from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity.
  • n. Noisy shouting or uproar.
  • transitive v. To advertise or publicize by sensational methods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity.
  • n. Noisy shouting or uproar.
  • v. To sensationalise or make grand claims.
  • n. An inshore, surface-dwelling species of needlefish forming sizeable schools.
  • n. An unseaworthy or slovenly ship.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. noisy or blatant advertizing or publicity.
  • transitive v. to advertize or publicize noisily or blatantly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. blatant or sensational promotion
  • v. advertize noisily or blatantly


Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Unknown. (Wiktionary)
Spanish balajú (Wiktionary)
Possibly from Spanish balahu ("schooner"). (Wiktionary)



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  • "When the House Commission for Un-American Activities was officially called a witch-hunt, one group of radical women suddenly realised that that was what they wanted to be, so WITCH, Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, was formed. Ballyhoo was their business and from the beginning they were good at it. Dressed in black and riding broomsticks they hexed the Chase Manhattan Bank, distorting the familiar slogan (You Have A Friend In The Chase Manhattan) in a fashion fatuous enough for J. Walter Thompson himself (You Have A Fiend In The Chase Manhattan). When they bewitched Wall Street the market obligingly suffered a frisson of five points and then pulled itself together again. Bra burning and invading the annual Bride Fair in Madison Square Garden were good fun and good copy too. Nowadays WITCH is a little leery of the Tactical Police Force and has gone underground and anonymous, a heavy fate for ballyhoo."
    - 'The Slag-Heap Erupts', Germaine Greer, 1970.

    March 28, 2008

  • I don't know.

    December 13, 2007

  • Hoo's on first.

    December 13, 2007