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Joe Roman
Three cheers and a tiger
Wed Mar 18, 2009 08:45

from: Handy Book of Literary Curiosities by William S. Walsh

As to the origin of this word in the phrase " Three cheers and a tiger," the following explanation has been given. In 1822 the Boston Light Infantry, under Captain Mackintosh and Lieutenant Robert C. Winthrop, visited Salem, Massachusetts, and encamped in Washington Square. They loved rough-and-tumble sports, and one clay a visitor exclaimed to one, who was more obstreperous than usual, " Oh, you tiger!" The phrase became a catch-word, a term of playful reproach. On the route to Boston some musical genius sang an impromptu line. "Oh, you tigers, don't you know," to the air of " Rob Roy McGregor, O !" The Tigers by name soon began to imitate the growl of their protonymic. At the end of three cheers a " tiger" was always called for. In 1826 the same organization visited New York, being the first volunteer corps from Boston to visit another State. At a public festival the Tigers astonished the Gothamites by giving the genuine growl. It pleased the fancy of the hosts, and gradually became adopted on all festive and joyous occasions.

Joe Roman

  • Question Leah, Wed Mar 4 18:10
    Would anyone be able to tell me more about the phrase "Three cheers and a tiger"? The tiger bit has me stumped. Best, Leah
    • Three cheers and a tiger Joe Roman, Wed Mar 18 08:45
      • Thank You so much Joe. Leah, Wed Mar 18 13:51
        That is great information. I was able to track the basic meaning online but was unable to get any history on it. I was reading the book "Tale Of Two Frontiers" and Three Cheers and a Tiger was a... more
      • Good find. (nm) Jeff Smith, Wed Mar 18 13:27
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