zowie was our Word of the Day on 06/04/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
The word zowie was inspired by the sound of a speeding vehicle-a new phenomenon when the word entered the lexicon in 1902, the year before the Ford Motor Company sold its first car. It wasn't until the 1930s and 40s, though, that "zowie" really picked up the pace. "Zowie" isn't one of a kind. The British interjection "pip-pip," used to say "goodbye," dates to around the same time and is thought to be imitative of a bicycle or car horn. And "toodle-oo" (a word that sees some use on the American side of the Atlantic though it is more common in British English) shares the same meaning and hypothetical origin.
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