Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Alley Oop!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    England
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    14,285

    Alley Oop!

    Hello

    There is an expression in English "Alley Oop!" that was used to encourage circus animals to jump onto a box or through a hoop.

    Can anyone tell me if this comes from a French expression (perhaps containing 'allez') - if so how is it spelled?

    Many thanks.
    If you think that, you have another think coming!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Paris - France
    Native language
    French - France
    Age
    46
    Posts
    947

    Re: Alley Oop! (Allez up!)??

    We indeed use "Allez hop !"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    England
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    14,285

    Re: Alley Oop!

    Thanks hersko.

    Do you pronounce the 'z' or is it silent?
    If you think that, you have another think coming!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Paris
    Native language
    Français - France
    Posts
    518

    Re: Alley Oop!

    It is silent : pronounciation = "alé oppe"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    England
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    14,285

    Re: Alley Oop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gravos View Post
    It is silent : pronounciation = "alé oppe"
    Thank you.
    If you think that, you have another think coming!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Douarnenez dans le Finistère
    Native language
    American English / Boston
    Posts
    605

    Re: Alley Oop!

    I don't agree! I think this term has something to do with basketball...
    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    IdF
    Native language
    French (lower Normandy)
    Posts
    26,178

    Re: Alley Oop!

    Now I understand hotpocket's comment, which was on the English term.
    The Oxford or wikipedia will indeed tell you that it comes from French "allez hop"

    So just to confirm was it still means in French.
    "allez hop" is commonly used when you want someone/an animal to jump for instance. "hop" is just an onomatopeia.
    Sert à attirer l'attention, à stimuler, à faire sauter ou à exprimer une action brusque.
    Another example: telling your childre to get into the car:
    "Allez, hop, en voiture !"

    Concerning the pronunciation of "hop", it is closer to the English "hop" than the English "oop"
    /ale ɔp/
    Last edited by DearPrudence; 27th November 2012 at 10:06 PM. Reason: With Pedro's comment I finally understand what hotpocket meant.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Paris, France
    Native language
    English (Ireland)
    Age
    27
    Posts
    3,934

    Re: Alley Oop!

    An alley oop (in English) is a basketball manoeuvre; I've never heard it used in any other context.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Native language
    French
    Age
    21
    Posts
    289

    Re: Alley Oop!

    Il est intéressant de noter que ce n'est pas toujours vrai. Pour faire avancer des bestiaux, on entend souvent allez, hue, cocotte !​.
    →↔←↔→↔←↔→↔←

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bucuresti Romania
    Native language
    Romanian
    Age
    56
    Posts
    716

    Re: Alley Oop!

    Commonly used for ... now do it/get down to work/get busy/start doing it (now let's do it/let's get down to work ...) With the additional meaning ... be quick about it (let's be quick about it)..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Near Washington DC, USA
    Native language
    English - US
    Posts
    865

    Re: Alley Oop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro y La Torre View Post
    An alley oop (in English) is a basketball manoeuvre; I've never heard it used in any other context.
    Your age reveals why this is so! The phrase has been around a looooooooong time, although judging from the comments of our younger forum members, it may well be dying out. When I was young this was very commonly said any time it an adult would lift a child up in the air, or bring us to our feet after we'd fallen down.
    There was even a comic character in my parents' time called "Alley Oop" -- named for the expression, not the other way around. And in the '50s or '60's' there was a song referring to the same character! My understanding is (and logic also dictates) that it does indeed come from the French.
    ----
    Ah, here we go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alley_Oop_%28song%29
    and the comic is discussed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alley_Oop

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    UK
    Native language
    English - England
    Posts
    24,395

    Re: Alley Oop!

    It can be spelled – alley-oop, allez-oop, allez-up, ally-oop.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was first recorded in 1917 (but therefore must have been around for longer than that.)

    I imagined that it would have been one of the words brought back by British Soldiers in the 1914-18 War, but was surprised to find it is American –
    1917 B. S. Walcott Let. 9 Sept. in Princeton Alumni Weekly 6 Feb. (1918) 389/1, I fortunately found a spark plug on the burn and got that repaired and alley oop!
    "There are no rules in English, only guidance. Some guidance looks like a rule; it probably isn't."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Near Washington DC, USA
    Native language
    English - US
    Posts
    865

    Re: Alley Oop!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulQ View Post
    I imagined that it would have been one of the words brought back by British Soldiers in the 1914-18 War, but was surprised to find it is American –
    Although the Americans arrived late, they did join the same war in 1917 and I believe the dough boys brought back a number of bastardized French expressions. (Je crois que "gams" pour "legs" remont à ce temps là: "she has a nice set of gams (jambes)!" and of course remember the song "Mademoiselle from Armentières" (with the chorus line "Inky dinky parlez-vous").

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •