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Just want to get some clarification on this as I may have picked up the meaning incorrectly from our teacher who doesn't use English (which is a good thing). Is it a cheer that is used by Chinese at sporting events or is it the Chinese word for cheerleaders?

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So if I went to a soccer match and was shouting for my team (Tottenham) I'd be called a 啦啦队?

The character 队 means "team" or "squad". So, no. You, by yourself, wouldn't be considered a 啦啦队 unless you're really huge. :)

I guess 啦啦 or "la la" came from "rah rah" or "rah rah girl". A synonym for "cheerleader" derived from an old American football chant, "Rah rah rah sis boom bah".

"Rah rah" itself derived from "hurrah hurrah".

https://www.google.c...="rah rah girl"


Snippet from Wikipedia entry for "Rah-rah skirt":

Rah-rah is a reduplication[4] of an abbreviation for "hurrah",[5] which is used as a synonym for "cheering".


https://www.google.c...h sis boom bah"


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Kobo wrote:

I guess 啦啦 or "la la" came from "rah rah" or "rah rah girl". A synonym for "cheerleader" derived from an old American football chant,

The funny thing is that when I do a Google search, none of the results return "cheerleader" as a definition for "rah rah girl".

https://www.google.c...="rah rah girl"

Even after I did a Google search for "dictionary", and went to each of the top 10 dictionary sites returned and entered "rah rah girl", did I get a definition for "rah rah girl".

I was starting to doubt myself.

When I finally decided to turn to the Oxford English Dictionary (www.oed.com) web site.

This is a blurb from the web site:

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.


They confirm that "rah-rah girl", with a hyphen, does indeed mean "cheerleader".

They've a citation from a 1907 Hartford, Connecticut newspaper to confirm it.

So Kobo is right that cheerleaders were once called "rah-rah girls". I wonder how Kobo knew that. Age showing? From watching too many old movies?

Anyway, I still think that it's highly likely that 啦啦隊(队) came from American English "rah-rah girl(s)".

I doubt the Chinese were the ones to invent cheerleaders. At least, the kind with the short mini-skirts. :)

Interesting that a 1970 Australian magazine called People still has Americans using "rah-rah girls" as late as 1970, while they, the Aussies, use "drum majorette".

In America, a "drum majorette" is a whole different animal. They wear a tight-fitting military type tunic, with short skirts, white boots, and a type of cylindrical hat, all the while twirling a baton in parades.


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Is the cheering squad ever called 加油队?Seems I've heard that, but could be mistaken.

I did a Google search for "加油队" and they return 151,000 hits for the word. Mostly Taiwan sites.


They mostly seem like those cheering at political rallies, protests, fans cheering at sporting events. Not like the ones hired professionally to cheer, like the Dallas Football Cheerleaders or the Laker Girls.

Though there is a YouTube video of Korean girls cheering at a baseball game between Taiwan and South Korea that look very like cheerleaders. Only they're wearing very short cutoff denim jeans rather than mini-skirts. :)

They're speaking Korean so don't know if they're specifically saying "加油" or its Korean equivalent.


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According to the Guoyu Cidian web site managed by the Ministry of Education of The Republic of China (Taiwan), 啦啦隊 may also be written 拉拉隊.

1. 啦啦隊 注音一式 ㄌㄚ ㄌㄚ ㄉㄨㄟˋ 漢語拼音 l9ce0.jpg  l9ce0.jpg  dufe73.jpg 注音二式 lfe68.jpg  lfe68.jpg  dufe6f.jpg



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I did a Google search for "加油队" and they return 151,000 hits for the word.

Thanks for your reply. Our methods sure are different. On something like this, I would usually just ask a couple of local friends who I think might be sports fans. Low tech.

Your internet searching approach gives broader and more statistically significant answers.

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