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    #1

    hurrah's nest

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    Here you...have been keeping up a perfect hurrah’s nest in our kitchen for three days.

    hurrah's nest = the phrase is used by your mother when describing your and your brother's room, which you assumed to mean messy or untidy

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. Jay Louise's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: hurrah's nest

    Hurrah's nest = state of utmost confusion. [Colloq. U.S.]

    [1913 Webster]

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    #3

    Re: hurrah's nest

    May I assume that hurrah's nest is equivalent of topsy-turvy?

    Regards,

    V.

  2. Jay Louise's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: hurrah's nest

    A "hurrah's nest" is indeed a terrible mess or scene of commotion and confusion, and the phrase dates back to at least the early 19th century. The "hurrah" involved is the same "hurrah" we shout when the home team wins, a cheer of exultation that dates back to around 1686. "Hurrah" has close relatives in several European languages and was probably (like the earlier "huzza") developed from the throaty shouts of soldiers charging into battle.
    In 19th century America, "hurrah" came into use as slang noun for "an uproar, a commotion," and anything wild and lawless was described as "hurrah." With "hurrah" meaning "disordered," it made sense for something very, very tangled or disorderly to be described as a "hurrah's nest," as if the "hurrah" were a creature with bad housekeeping habits. There is some evidence that "hurrah's nest" was first used by sailors to describe a tangle of lines aboard ship.


    From word-detective [dot] com


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    #5

    Re: hurrah's nest

    "Hurrah's nest" has been used by seamen to denote disorder. An Extra Master Mariner in sail and steam informed a class of cadets in the 1950's that "hurrah" was a lady of the night. He defined a "hurrah's nest" as an area where everything is on top and nothing is to hand. You might even say the reverse of shipshape.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: hurrah's nest

    Just for the record, I've never heard this before.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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