Joined: 1:20 PM - Jul 31, 2001

5:42 PM - Feb 09, 2010 #21

the NOOOOBODY part was played a few years later at the stadium when the Bengals put it on the scoreboard after a score.

The original chant came mid year and when I first heard it in the stands I remembered hearing it on WEBN. They played it all week. It was like an incantation-- very witchy like. I don't know if the voodoo lady on the air was from New Orleans but she was had a very distinctive accent. She was not a Cincinnatian. I don't know if it was WEBN morning show or not. I guarantee you thats where it started. It wasn't a car dealership or Hudy beer.
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Joined: 12:30 AM - Nov 25, 2007

7:34 AM - Dec 06, 2015 #22

Here we go. An exceedingly rare good year is being accompanied by the inevitable ubiquity of raucous Who Dey hoo hawing. Now we have Who Dey here and Who Dey there and Who Dey everywhere. And while I say hooray for all the hoopla that comes with winning, I must confess that all this Who Dey-ing makes me grumble a bit and groan, hoo-humbug!

What I really want to know is how this particular cheer came about for our Southern Ohio team. It's not at all like "who dat" in Louisiana, where the popularity of the slang expression goes back for more than a hundred years. It supposedly reflects real Cajun dialect, and it inspired a rallying cry in the late 1970's for a Louisiana high school football team. That one goes, "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem 'Jacks?"

In Cincinnati, Who Dey is said to have generated spontaneously in 1981. It happened way up in the cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium. One fine Sunday fans simply starting chanting as the Bengals started winning. And by some astounding coincidence, this new expression sounded remarkably like a cheer already used elsewhere.

Here's my main issue with Who Dey: It doesn't reflect the local culture, it doesn't draw from any local traditions, and it doesn't represent the way local people normally talk. Without that, why the hoo-heck should any Bengals fan celebrate bad grammar and awful pronunciation? I don't get it.

But so much for boo hoo hoo-ing over mumble-mouthed fan enthusiasm. Like it or not, Who Dey will be around for as long as the franchise survives. If possible, though, I would at least like to know the real story behind it's origin. Can anybody here help? Does anybody else remember the old beer hawkers at Riverfront pushing Hudepohl, and didn't they used to yell out "HUDY" or "HOOO DEEE"? Isn't it possible that one of those fellows migrated to Cincinnati from Louisiana?

Reference: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2006 ... s-who-dat/
Bumping up this old thread because the Cincinnati Enquirer has new puff piece about it, by Carol Motsinger. Never heard of her.
<h3>The origin of Who Dey is murky. Its message is not
</h3><h4>We get to the heart of Who Dey, the heart of the city, the tribal chant.
</h4>
We know this for sure: It’s a riddle.

In practice, it’s an adjective. Noun. Pronoun. Verb. Adverb. Because it's Cincinnati, it's also a beer.

It’s still not really real words. Definitively not a phrase that can be looked up in a dictionary. But it’s something we scream. So it's only everything – and nothing.

It’s Who Dey.

...


http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/ ... /76617696/
It's a veritable celebration of the Who Dey cheer! Groooooaaaaaan.

First comes a weak rehash of how it might have started, including the speculation about Hudepohl beer hawkers. Motsinger seems to come down on the side "originated in Cincinnati." Purely a coincidence, don't you know, that it sounds so similar to Louisiana slang. As for the lack of historical references of "who dey" usage in Ohio... crickets. Unless you count the passing mention of 1700's Southern Appalachia and how those folk colonized Cincinnati.

This thread is more informative than that article. Dacow's theory that we discussed above still intrigues me. It would be nice if some some media type were to actually look into it.

Later in the article, the author quotes a local historian about how it doesn't matter anyway. Who Dey is now immersed in the fan culture and falls so trippingly off the tongue.

Yeah, we're stuck with it alright. Ain't we lucky?
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Joined: 1:33 AM - May 16, 2014

7:43 AM - Dec 06, 2015 #23

Here we go. An exceedingly rare good year is being accompanied by the inevitable ubiquity of raucous Who Dey hoo hawing. Now we have Who Dey here and Who Dey there and Who Dey everywhere. And while I say hooray for all the hoopla that comes with winning, I must confess that all this Who Dey-ing makes me grumble a bit and groan, hoo-humbug!

What I really want to know is how this particular cheer came about for our Southern Ohio team. It's not at all like "who dat" in Louisiana, where the popularity of the slang expression goes back for more than a hundred years. It supposedly reflects real Cajun dialect, and it inspired a rallying cry in the late 1970's for a Louisiana high school football team. That one goes, "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem 'Jacks?"

In Cincinnati, Who Dey is said to have generated spontaneously in 1981. It happened way up in the cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium. One fine Sunday fans simply starting chanting as the Bengals started winning. And by some astounding coincidence, this new expression sounded remarkably like a cheer already used elsewhere.

Here's my main issue with Who Dey: It doesn't reflect the local culture, it doesn't draw from any local traditions, and it doesn't represent the way local people normally talk. Without that, why the hoo-heck should any Bengals fan celebrate bad grammar and awful pronunciation? I don't get it.

But so much for boo hoo hoo-ing over mumble-mouthed fan enthusiasm. Like it or not, Who Dey will be around for as long as the franchise survives. If possible, though, I would at least like to know the real story behind it's origin. Can anybody here help? Does anybody else remember the old beer hawkers at Riverfront pushing Hudepohl, and didn't they used to yell out "HUDY" or "HOOO DEEE"? Isn't it possible that one of those fellows migrated to Cincinnati from Louisiana?

Reference: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2006 ... s-who-dat/
The only thing I remember is that Cincinnati started the cheer in 1981, and New Orleans hadn't started chanting anything up to that point because they'd always SUCKED.

The "Who Dat" song might've originated around New Orleans or something, but Saints fans weren't chanting anything before 1981 unless it was a few extra-optimistic weirdos here and there.

Side note: I think some recent German immigrants might've first settled in Cincinnati if my memory of Eckert's "The Frontiersman" is correct. My vague memory is that they somehow "got screwed" in the money-land deal, but eventually did something with it.

EDIT: It seems that the earliest settlers around Cincinnati were indeed Americans from the British Isles, but many new German immigrants arrived early-on too. I'm probably just remembering some section when the new arrivals from Germany got a "raw deal," especially since that book seemed to frequently cover immoral and atrocious behavior... with everyone guilty of it, even the so-called noble Native Americans.
Last edited by LCarpetronDookmarriott on 8:14 AM - Dec 06, 2015, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 1:33 AM - May 16, 2014

7:53 AM - Dec 06, 2015 #24

Here we go. An exceedingly rare good year is being accompanied by the inevitable ubiquity of raucous Who Dey hoo hawing. Now we have Who Dey here and Who Dey there and Who Dey everywhere. And while I say hooray for all the hoopla that comes with winning, I must confess that all this Who Dey-ing makes me grumble a bit and groan, hoo-humbug!

What I really want to know is how this particular cheer came about for our Southern Ohio team. It's not at all like "who dat" in Louisiana, where the popularity of the slang expression goes back for more than a hundred years. It supposedly reflects real Cajun dialect, and it inspired a rallying cry in the late 1970's for a Louisiana high school football team. That one goes, "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem 'Jacks?"

In Cincinnati, Who Dey is said to have generated spontaneously in 1981. It happened way up in the cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium. One fine Sunday fans simply starting chanting as the Bengals started winning. And by some astounding coincidence, this new expression sounded remarkably like a cheer already used elsewhere.

Here's my main issue with Who Dey: It doesn't reflect the local culture, it doesn't draw from any local traditions, and it doesn't represent the way local people normally talk. Without that, why the hoo-heck should any Bengals fan celebrate bad grammar and awful pronunciation? I don't get it.

But so much for boo hoo hoo-ing over mumble-mouthed fan enthusiasm. Like it or not, Who Dey will be around for as long as the franchise survives. If possible, though, I would at least like to know the real story behind it's origin. Can anybody here help? Does anybody else remember the old beer hawkers at Riverfront pushing Hudepohl, and didn't they used to yell out "HUDY" or "HOOO DEEE"? Isn't it possible that one of those fellows migrated to Cincinnati from Louisiana?

Reference: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2006 ... s-who-dat/
It looks like some sane people in New Orleans even admit that "Who Dat" started in 1983 for the Saints:http://whodat.com/true-origin-of-who-dat/
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Joined: 12:30 AM - Nov 25, 2007

4:52 PM - Dec 06, 2015 #25

Here we go. An exceedingly rare good year is being accompanied by the inevitable ubiquity of raucous Who Dey hoo hawing. Now we have Who Dey here and Who Dey there and Who Dey everywhere. And while I say hooray for all the hoopla that comes with winning, I must confess that all this Who Dey-ing makes me grumble a bit and groan, hoo-humbug!

What I really want to know is how this particular cheer came about for our Southern Ohio team. It's not at all like "who dat" in Louisiana, where the popularity of the slang expression goes back for more than a hundred years. It supposedly reflects real Cajun dialect, and it inspired a rallying cry in the late 1970's for a Louisiana high school football team. That one goes, "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem 'Jacks?"

In Cincinnati, Who Dey is said to have generated spontaneously in 1981. It happened way up in the cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium. One fine Sunday fans simply starting chanting as the Bengals started winning. And by some astounding coincidence, this new expression sounded remarkably like a cheer already used elsewhere.

Here's my main issue with Who Dey: It doesn't reflect the local culture, it doesn't draw from any local traditions, and it doesn't represent the way local people normally talk. Without that, why the hoo-heck should any Bengals fan celebrate bad grammar and awful pronunciation? I don't get it.

But so much for boo hoo hoo-ing over mumble-mouthed fan enthusiasm. Like it or not, Who Dey will be around for as long as the franchise survives. If possible, though, I would at least like to know the real story behind it's origin. Can anybody here help? Does anybody else remember the old beer hawkers at Riverfront pushing Hudepohl, and didn't they used to yell out "HUDY" or "HOOO DEEE"? Isn't it possible that one of those fellows migrated to Cincinnati from Louisiana?

Reference: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2006 ... s-who-dat/
I agree that the Bengals popularized the Who Dey cheer before the Saints popularized the very similar Who Dat. Nobody disputes that. Or maybe as I should write it, nooooobody. The question is who's version grew out of their local culture.

As far as I know, there were no prior traditions of Cincinnatians using "who dey" in their communications. It seems to have popped up from out of nowhere and just happens to sound a lot like Louisiana slang. The Saints can point to a nearby high school and the 70's chant, "who dat say dey gon' beat dem 'Jacks." They can go back a hundred years earlier and cite the first usage of "who dat." For the Bengals, there's a vacuum prior to 1981.

For the Saints it's organic, even with the irony of it looping up to Cincinnati first. For the Bengals, not so much.

And I ask again, why would Ohioans want to appropriate Southern expressions?
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~ What Mike Brown never quite said, but should have.
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Joined: 2:24 AM - Feb 12, 2011

5:05 PM - Dec 06, 2015 #26

Here we go. An exceedingly rare good year is being accompanied by the inevitable ubiquity of raucous Who Dey hoo hawing. Now we have Who Dey here and Who Dey there and Who Dey everywhere. And while I say hooray for all the hoopla that comes with winning, I must confess that all this Who Dey-ing makes me grumble a bit and groan, hoo-humbug!

What I really want to know is how this particular cheer came about for our Southern Ohio team. It's not at all like "who dat" in Louisiana, where the popularity of the slang expression goes back for more than a hundred years. It supposedly reflects real Cajun dialect, and it inspired a rallying cry in the late 1970's for a Louisiana high school football team. That one goes, "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem 'Jacks?"

In Cincinnati, Who Dey is said to have generated spontaneously in 1981. It happened way up in the cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium. One fine Sunday fans simply starting chanting as the Bengals started winning. And by some astounding coincidence, this new expression sounded remarkably like a cheer already used elsewhere.

Here's my main issue with Who Dey: It doesn't reflect the local culture, it doesn't draw from any local traditions, and it doesn't represent the way local people normally talk. Without that, why the hoo-heck should any Bengals fan celebrate bad grammar and awful pronunciation? I don't get it.

But so much for boo hoo hoo-ing over mumble-mouthed fan enthusiasm. Like it or not, Who Dey will be around for as long as the franchise survives. If possible, though, I would at least like to know the real story behind it's origin. Can anybody here help? Does anybody else remember the old beer hawkers at Riverfront pushing Hudepohl, and didn't they used to yell out "HUDY" or "HOOO DEEE"? Isn't it possible that one of those fellows migrated to Cincinnati from Louisiana?

Reference: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2006 ... s-who-dat/
I don't remember it before 1981. In 1980 when they hired Forrest Gregg the team was recovering from the Homer rice era (the counterpart of the Dave Shula era of the dark ages) the chant didn't really start then. In 1981 when the team started their SB I started hearing it - maybe it came from the Red Frazier commercial or even some from Hudepohl beer as Psycho alluded to. Somewhere during the 1981 season it came out but exactly when it's hard to say. I think Zip Rezeppa might have done something to help it emerge like put out a song or something like that.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o7eokIKpqE
Last edited by bengalbear on 5:07 PM - Dec 06, 2015, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 1:33 AM - May 16, 2014

6:25 PM - Dec 06, 2015 #27

Here we go. An exceedingly rare good year is being accompanied by the inevitable ubiquity of raucous Who Dey hoo hawing. Now we have Who Dey here and Who Dey there and Who Dey everywhere. And while I say hooray for all the hoopla that comes with winning, I must confess that all this Who Dey-ing makes me grumble a bit and groan, hoo-humbug!

What I really want to know is how this particular cheer came about for our Southern Ohio team. It's not at all like "who dat" in Louisiana, where the popularity of the slang expression goes back for more than a hundred years. It supposedly reflects real Cajun dialect, and it inspired a rallying cry in the late 1970's for a Louisiana high school football team. That one goes, "Who dat say dey gon' beat dem 'Jacks?"

In Cincinnati, Who Dey is said to have generated spontaneously in 1981. It happened way up in the cheap seats at Riverfront Stadium. One fine Sunday fans simply starting chanting as the Bengals started winning. And by some astounding coincidence, this new expression sounded remarkably like a cheer already used elsewhere.

Here's my main issue with Who Dey: It doesn't reflect the local culture, it doesn't draw from any local traditions, and it doesn't represent the way local people normally talk. Without that, why the hoo-heck should any Bengals fan celebrate bad grammar and awful pronunciation? I don't get it.

But so much for boo hoo hoo-ing over mumble-mouthed fan enthusiasm. Like it or not, Who Dey will be around for as long as the franchise survives. If possible, though, I would at least like to know the real story behind it's origin. Can anybody here help? Does anybody else remember the old beer hawkers at Riverfront pushing Hudepohl, and didn't they used to yell out "HUDY" or "HOOO DEEE"? Isn't it possible that one of those fellows migrated to Cincinnati from Louisiana?

Reference: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2006 ... s-who-dat/
I don't know how it became a phenomenon for Cincinnati fans either. That seems a little murky.

I don't like it very much anyway. Hearing Bengals fans chant it at PBS before the playoff game against San Diego irked me a little bit, to be honest, but I guess it'll never go away.
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6:04 PM - Sep 15, 2018 #28

A potential good year is brewing and so too is the old talk about the Who Dey cheer. We're all of two games into the 2018 season, too.
'Who Dey' vs. 'Who Dat': Barstool, Bush suggest Bengals' chant rips off New Orleans Saints
Dave Clark, Cincinnati Enquirer Published 2:12 p.m. ET Sept. 14, 2018

Thursday Night Football gave the Cincinnati Bengals an opportunity to showcase their talent, establish themselves as a contender and hand their division rival a loss in front of a national audience.

Sadly, the spotlight also gave some a chance to insist that the New Orleans Saints' "Who Dat" came first, and that somehow the Bengals "Who Dey" cheer rips off the Saints or isn't as great or widely accepted. ...


https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports ... 304346002/
There's a game against New Orleans in November, so the topic might well get more attention then, assuming the Bungs are still in contention. The article links to the 2015 feature by Carol Motsinger.

How many of my compatriots here went to Riverfront Stadium back in the 1970's? As discussed up-thread, there were those ubiquitous beer vendors. At multiple points during any game, you'd be startled by a sudden cry of "BEEEEEER HEEEEEERE"  and, boy, was that ever annoying! So imagine you're up in the cheap seats during the '81 season, feeling good about things, and having a few too many. Out of nowhere, as was typical, a Hudepohl hawker starts to yell "Hudy h....." but before he can finish you shout "dey think gonna beat doze Bengals!" Or maybe you heard somebody else do it once and got a kick out of it, so you join in. Now every damn time an obnoxious hawker intrudes on the fans' blissful Bungles revere, somebody lets him have it. Laughter all around. Some folks enjoy it so much they go ahead and order another warm one.

That's the scenario that comes to mind. After all, who hasn't wanted to yell back at a hawker after being startled?  "Will you shut up!"  It's all about catharsis, man, and any acceptable way of getting it is golden. At some point it probably didn't matter what brand of beer was being hawked, or whether it was even beer.

Hawker: Hot Do...

Fans: Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals!

But if the genesis was fun payback, how to explain the similarity with Who Dat? Maybe the first wag or two to come up with Who Dey  were well-traveled or well-read. Or maybe they had a Louisiana connection. Who knows.

Or maybe dis was just one of doze coincidences. Dey do happen, ya know, but dis one would be a real doozy.
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~ What Mike Brown never quite said, but should have.
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Joined: 3:28 PM - Mar 28, 2001

7:59 PM - Sep 25, 2018 #29

Again, my mother was raised in New Orleans.  Almost her entire massive family lives there.  NONE of them ever heard of Who Dat until they started chanting it in the Super Dome AFTER we came up with Who Dey.  I lived their for 4 years,..NEVER heard the Who Dat chant or any historical reference to it.   Its all nonsense, Who Dey was first. 
"You don't have bad luck, bad things happen to you because you are a dumb ass."
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