Maybe she's just a cultural woo.


Czech Republic (Czech)
Hi guys, while translating yesterday's How I Met Your Mother episode I've run into one more problem. The dialogue:

NARRATOR: What's a woo girl? Let me explain. A woo girl is a type of young woman, who, like the cuckoo bird or the whip-poor-will, gets her name from the signature sound she makes. [...]

Lily (talking to Robin): I swear, at school jillian seems so un-woo-y.

Robin: Yeah, she doesn't look wooish. Maybe she only observes The high holidays, like mardi gras and spring break. Maybe she's just a cultural woo.

The bold part gives me trouble. I guess "cultural woo" is some kind of quip reffering to some widely spread phrase But I don't recall right now what could it possibly be.

Would anyone be so kind and explain the last Robin's sentence to me in detail?
  • Lis48

    Senior Member
    English - British
    A "woo girl" gets drunk a lot and puts both arms in the air and shouts "Woo!"
    all the time. It´s a perjorative description as it suggests she has no education and no other way of expressing herself.
    But this one seems to act normally at other times so Robin suggests she´s a cultural woo, only behaving like that on holidays so it´s as if she observes cultural festivities.
    But she is also a cultural woo because she is part of the modern youth culture.
    It´s a pun on "woo-hoo" meaning the noise you make when excited about something and of course "woman." There was a terrible song back in the 1950s called "Woo-hoo" which had no lyrics only sounds, but it became an international hit simply because everyone whatever language they spoke could sing it and I think the modern expression is similar. Hope that helps a bit.
    One might refer to someone as a "cultural Catholic" or a "cultural Jew" -- that is, someone who does not have strong faith in the religion, or worship regularly, but who enjoys celebrating the cultural aspects (as opposed to the religious ones) of major festive holidays such as Christmas or Hannukah. "Cultural woo" is, in sound, very much a play on the sound of "cultural Jew."