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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2008-06-09 02:00:21

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

"hewing cry" for "hue and cry"

“Hue and cry” >> “human cry” is already in the Database, but I don’t think this variant has ever been suggested before. I like it because it manages to turn two words in the original into one. And it makes good sense: a “hewing cry” is one that cuts across all other sounds to get your attention. Unsurprisingly, it’s quite rare – the instances below represent most of the examples I could find:

As you know, there has been a hewing cry being raised on both side of the Atlantic about reparations. … rview.html

Yet, I hear no hewing cry for the eating of ham to be made illegal. … index.html

And the hewing cry for Davis’ recall is just another right wing conspiracy, right?

In the United States, when a black family moves into a suburban neighborhood, there is hewing cry about the diminishing of property values because blacks are viewed as “poor.”



#2 2008-06-09 12:57:57

Registered: 2007-06-19
Posts: 263

Re: "hewing cry" for "hue and cry"

This is a really great eggcorn. I think I might prefer it to the original.



#3 2013-11-06 07:41:08

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1101

Re: "hewing cry" for "hue and cry"

In Johannesburg this summer, at the end of our tour of the largely-immigrant-neighbourhood of the fashion district, where we stood out like lightbulbs and were welcomed warmly, the city bus just did not come. It was free soccer day at the stadium and there were no buses to be had. We made the brave/foolhardy decision to walk back through the dread Hillbrow district. Our tour guide told us to stick together in a tight bunch and walk quickly – like some tourists do in downtown Montreal. We were almost home-free when a hue and cry erupted on the street ahead of us. A woman had had her purse snatched and she was shouting and running after the (well-dressed) thief. The streets are crowded in the downtown area – in sharp contrast to the desertic suburbs – and a number of passersby took up the pursuit. The thief abandoned the purse and took off around the corner with 4 or 5 pursuers. Our b&b driver later told us, “If they catch him, they kill him.” I had no reason to disbelieve him; the remark cast the homicide figures for Johannesburg in a somewhat different light.

Little did I know that I was witnessing the common community response to crime from earlier times in England. Before there was a police force, a hue and cry, or just as often, hewing cry, was a way of signalling a crime, to which the entire community would respond. See this 18th c. dialect dictionary, and a column from Michael Quinion.



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