The yip part of yippee is old. Yippee came about after yip. Now how about the phrase, yippee-ki-yay?
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Twenty-five years ago this week, the action movie Die Hard opened and Bruce Willis uttered that famous line. But where does the yippee-ki-yay part come from? If you're more interested in the origins of the second half of that saying, check out this article from Slate. Let's break it down. The yip part of yippee is old. It originated in the 15th century and meant "to cheep, as a young bird," according to the Oxford English Dictionary OED. The more well-known meaning , to emit a high-pitched bark, came about around , as per the OED, and gained the figurative meaning "to shout; to complain.
The greatest one-liner in movie history.
Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he's John Wayne? Marshal Dillon? In fact, many fans say that the dramatic, triumphant Yippee Ki-Yay from Die Hard 2 is the best of the entire series, although some disagree and prefer the original, subtler version. In the original script for the movie, the line was intended to be used during the aqueduct scene where McClane talks to Simon over the CB radios. This would have been in the subtle spirit of how the line was originally used in the first Die Hard. The studio however felt the line should be used during the film's climax similar to Die Hard 2. The use of the line during the aqueduct scene can be briefly seen during the theatrical trailer. The novelization of the film also retains the line in its original placement, right after Simon's line: "How very colorful.