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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"noisy dance," 1841, apparently originally the name of a specific dance, perhaps from perceived parallel of dance motions to those of farm chores, hence from hoe (n.).\n\nThe step of every negro dance that was ever known, was called into requisition and admirably executed. They performed the "double shuffle," the "Virginny break-down," the "Kentucky heeltap," the "pigeon wing," the "back balance lick," the "Arkansas hoe down," with unbounded applause and irresistible effect.

["Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers," 1848]

\n"Hoe corn, hill tobacco" is noted as a line in the chorus of a slave song in 1838, and Washington Irving writes of a dance called "hoe corn and dig potatoes" in 1807.\n\nThe same precedence is repeated until all the merchandise is disposed of, the table is then banished the room, and the whole party hoe it down in straight fours and set dances, till the hour when "ghosts wandering here and there, troop home to church-yards." This is what we kintra folk call a strauss.

["Der Teufelskerl. A Tale of German Pennsylvania," in "Burton's Gentleman's Magazine," January 1840]


n. 1 A type of American folk or square dance. 2 The type of music typically played for such a dance 3 A gathering at which such dances take place. vb. To dance a hoedown dance


A hoedown is a type of American folk dance or square dance in duple meter, and also the musical form associated with it.

Usage examples of "hoedown".

Tomorrow night at the hoedown, he intended to keep himself surrounded by beautiful women.

That night, when he arrived at the hoedown, he felt so worn down he could barely hold up his end of the conversation with the sex trophies Bruno had, sent from Chicago.

There were plenty of young things at the hoedown, lots of little Bo Dereks and Farrah Fawcetts bobbing to the Okey band, and squired by many a six-gunned young dude.

Longarm was mildly surprised to find that ash blonde from the department hoedown on duty.

The coon hunters invite them to a hoedown in the settlement the following night.

I was telling Neddy about a Tangier concert whereat he introduced his cardiac arrest hoedown number.

Through the open window, with a pale moon shining amid scattered night clouds, Gordon could hear distant music and laughter from the hoedown he had left a little while ago, pleading fatigue.

In the distance, the music from the Corvallis hoedown finally ended with a whooping cheer.

Tallahassee during the legislative session, you cannot possibly envision what goes on during the off-hoursparties, receptions, banquets, barbecues, hoedowns, hayrides, you name it.