French word of the Day: Hourra !

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 9 Jun, 2021 Updated Wed 9 Jun 2021 12:42 CEST
French word of the Day: Hourra !

Want to express joy? Here's a classic French way of doing that, which was first borrowed from the English in the 16th century.


Why do I need to know Hourra? 

Because you might want to express some joy as France's cafés, bars and gyms fully reopen and curfew moves back - so here is a very enthusiastic way to do so.

What does it mean? 

Hourra is French for “hooray” and according to Le Petit Robert dictionary, this happy word comes from the English ‘hussa’ which in turn was borrowed from the Russians.


The actual hourra was first used in France in the 17th century as the word houzaye.

It described “a cry of joy traditionally used by the English who pronounced it ‘houzai’” - according to the dictionary, it was particularly popular among English sailors in the 16th century, who used it to honour their commanders. 

It’s not far from Youpi, another a cry of joy to show that you are excited about something, but hourra is usually used when you have won something. 

Use it like this

Hip, hip, hip hourra – Hip hip hip hooray

Hourra j’ai gagné ! – Hooray I won! 


Youpi – Yippee

Acclamer – Cheers 

Bravo – Bravo 


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