Why do people say, “Hear, hear”?

A STAFF REPORT FROM THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD

Dear Straight Dope:

When you agree with someone, do you say "Here Here!" or "Hear Hear" ? And what does it mean? What is the origin of "Here Here" or "Hear Hear"?

Veg replies:

The correct term is, “hear, hear!” It is an abbreviation for “hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!”

Of course, if the speaker is actually asking a question, such as “and just where do you think we should open the new strip club?” it’s not hard to imagine that at least one yahoo in attendance might yell, “here, here!” But this would be the exception that proves the rule.

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL'S ONLINE AUXILIARY. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU'D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED.

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