hue and cry » human cry

Classification: English – and «» in/en – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • There was literally a human cry from around the state during the hearings held on this Issue in House H&SS Committee. (Mental Health Assoc. in Alaska, Bridges Final Report, 2000)
  • This raised a human (?) cry in Boston and throughout the United States. (Kennedy Library, Race in the Military forum transcript, Nov. 12, 2001)
  • The January 23 CyberAlert distributed earlier today quoted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as declaring: “There’s been an international human cry and it continues over the condition of Afghan war detainees being held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.” CyberAlert reader Tom Johnson suggested to me that Blitzer probably said “hue and cry,” not “human cry.” (Media Research Center, CyberAlert Extra, Jan. 23, 2002)
  • “Please join me in raising a human cry,” said Val J. Peter, executive director of Girls and Boys Town. (Associated Press, Nov. 15, 2002)

Analyzed or reported by:

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/08/04 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/08/04 at 1:54 pm

    ‘Hue and cry’ also gets eggcorned to ‘hew and cry,’ as I noted recently in the comments section.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2006/05/21 at 3:38 am

    I wonder how much of the “hew” spelling comes from doubt about how to spell “hue”, and how much from thinking of hewing.

  3. 3

    Commentary by Marnen Laibow-Koser , 2006/07/20 at 7:17 pm

    According to etymologies I have read, “hue and cry” originates from “human cry”, although I don’t know how well established this is. This may be another case of an eggcorn closing an etymological circle.

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