Monday, May 13, 2002

Actually, "Hokie" doesn't mean what it appears pretty much everyone thinks. The Hokie is the mascot for Virginia Tech (the Fighting Gobbler is too, though I'm not precisely sure how it all works). Technically, it isn't anything. If you've seen our mascot on TV, that's the Hokie Bird. While the Hokie Bird is a Hokie, it's not the definition of one. The term "Hokie" came from a cheer (now called "Old Hokie") written in the 1890s for Tech by a student, and going
"Hokie, hokie, hokie hi, Tech, Tech, VPI
Sola-rex, sola-rah Polytech, Virginia
Rae, ri, VPI!"
Basically, "Hokie" means roughly the same thing as "Yay," "Whoo," or (shudder...) "Wahoo."

Anyway, that's only semi-important right now. When most bloggers say "hokie" to describe something country and backwards, they really mean "hokey." Homonyms, you see. Thus, the dance you learned as a kid was the Hokey-Pokey. Meanwhile, the dance that the Marching Virginians do at halftime, eliciting cheers and childlike wonder is the Hokie-Pokie. Similar, yet subtly different. And that's what it's all about.

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