"Hear, hear"

I’ve often wondered about where this expression came from, and whether it was spelt as above, or as “here here”. Either seems plausible.

My aunt tells me it is an abbreviation of “Hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say.”

You learn something new every day.

6 thoughts on “"Hear, hear"”

  1. Your Aunt omits to give the source of that phrase. If you google either “hear hear” or “here here”, you will find it is in fact an abbreviation of “hear him, hear him”, the accepted cheer in the house of commons, originating in the 18th century. The use of the imperative “hear” meaning “listen”, however, is somewhat older – I gather it is in the Bible, and that’s pretty old. I am posting this reply wirelessly from a tube train.

  2. I would entirely agree with Clarice but would add that in parliament disapproval was expressed by humming so those supporting the speaker would cry” hear him, hear him” which as Clarice says became hear hear.

  3. Well, I wasn’t actually underthe ground, because as you know, in West London, the underground is mostly overground. But I was on a tube train, taking advantage of random wireless access.

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