My informant says he began using the word about a year ago. He believes that he is the originator of this particular usage of “hoot.”

“Hoot” according to his definition, is synonymous with terrible, awful, and bad. For example, if a friend told him he could not join in going out and partying, due to an essay he had to write, my informant would respond, “That’s hoot man!”

He could not link his usage to any source or alternate usage of the word. He says he likes to use hoot when expressing disdain or displeasure, because of the way it sounds.

In doing my own research of the word, I feel he might have been linking it to a definition I found in Urban Dictionary, an online dictionary, notorious for defining urban slang. I think he may have derived his usage from the term hoot stick, which he said he had heard before. Hoot stick, in one definition on Urban Dictionary says:

“is a negative term used on a person, usually referring to sports, ~ That guy is hootstick, look at him, he can’t even hold on to the ball.”

This definition is pretty much the same as my informant’s for hoot, minus the particular reference to sports, as he uses it as a universal negative expression.

In looking up more definitions of hoot, the phrase “Aint worth a hoot” came up. In this sense, hoot is describing and object or thing lacking value, not worth much, a negative expression as well.

Hoot, in the sense of an owl, can be defined as a screech of displeasure, another negative usage.

In conclusion, my informant uses an abbreviated form of hoot stick, hoot, as a modern, negative expression, which can be traced to past negative expressions or definitions of the same word used in different contexts.