What is a hooley? Where does the word come from?


Everything about the word hooley is disputed, including the spelling. Hoolie or hooley? Or even huly as it first appeared Bartlett's Dictionary of American English in 1877.  Something to argue about at the lexicographers annual hoolie, which can get pretty wild.

A hoolie is used in contemporary English to mean a raucous party . The word is most commonly used in Ireland, but can be traced back to Orkney Scots, where it meant a strong wind or gale. This lead to the common idiom blowing up a hooley.

Irish Words in English