A utterance, with widespread use in the U.S. military, made famous by Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman". This is all well and good, but for the fact that he mispronounced it.1

You see, "hoo-ah" is pronounced "hoo-ah!" (emphasis on the second syllable), rather than "hoo!-ah" (emphasis on the first), which is how our friend Al deemed fit to pronounce it. More's the pity...

1 This is, of course, an opinion. etoile says re Hooah: I disagree with your statement that the stress is on the second syllable in "hoo-ah" - I work for the DoD and there are military members all over my building, and I've always heard them pronounce it HOO-ah. (sometimes they stress the ah too, more than Al Pacino did, but the HOO is still dominant.) just my thoughts.
Official definition, as listed on a T-shirt my brother graciously purchased for me upon his graduation from boot camp at Fort Jackson (for we all know that Webster gets all his definitions from various screen printed clothing items):

Hooah: /who.aah/ n/adj/vb/advb/etc. (of US Army origin). Refers to and means anything except no; slang used by hardcore soldiers; agree; disagree, but I will do it anyway; alright; cool; aloha; stop whining; roger; see ya later; what to say to a drill sergeant or commander when not sure of an answer; all is good; and of course...I love this job!

Having recently enlisted in the U.S. Army (I'm bound for BCT soon), I have stumbled upon the true origin of "hooah." I asked my Staff Sergeant if I had it right and he confirmed it for me. It's very simple, really.

In the Army, and in the military in general, there is a need to do things, but not right now. Hence the phrase, "Hurry up and wait." Pay special attention to that phrase.

Hurry Up And Wait = H.U.A.W. = "Hooah"

Now we know and knowing is half the battle. Or something like that.


In actuality, though, it really stands for "Heard, Understood, Acknowledged", which is a common phrase used in commo/radio situations.

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