Has Ho, Ho, Ho Been Banned?

Last month a rumor began to circulate alleging that Santas were being banned from saying "Ho, Ho, Ho" because "Ho" is a slang term for a prostitute. As is often the case with such rumors, there was an event that triggered the rumor, but that event had been twisted and blown out of proportion in the course of being repeated.

What really happened was that Westaff, a firm in Australia that trains Santas for appearances in shopping malls, had cautioned its trainees that many small children are initially scared by Santa. So they told the Santas-in-training "to try techniques such as lowering their tone of voice and using 'ha, ha, ha' to encourage the children to come forward and meet Santa." They never banned their Santas from Ho, Ho, Ho-ing.

Westaff's words of caution transformed into the Ho-Ho-Ho-Banned rumor. And as the rumor spread details were added, such as a claim that two Santa trainees had quit the course in disgust.

The ho, ho, ho rumor has been widely debunked, but it's still circulating around. Here's a recent sighting of it in UIC's Chicago Flame:
Westaff sent a memo out to encourage Santas to say "ha ha ha" because "ho ho ho" may scare children or offend women. Unless a woman is a "ho," she most likely won't be offended by the phrase.

Urban Legends

Posted on Mon Dec 10, 2007


Actually, Westaff did fire a guy in Cairns because he went "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
Posted by Mark Johnson  on  Mon Dec 10, 2007  at  01:52 PM
And because he sang. Why isn't Santa supposed to sing?

My local shop's Santa is skinny. I don't care if he was trying to be anti-obesity, a skinny Santa is just wrong.
Posted by Nona  on  Tue Dec 11, 2007  at  06:09 AM
Ho HO HO, Ho HO HO. It means joy, laughter, happyness, nothing else and I will laugh anyway I wish. HO HO HO.
Posted by Santa  on  Wed Dec 12, 2007  at  05:09 AM
My sister is a Disney character...and they are not supposed to sing b/c if a kid sees one character singing...but then happens to run into another one later who can't sing...they'll be disappointed.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Dec 12, 2007  at  12:41 PM
skinny santas freak me out... they look shifty and emaciated... its like "wow there goes junkie claus"
Posted by JoOdd  on  Sat Dec 15, 2007  at  05:08 PM
It is apparently offensive to hookers.
Posted by Seltrah  on  Sun Jan 27, 2008  at  10:49 AM
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