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hokey-pokey

[hoh-kee-poh-kee] /ˈhoʊ kiˈpoʊ ki/
noun
1.
hocus-pocus; trickery.
2.
ice cream as formerly sold by street vendors.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50; variant of hocus-pocus
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hokeypokey

hokey-pokey

/ˌhəʊkɪˈpəʊkɪ/
noun
1.
another word for hocus-pocus (sense 1), hocus-pocus (sense 2)
2.
(NZ) a brittle toffee sold in lumps
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hokeypokey

hokey-pokey

1847, "false cheap material," perhaps an alteration of hocus-pocus, or from the nonsense chorus and title of a comic song (Hokey Pokey Whankey Fong) that was popular c.1830. Applied especially to cheap ice cream sold by street vendors (1884), in Philadelphia, and perhaps other places, it meant shaved ice with artificial flavoring. The words also were the title of a Weber-Fields musical revue from 1912. The modern dance song of that name hit the U.S. in 1950 ("Life" described it Nov. 27, 1950, as "a tuneless stomp that is now sweeping the U.C.L.A. campus"), but it is said to have originated in Britain in World War II, perhaps from a Canadian source.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hokeypokey

hokey-pokey

adjective

: It might sound weird or hokey pokey, but it works

modifier

: candy bars on the hokey-pokey counter

noun
  1. Cheap ice cream and sweets made primarily to attract children (1884+)
  2. False and meretricious material; deception; hokum: too much of ''Hollywood hokey-pokey'' (1840s+)

[fr an earlier sense of hokey-pokey, ''cheat, swindle,'' ultimately fr hocus-pocus; the ice cream is said to have been named in Italian, O, che poco, a child's cry at the paucity of the portion]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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