Hootchy-kootchy

Let’s make this quick.

hootchykootchy

(Image credit: The Disney Wiki)

I just want to shoot down any ideas that the phrase “hootchy-kootchy” has a connection with Chinuk Wawa.

It doesn’t. That’s an over-analysis of something that began as a nonsense interjection, to the best of our knowledge.

The reason I’m discrediting the false Chinook Jargon connection is that it only needed to show up on one website for lots of others to uncritically repeat that misleading claim.

Here’s the most reliable etymology I’ve found, from the highly reputable Online Etymological Dictionary:

hoochy koochy (n.)

also hoochie-coochie, hootchy kootchy, “erotic suggestive women’s dance” (involving a lot of hip-grinding), 1898, of obscure origin, usually associated, without evidence, with the Chicago world’s fair of 1893 and belly-dancer Little Egypt (who might not even have been there), but the word itself is attested from 1890, as the stage name of minstrel singer “Hoochy-Coochy Rice,” and the chorus of the popular minstrel song “The Ham-Fat Man” (by 1856; see ham (n.2)) contains the nonsense phrase “Hoochee, kouchee, kouchee.”

To-day, however, in place of the danse du ventre [‘belly dance’ — DDR] or the coochie-coochie we have the loop-the-loop or the razzle-dazzle, which latter, while not exactly edifying at least do not serve to deprave public taste. [“The Redemption of ‘Old Coney,'” in Broadway Magazine, April 1904]

Need I point out that “hooch” in the meaning ‘cheap alcohol’ is a Klondike gold rush word, so it became widely known only from the turn of the century onward.

Not to mention that we have extremely little direct evidence that “hooch” or its earlier form “hoo(t)chinoo” were overtly considered to be Chinuk Wawa…

What do you think?