Share this entry

Share this page

hokey-pokey

Syllabification: ho·key-po·key

Definition of hokey-pokey in English:

noun

informal
1 (the hokey-pokey) US A circle dance with a synchronized shaking of the limbs in turn, accompanied by a simple song.
Example sentences
  • I'm the typical American white guy, so watching me dance is like seeing the Pillsbury Doughboy doing the hokey-pokey.
  • We learn the hokey pokey when we're kids and as we become adults, we learn the latest crazes.
  • Try dancing with your children. Do the Hokey Pokey, the bunny hop and such.
2US Hocus-pocus; trickery.
Example sentences
  • There was something kind of psychic about him, almost supernatural, and it was no surprise when I found out he was into that hokey-pokey and read a lot about magic and mysticism.
3 trademark Ice cream of a kind formerly sold on the street, especially by Italian street vendors.
Example sentences
  • Interestingly, in late - 19 th-century Britain, hokey-pokey men were Italian street vendors selling ice-cream wrapped in waxed paper.
  • They sell hokey-pokey, either plain or covered in chocolate.

Origin

late 19th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of hokey-pokey in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…