The terms anyhoo, or anywho, signaling a conversational transition, are simply variants of anyhow, and originated in Ireland. This is part of a complete episode.

  1. lotusgreen says:

    Hi —

    I just discovered you today and am already writing in!

    While I’ve lived in California for over 40 years, I grew up in Detroit. My mother, born in 1925, always used to use “anywho.” Somehow it always sounded to me descended from Yiddish! Never occurred to me it could just be generational.

    Any connection to Yiddish, as far as you know?

    Thanks!!

    Lily Pond

    PS My favorite colloquialism is a Midwestern usage of “down,” as in “I’m going down the basement.”

  2. Alas, there’s nothing Yiddish about “anyhoo” or “anywho.” It’s just a little wordplay on “anyhow.” The Dictionary of American Regional English has data showing “down basement” and “down cellar” are common in the Northeast, but they do extend a bit along the Great Lakes, including Michigan.

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