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Hear hear or here here?

I don't know if this is a common expression anymore. The first time I encountered this expression, it was in a book.

It is obviously used to convey the listener's approval of the speaker's words, but why do people say "Hear! Hear!" instead of something like "Here! Here!" (just to let the speaker know where his supporter is?)

Does anyone know the origin of this expression?


It is short for "Hear him! Hear him!"

Origin phrases.org

Originated in the British parliament in the 18th century as a contraction of 'hear him, hear him'.

It is at least older than this entry in Pearson's Political Dictionary from 1792.

Definition of Hear, hear

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I think they still use the expression in the British parliament. Maybe one of our UK contributors can confirm that.

  • 1
    Confirmed; if you can find Prime Minister's Questions anywhere - this may be UK-only - you can see for yourselves. – Useless Mar 26 '12 at 10:08
  • They do, except it has changed over time to sounding more like 'hyaa, hyaa' ... – Alan B Mar 26 '12 at 14:31
  • Confirmed; it's not normally transcribed directly in the official parliamentary report Hansard but it was referred in 2002. – Hugo Mar 26 '12 at 16:10
  • "Hear him" or "hear ye [this]"? Oyez! Oyez! goes back an awful long way. – bye Jul 9 '14 at 11:48

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