a rootin'-tootin' adventure

EdwinT

Senior Member
Chinese
In The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Fish says "I feel a rootein-tootin adventure coming on!"

What does "rootein-tootin" mean here, please?
 
  • Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Another thread that might help: Rootin' and tootin' fun Archijaq says: ROOTING-TOOTING adjective (also) ROOTIN'-TOOTIN' [mid-19th century and still in use]: Noisy, boisterous, rip-roaring.

    And in this thread root´em, toot´em Gabita says: There is no real meaning, it just rhymes; "rootin' tootin'" is something that a cowboy in the Old West might say to emphasize whatever comes next in the sentence. Ex. I am the fastest rootin' tootin' gunslinger in the West.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Following on from Truffula's answer I have just found this:

    'Rootin'-tootin' was adopted by American slang from England's Lancashire dialect. Nodal and Milner's 1875 glossary of the local patois cites, ''He's a rootin' tootin' sort of chap.'' ' *

    The Way We Live Now: 10-31-99: On Language; Rip-Tootin' Poorbacks

    I've always thought of it as meaning "boisterous/lively/exciting".

    Even in the Old West example above, I think that "rootin'-tootin'" does have a meaning and that it is simply a superlative form of a "boisterous" synonym. e.g. "I am the fastest, rowdiest/roughest/wildest [with the implication of being the most dangerous], gunslinger in the West.

    In the OP it is the "noisy, boisterous, rip-roaring" meaning which Tuffula gave that is being used, in the sense of being a "very lively/exciting and enjoyable" adventure.

    [* I was certainly suprised by this, as "rootin'-tootin'" is so associated with America and the Wild West.]
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    For 'rootin' tootin', The Oxford English Dictionary gives this for the Lancashire dialect version:
    1. Eng. regional (Lancs.). Inquisitive, meddlesome. rare.
    1882 J. H. Nodal & G. Milner Gloss. Lancs. Dial.: Pt. II 228 He's a rootin' tootin' sort of a chap.
    and it gives this for the wild west version:
    2. colloq. (chiefly N. Amer.). Noisy, rumbustious, boisterous; lively, ‘rip-roaring’. Cf. rooty-tootn.
    Chiefly associated with the cowboy culture of the American West.
    I suspect that the two are quite unconnected. 'Rooting' in the Lancashire version seems to mean 'digging' or 'delving', that is, poking ones nose into things. 'Tooting' may be derived from 'doing' (meaning 'busy'), changed in order to rhyme.

    I have always thought that the US version consists of 'rooting' in the sense of 'cheering' and 'tooting' as in blowing on a trumpet: in other words, making the noise of a parade or celebration.
     
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    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    In one of the threads I linked to above, Dlyons wrote: "I think that's the key to the origin. The OED gives "rooty-toot" as something noisy and lively, especially referring to early jazz music (probably deriving from the "tooting" sound of a trumpet). ... So the noise of jazz became associated with the noise of cowboys driving a herd of cattle and changed to "Rootin' tootin'"

    I think referring to this: rooty-toot - definition of rooty-toot in English | Oxford Dictionaries which backs up wandle's note about a trumpet as they write about the origin, "Imitative of the sound of a trumpet, with reduplication with consonant variation."
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    What about root-toot?

    ‘Thanks, Vinnie, I get the picture. But whoever killed that thief was off his head with rage. I cannot think of anything the kid could have done to cause such a frenzied beating.’
    ‘But you aren’t root toot, are you?’
    Source: Thieves on the Fens by Joy Ellis
    Context: Security specialist Vinnie and Sergeant Inspector Joseph are discussing a recent murder whereby a thief was beaten up to his death.

    I am not sure the above definitions of being noisy am lively fit this context.

    Thank you.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. Here’s what comes next:

    ‘But you aren’t root toot, are you?’
    ‘Hopefully not.’ Joseph heard an incoming message on his phone. He prayed it wasn’t Mad Tom.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    In context, "root toot" seems to be a colloquial paraphrase for "off his head with rage" from the earlier line of dialogue.

    In other words, Vinnie thinks Joseph can't think of what the kid could have done to provoke the beating because, unlike the killer, Joseph is not "root toot" / "off his head with rage" / insanely angry.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    No, it isn't a common expression; possibly the author was trying to make Vinnie have some idiosyncratic slang or it's a regionalism that hasn't been documented (at least not where it's internet-searchable).
     
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