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    #1

    The meaning of letter "O" at some words

    Hi!

    Sometimes I see words and expressions with a "O" (letter "o", not number zero), always at the end of the word. Examples:

    a) Harry Belafonte´s classic song "Day-O (banana boat song);
    b) The Hawaii-Five-O TV series;
    c) The cartoon character from Thundercats, Lion-O.

    So, what is the meaning of this "O"?

    Thank you all for the help!

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The meaning of letter "O" at some words

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Monteiro View Post
    Hi!

    Sometimes I see words and expressions with a "O" (letter "o", not number zero), always at the end of the word. Examples:

    a) Harry Belafonte´s classic song "Day-O (banana boat song);
    b) The Hawaii-Five-O TV series;
    c) The cartoon character from Thundercats, Lion-O.

    So, what is the meaning of this "O"?

    Thank you all for the help!
    It doesn't always mean anything, sometimes it's just an added sound. In the case of #2, it does stand for the number zero, but it's just a designation for a police unit, and the writers chose 50 because the show was set in Hawaii which was the 50th US state. Due to pop culture, 5-0 has now become slang for 'police'.

    In #1, the song was originally a traditional Jamaican folk song, so the 'O' was likely just an extra syllable added to fit the rhythm or beat of the song. Perhaps it has some meaning in Jamaican patois, but I suspect the former.

    #3 I suspect the 'O' was just added to make the name sound exotic.
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  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The meaning of letter "O" at some words

    Due to pop culture, 5-0 has now become slang for 'police'.

    Do you mean 5-O for police?

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The meaning of letter "O" at some words

    I think you'll see it written as 5-0 or 5-O, and maybe even other ways (5-o, five O) but it's always pronounced as 'five-oh'.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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