How to pronounce whoop

How to pronounce whoop

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To be honest, I’m not a fan of all the whooping that goes on at parties, sports events, etc., even if I only witness it on TV. I could only bear to watch the first 10 seconds of the following video, any more should be considered torture.

On the other hand, since I do enjoy sarcasm, I quite like the phrase

“Big whoop!”

in response to inappropriate over-excitement. Before we come to the interesting pronunciation, let me give you the OLE definition of whoop:

to shout loudly because you are happy or excited.

You may have noticed that some people whoop by saying [wuːp], whereas others prefer [huːp]. Further variations include [wʊp] and [hʊp]. You can listen to all of these pronunciations here. The fact that a w at the beginning of an English word is often silent was discussed in detail in an earlier post. According to Longman’s Pronunciation Dictionary, the silent-w variants of whoop are more common in American English, whereas the w is typically not silent in British English. An interesting exception appears to be that of whooping cough (a rather serious medical condition explained here, not something to whoop about), which is predominantly pronounced without the w in both American and British English according to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary.

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