The Linguistic Variations of “Aroo”

The big exciting news of the day is dictionary-related, as it so often is. Joe De Sena has released a video promoting a change.org petition to have “aroo” added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Now, I could pass for a grammarian; I’ve worked in publishing for too long and been in far too many style book meetings (in which a group of editors sit around debating how a given publication will handle potentially tricky words or phrases that don’t necessarily have a “correct” way to be handled. Style books are Good Things, but the meetings to create them are an interminable series of discussions that each begin with “this will probably never come up” and end in “well, I just think it looks better that way.”) and, despite the appearances engendered by the perpetuality of this sentence, I know my way around a clause. So I’ve decided to give the “aroo” endeavor a hand.

Not by signing the petition, obviously, because, yeargh. But I figured that, if “aroo” does enter the dictionary*, it would be handy to have a list of its linguistic variants handy. And who better to produce that than me?

OK, maybe a few people. But they aren’t available right now, and I am. If you don’t want it, well, go find what you do want. Here’s the list:

Arod: To be disqualified from a Spartan Race for using performance enhancing drugs. “He podiumed, but it was no surprise that he got aroded because his urine sample was orange with green polka dots.”

Aroid: The performance enhancing drugs that will get you aroded.

Arooed: Past tense of “aroo.”

Arooey-ooey: Alexander Graham Bell’s preferred greeting when an obstacle course racer answers the telephone. Largely archaic, except among hipsters.

Arooga: The sound made by an alarm on a British spaceship when something gets Spartanly fucked up.

Arooing: The act of shouting “aroo.”

Aroink: a portmanteau of aroo and boink; the act of engaging in sexual activities with an obstacle course racer. Typically vulgar and used to describe activities that will not lead to the exchange of phone numbers or actual names.

Aroom: The form of “aroo” used when the aroo has a direct object; e.g., “To whom are we arooming?” Often used incorrectly when the user is a pretentious git.

Aroomba: An automated spartan vacuum cleaning robot popular in the mid-2000s. No one seems to have one any more.

Arooooo: A variant of “aroo” used for emphasis. Certain writers will add a number of additional “o”s to the end of “aroo” proportionally to the amount they wish to intensify the phrase. These are generally the same people who believe that adding twelve exclamation points to the end of a sentence is the only possible way to show a reader that something is exciting; they should generally be avoided at all costs.

Aroos: Plural of “aroo.”

Aroot: Common proper name derived from the sentient tree that ran a Spartan Race one time, or that Reno stripper so inspired by his tale that she adopted his name, dance moves, and subterranean root structure.

Arootch: The act of vomiting from exhaustion while shouting “aroo.” Some variant of Rule 34 demands that there are probably people out there who will make arootching their goal.

Arooth: An archaic form of “aroo” popularized in Shakespeare’s Atlasball and Cleopatra.

Lilly Von Schtupp

Awoow-oo-oo-oo-oow.

Awoow: Variant of “aroo” as pronounced by Barbara Walters or Lilly von Schtupp.

I’m an individual, dammit!: A perfectly acceptable response to a shout of “Aroo.” As OCR Drinking Game Rules state, doing so will require all listeners to take two drinks. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you open a beer tent before shouting this phrase.


*Well, a dictionary. I mean, Merriam-Webster ain’t the OED. It ain’t even Random House.


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