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Hootenanny

A hootenanny is an informal gathering where folk music is played in a party-like atmosphere. The word hootenanny originated in the Appalachian area of the United States, a region heavily settled by Scottish immigrants. Hootenanny is a Scottish word for party or celebration. Originally, Americans used the word hootenanny as a placeholder name, in the same manner one would use the words doohickey or thingamajig. In the beginning, hootenanny was often spelled as hootnanny, which is an incorrect spelling, today. Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie popularized the use of the word hootenanny in the 1950s-1960s to refer to an informal folk music gathering.


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Examples

Through 13 glorious tracks spanning back-porch hootenanny sessions to countrypolitan elegance, Lynn proves that at 83 she’s a national treasure who still exudes the earthiness of her rural roots. (The Boston Globe)

Rather than the meeting of a political cabal, a Jewish Skull-and-Bones society, this is an all-American, redwhite- and-blue-mixes-with-the-blue-and-white, Zionist hootenanny – in both meanings of that Scottish word: a rousing, joyous, pro-Israel celebration and a true meeting of the minds. (The Jerusalem Post)

Brooks got the hootenanny started with the cowboy song “Rodeo,” a rousing version of the Dennis Robbins cover, “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House” and the emotional soul-searcher, “The River,” all of which had the majority of the audience singing along with every word. (The Worcester Telegram)

Sometimes, when the plucking of the assembled geezers gets fierce and enough $7 pitchers of Yuengling get drunk, the whole place turns into one raucous, multigenerational hootenanny. (Vogue Magazine)

It’s 11pm on New Year’s Eve, and you grow tired of channel flipping; it’s then that Jool’s Annual Hootenanny rears its predictable, comfortable head. (The Independent)

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