Hear, hear is an expression used as a short, repeated form of hear him, hear him. It represents a listener's agreement with the point being made by a speaker. In recent usage it has often been re-analysed as here, here, although this is non-standard.
It was originally an imperative for directing attention to speakers, and has since been used, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, as "the regular form of cheering in the House of Commons", with many purposes, depending on the intonation of its user. Its use in Parliament is linked to the fact that applause is normally (though not always) forbidden in the chambers of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
The phrase hear him, hear him! was used in Parliament from late in the 17th century, and was reduced to hear! or hear, hear! by the late 18th century. The verb hear had earlier been used in the King James Bible as a command for others to listen.
Other phrases have been derived from hear, hear, such as a hear, hear (a cheer), to hear-hear (to shout the expression), and hear-hearer (a person who does the same).
The overuse of the phrase by an eager member of the House of Commons led Richard Brinsley Sheridan, in one speech, to deviate from his planned text and say "Where, oh where, shall we find a more foolish knave or a more knavish fool than this?". The lone Member of Parliament said "hear, hear."
Other articles related to "hear":
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... went second would be sequestered so as not to hear anything asked of his rival ... the possibility that McCain may have been able to hear the questions put to Obama, partly because his answers were immediate and, according to Mitchell, he sounded well prepared ... The McCain campaign stated that McCain did not hear or see any of the broadcast ...
Famous quotes containing the word hear:
“I would watch the funny people make love the way Maupassant said,
my youth allowed me the opportunity to hear all those strange
verbs conjugated in erotic affirmations.”
—Conrad Kent Rivers (19331968)