1
    I googled 挨拶 ヤッホー but found nothing related to "recent fashion"...some believe it's 昭和-ish and some believe it's simply odd/rare. I think it's been used by a few speakers for decades, but it's never been "popular"... (This article was interesting)
    – naruto
    Oct 21, 2020 at 8:02
  • 1
    チョリーッスとかは recent fad と言えると思いますがヤッホーは遙かに古いです。ただ使う人が少ないだけで。まあ流石に「チャオ」や「アロハ」よりは relatively popular だと思いますが…。
    – naruto
    Oct 22, 2020 at 0:36
  • 1
    I wonder if the use as a greeting might be related to slang coinage patterns based on sound swaps and reversals. おはよう → drop the honorific = はよう → swap the consonant sounds = やほう → adding emphasis = やっほう. Possibly inspired by 倒語【とうご】, but taking things in a different direction. Oct 22, 2020 at 8:49

2 Answers 2

1

No one says yahoo in Japan. Some decades (around 100-70) ago , Yahoo was used for making echo or voice call someone in the distance at mountain site. Yahoo is recognized as a calling in laud voice for distance , so It may use for joking. Never used as a popular greeting. Decent people does not yahoo for greeting.

1

The word itself has been widely recognized for a long time as "something you shout in the mountains". Even novels written in the 1950's have examples of ヤッホー.

In town, it may be used very occasionally as a humorous, unique greeting. Well, sometimes people feel おはよう is too uninteresting and want to say something different. I may have heard ヤッホー used in this way once or twice in the last 20 years. However I don't think it has ever been "popularized among young people as a fashionable greeting" in the 21st century. This is an old word everyone knows since childhood, and as far as I know, there is no reason for it to suddenly become a fashion. Theoretically, there may be a community (e.g., fans of a singer) where ヤッホー is used as a popular greeting, but I am not aware of such an example.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .