I just read that Sydney, Australia has told Santa Clause(s) not to use the term “ho, ho, ho” because it could frighten children and is too close to the American slang term for prostitute. They’re “suggesting” Santas use “ha, ha, ha” instead. First of all, why would “ho, ho, ho” suddenly frighten children? Santa’s helpers have been saying this for decades. If children are frightened it’s because Mommy just turned junior over to some big, fat guy dressed in furry red pajamas. Unless Santa yells “ho, ho, ho” like one might yell “BOO” I’m pretty sure it won’t have anymore scary effect than saying Merry Christmas.
As for the American slang “ho”, that’s just plain ridiculous. It’s an American term, not an Australian term. There are many slang terms used in English-speaking countries, but are used exclusively by each country. Nappie, for diaper. Fag for cigarette. Those are just two terms that might be offensive to some Americans. But American Santas have never been discouraged to use the term “ho, ho, ho” in favor of “ha, ha, ha”.
So what do Australian Santa’s wanna-be helpers think about this? One gentlemen answered a newspaper ad and was actually warned by the Santa recruiting firm not to use the now offensive term, but most Santas are being left to use their own discretion when it comes to the “ho, ho, ho” vs. “ha, ha, ha” Santa greetings.
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