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Hoopla is a word that has one definition in British English and one definition in American English. We will examine these differing meanings, where the word hoopla came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

In British English, hoopla is a carnival game in which one throws rings in order to win prizes. This meaning of hoopla came into use in the twentieth century, and is simply a play on the word hoop. In American English, hoopla means a great excitement, a lot of fuss and noise, a great to-do. This meaning of the word came into use in the 1870s. This use of the word hoopla is derived from the French exclamation, houp-là! This interjection is used in the same manner as the English terms upsy-daisy or alley-oop, usually when lifting a child into the air or encouraging someone to jump atop something. Hoopla is usually rendered as one word, though the hyphenated form is sometimes seen, hoop-la. The plural form of hoopla is hooplas.


With classic hoopla games, carnival-goers attempt to toss a ring around a wooden block to win a prize. (The Vending Times)

Apple is bringing its hoopla machine to a Chicago high school on Tuesday. (The Chicago Tribune)

After arriving with much hoopla a year ago, defensive end Tim Bonner’s first season was considered a disappointment. (The Sun Sentinel)

To follow the hoopla that came with the sugary, colorful beverage last April, Starbucks is reportedly releasing another fruity creation this week. (People Magazine)

Orioles shortstop Manny Machado had been quiet for two days on the hoopla surrounding New York Yankees star Aaron Judge admitting and then being reprimanded for telling the free-agent-to-be that he’d look good in pinstripes. (The Baltimore Sun)