Gotta Watch Out For Them Land Hos

I was visiting a fourth grade music class today that had a boy in there that had been with me in first grade. They were watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” about the voyagers on the Mayflower, their stormy passage at sea, and arrival in the new world. The lookouts had just spotted land. “Land HO!” they cried.

“No, that’s a bad word! That’s a CUSS word! Daddy said we can’t call people that!” exclaimed my former student.

The music teacher was puzzled. “There are no bad words in a Charlie Brown movie!”

“Yes, there is! He said a bad word! It is bad to call people that name!”

I decided it was time to translate. “He was referring to the term ‘land ho”, presumably used to distinguish between the land ho and the sea ho.”

“Uuuuuuuuuhhhhhm! You said a bad word!”

“Ho is NOT a bad word!” exclaimed the music teacher. “Land Ho just means that land is sighted. When Santa Claus laughs he says Ho, Ho, Ho! Why would Santa Claus say that if it were not a good word?”

“Maybe he’s calling out for those he wants on his lap first?” I murmured sotto voce.

Well, as you can guess, she didn’t convince him that ho was NOT a bad word because, actually, it IS a word that it is most impolite to call somebody. EVERY kid knows THAT.


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