As a lot of this blog is about writing, I wanted to write a regular article on my favourite forgotten words. You know the type of thing, those poor lost words that sit at the back of our minds, gathering dust, having been discovered years ago in literary classics like Dickens, or Austen. They are the spices of the literary world, but I refuse to let them sit in a cupboard and be ignored until they go out of date! Let’s bring them back!

This month’s word is: TALLY-HO


A huntsman’s cry to the hounds on sighting a fox.

Why, oh why, oh why, do we no longer say tally-ho?

The definition above is from the Oxford online dictionary and says that it originated in the late 18th century. It apparently comes from an alteration of the French word taïaut, shouted to let other hunters know a pray has been sighted.

I often use a variation on the hunting cry when rounding up my errant children, calling the dog or giving orders to my husband, but I’ve never actually said the word tally-ho whilst doing it.

What I find most interesting is that in the 1920’s (according to my reading of Jeeves and Wooster anyway) tally-ho was used instead of good bye, or in an ‘off we go’ sort of way. Do you think if we started using it we could start a trend or would we be more Mr Burns oddball (remember he says ahoyhoy?)

Maybe I’ll just use it with those random calls I get of people trying to sell me stuff!

Have you guys got any unusual sign-offs? Can I dare anyone into a tally-ho tomorrow? Stop by and let me know!