Yahoo (Gulliver's Travels)

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Yahoos are legendary beings in the 1726 satirical novel Gulliver's Travels written by Jonathan Swift. [1] Their behavior and character representation is meant to comment on the state of Europe from Swift's point of view. [1] The word "yahoo" was coined by Jonathan Swift in the fourth section of Gulliver's Travels [2] and has since entered the English language more broadly. Its most famous use is a the name of a pioneering search engine, Yahoo!.[ citation needed ]

<i>Gullivers Travels</i> novel by Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels, or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, is a prose satire by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, that is both a satire on human nature and the "travellers' tales" literary subgenre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. He himself claimed that he wrote Gulliver's Travels "to vex the world rather than divert it".

Jonathan Swift 17th/18th-century Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, and poet

Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

Yahoo! Internet services provider

Yahoo! is a web services provider headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and owned by Verizon Media. The original Yahoo! company was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 2, 1995. Yahoo was one of the pioneers of the early Internet era in the 1990s.

Contents

The Servants Drive a Herd of Yahoos into the Field by Louis John Rhead, Metropolitan Museum of Art The Servants Drive a Herd of Yahoos into the Field, from Gulliver's Travels.jpg
The Servants Drive a Herd of Yahoos into the Field by Louis John Rhead, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The original character

Swift describes Yahoos as filthy with unpleasant habits, "a brute in human form," [2] resembling human beings far too closely for the liking of protagonist Lemuel Gulliver. He finds the calm and rational society of intelligent horses, the Houyhnhnms, greatly preferable.

Lemuel Gulliver fictional character

Lemuel Gulliver is the fictional protagonist and narrator of Gulliver's Travels, a novel written by Jonathan Swift, first published in 1726.

Houyhnhnm fictional race in Gullivers Travels

Houyhnhnms are a fictional race of intelligent horses described in the last part of Jonathan Swift's satirical Gulliver's Travels. The name is pronounced either or. Swift apparently intended all words of the Houyhnhnm language to echo the neighing of horses.

The Yahoos are primitive creatures obsessed with "pretty stones" that they find by digging in mud, thus representing the distasteful materialism and ignorant elitism Swift encountered in Britain. Hence the term "yahoo" has come to mean "a crude, brutish or obscenely coarse person". [3]

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions.

Elitism is the belief or attitude that individuals who form an elite—a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality, high intellect, wealth, special skills, or experience—are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others.

Later mentions

American frontiersman Daniel Boone, who often used terms from Gulliver's Travels, claimed that he killed a hairy giant that he called a Yahoo. [4]

Daniel Boone American settler

Daniel Boone was an American pioneer, explorer, woodsman, and frontiersman, whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now Kentucky. It was still considered part of Virginia but was on the western side of the Appalachian Mountains from most European-American settlements. As a young adult, Boone supplemented his farm income by hunting and trapping game, and selling their pelts in the fur market. Through this occupational interest, Boone first learned the easy routes to the area. Despite some resistance from American Indian tribes such as the Shawnee, in 1775, Boone blazed his Wilderness Road from North Carolina and Tennessee through Cumberland Gap in the Cumberland Mountains into Kentucky. There, he founded the village of Boonesborough, Kentucky, one of the first American settlements west of the Appalachians. Before the end of the 18th century, more than 200,000 Americans migrated to Kentucky/Virginia by following the route marked by Boone.

Yahoos were referred to in a letter sent by serial killer David Berkowitz to New York City police while committing the "Son of Sam" murders in 1976. [5] [6]

A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. Different authorities apply different criteria when designating serial killers. While most set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines serial killing as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone".

David Berkowitz American serial killer

David Richard Berkowitz, known also as the Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is an American serial killer who pleaded guilty to eight separate shooting attacks that began in New York City during the summer of 1976. The crimes were perpetrated with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver. He killed six people and wounded seven others by July 1977. As the number of victims increased, Berkowitz eluded the biggest police manhunt in the history of New York City while leaving letters that mocked the police and promised further crimes, which were highly publicized by the press. The killing spree terrorized New Yorkers and achieved worldwide notoriety.

Related Research Articles

Lilliput and Blefuscu fictional island

Lilliput and Blefuscu are two fictional island nations that appear in the first part of the 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. The two islands are neighbours in the South Indian Ocean, separated by a channel 800 yards (730 m) wide. Both are inhabited by tiny people who are about one-twelfth the height of ordinary human beings. Both kingdoms are empires, i.e. realms ruled by a self-styled emperor. The capital of Lilliput is Mildendo. In some pictures, the islands are arranged like an egg, as a reference to their egg-dominated histories and cultures.

Brobdingnag

Brobdingnag is a fictional land in Jonathan Swift's 1726 satirical novel Gulliver's Travels occupied by giants. Lemuel Gulliver visits the land after the ship on which he is travelling is blown off course and he is separated from a party exploring the unknown land. In the second preface to the book, Gulliver laments that this is a misspelling introduced by the publisher and the land is actually called Brobdingrag.

<i>Summer of Sam</i> 1999 US crime-drama film directed by Spike Lee

Summer of Sam is a 1999 American crime thriller film about the 1977 David Berkowitz serial murders and their effect on a group of fictional residents of an Italian-American neighborhood in The Bronx in the late 1970s. The killer, David Berkowitz, his murders and the investigation are shown in the film but the focus is on two young men from the neighborhood: Vinny, whose marriage is faltering due to his cheating and Ritchie, Vinny's childhood friend who has embraced punk fashion and music. The murder investigation and other contemporary events, such as the New York City blackout of 1977 and the New York Yankees' winning season, provide a backdrop to the stories of Vinny, Ritchie, their families and friends. The film was directed and co-produced by Spike Lee, who also co-wrote the film with Michael Imperioli and Victor Colicchio.

Glumdalclitch

Glumdalclitch is the name Gulliver gives his "nurse" in Book II of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. In Book I, Gulliver travels to the land of Lilliput. Leaving there, he travels to the land of Brobdingnag. In Lilliput, Gulliver was a giant, and in Brobdingnag, he is a dwarf, with the proportions reversed.

In Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels, the name struldbrugg is given to those humans in the nation of Luggnagg who are born seemingly normal, but are in fact immortal. However, although struldbruggs do not die, they do nonetheless continue aging. Swift's work depicts the evil of immortality without eternal youth.

Yahoo! is a web services provider owned by Verizon since 2017, and known for its Web portal, search engine, and related services.

<i>Gullivers Travels</i> (miniseries) 1996 film directed by Charles Sturridge

Gulliver's Travels is a British/American TV miniseries based on Jonathan Swift's novel of the same name, produced by Jim Henson Productions and Hallmark Entertainment. This miniseries is notable for being one of the very few adaptations of Swift's novel to feature all four voyages. The miniseries aired in the United Kingdom on Channel 4, and in the United States on NBC in February 1996. The miniseries stars Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Omar Sharif, Isabelle Huppert, Geraldine Chaplin, Shashi Kapoor, Warwick Davis, Kristin Scott Thomas, Alfre Woodard, Kate Maberly, Tom Sturridge, Richard Wilson and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Rich Girl (Hall & Oates song) 1977 single by Hall & Oates

"Rich Girl" is a song by Daryl Hall & John Oates. It debuted on the Billboard Top 40 on February 5, 1977 at number 38 and on March 26, 1977, it became their first number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. The single originally appeared on the 1976 album Bigger Than Both of Us. At the end of 1977, Billboard ranked it as the 23rd biggest hit of the year.

<i>Gullivers Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants</i> 1902 film by Georges Méliès

Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les Géants, released in the United States as Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants and in the United Kingdom as Gulliver's Travels—In the land of the Lilliputians and the Giants, is a 1902 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels.

Motte v Faulkner was a copyright lawsuit between Benjamin Motte and George Faulkner over who had the legal rights to publish the works of Jonathan Swift in London. This trial was one of the first to test the Statute of Anne copyright law in regards to Irish publishing independence. Although neither held the copyright to all of Swift's works, the suit became a legal struggle over Irish rights, which were eventually denied by the English courts. Faulkner, in 1735, published the Works of Jonathan Swift in Dublin. However, a few of the works were under Motte's copyright within the Kingdom of Great Britain, and when Faulkner sought to sell his book in London, Motte issued a formal complaint to Jonathan Swift and then proceeded to sue Faulkner. An injunction was issued in Motte's favor, and the book was prohibited from being sold on British soil. The basis of the law protected the rights of the author, and not the publisher, of the works, and Swift was unwilling to support a lawsuit against Faulkner. With Swift's reaction used as a basis, the lawsuit was later seen as a struggle between the rights of Irishmen to print material that were denied under English law.

Benjamin Motte was a London publisher and son of Benjamin Motte, Sr. Motte published many works and is well known for his publishing of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

"Politics vs. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver's Travels" is a critical essay published in 1946 by the English author George Orwell. The essay is a review of Gulliver's Travels with a discussion of its author Jonathan Swift. The essay first appeared in Polemic No 5 in September 1946.

<i>Gullivers Travels</i> (2010 film) 2010 film by Rob Letterman

Gulliver's Travels is a 2010 American fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Rob Letterman, produced by John Davis and Gregory Goodman, written by Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller with music by Henry Jackman and very loosely based on Part One of the 18th-century novel of the same name by Jonathan Swift, though the film takes place in the modern day. It stars Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, T. J. Miller, Chris O'Dowd, James Corden, and Catherine Tate and is distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film was theatrically released on December 25, 2010 in the US. The film earned $237.4 million on a $112 million budget. Gulliver's Travels was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on April 19, 2011, by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

David Abrahamsen was a Norwegian forensic psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author who wrote analyses of Richard M. Nixon and David Berkowitz.

Japan in <i>Gulliver’s Travels</i> literary references (the depiction of Japan in Jonathan Swifts book)

Japan is referred to in Gulliver's Travels, the satire by Jonathan Swift.

References

  1. 1 2 Chowdhury, Romana (April 2014). "Swift's Use of Satire in Gulliver's Travels" (PDF). BRAC University: 31–36 via BRAC University.
  2. 1 2 Harper, Douglas. "yahoo". Online Etymology Dictionary . Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  3. "yahoo". Collins English Dictionary . Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  4. "Did fiction give birth to Bigfoot? by Hugh H. Trotti". Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
  5. Bardsley, Marilyn. "David Berkowitz: The Son of Sam". Crime Library . Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  6. Killer Book of Serial Killers: Incredible Stories, Facts, and Trivia from ... - Tom Philbin, Michael Philbin - Google Boeken