Word of the day #51: yahoo

Word of the Day is designed to help children learn how to use a dictionary, whilst simultaneously expanding their vocabulary. Today’s Word of the Day begins with the letter ‘Y’. The word is: yahoo.


The origin of this word is attributed to Jonathan Swift in his book of 1726 – Gulliver’s Travels. It is taken from the name of a race of brutish creatures resembling men.

n. plural -hoos.

1. (in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels ) one of a race of brutes, having the form and all the vices of humans, who are subject to the Houyhnhnms.

2. an uncultivated or boorish person; lout; philistine; yokel.

3. a coarse or brutish person.

How then, did yahoo also get to mean;

n. 1. expressing great joy or excitement.


2. a widely used search engine for the web that finds information, news, images, products, finance.


Why not use another language to strengthen your pupils’ word skills? The following game is just one of many from 100+ Fun Ideas for Practising MFL in the Primary Classroom;

Dictionary order

✦ Provide each child or pair with a set of cards with a word or

phrase on each.

✦ To practise dictionary skills, ask the children to sort the cards

into dictionary order according to the first letter of each word.

✦ This works well as a timed team game.

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Filed under Teaching Ideas, Word of the Day

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