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What Cheer

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How did the town of What Cheer, Iowa, get its name? The word cheer was long used to indicate an emotional state of any kind, so asking someone What cheer? was another way to say “How are you?” The greeting What cheer, netop? Is closely associated with history of Providence, Rhode Island, netop being a Narragansett word for “friend,” which may have inspired the name of the Iowa town. But no one knows for sure. This is part of a complete episode.

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  • An introit hymn for Epiphany

    “What cheer? Good cheer! Be merry and glad this good New Year! Lift up your
    hearts and be glad In Christ’s birth, the angel bade, ‘Say each to other, if any
    be sad: ‘What cheer?’ Now the King of heav’n his birth hath take, Joy and
    mirth we ought to make; Say each to other, for his sake: ‘What cheer?’ tell
    you all with heart so free: Right welcome ye be to me; Be glad and merry, for
    charity!’ ” –Richard Hil

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