boy howdy exclam Also chiefly TX boy hidy [Appar transf from the use of the phrase as a generic, friendly greeting, as in quot 1916. The exclam use seems to have arisen, or at least become popularized, among soldiers during WWI.] chiefly Sth, Cent, SW
Used to express surprise or admiration, or to emphasize a statement.
[1916 Atchison Daily Globe (KS) 14 Aug 3/3, We . . found a brown man seated on a keg. “Comistavos, amigo,” we greeted him, and were nearly knocked off our feet by his answer. “Boy, howdy,” he grinned. He wasn’t a Mex., but a colored man, evidently from the north. [DARE Ed: Writer is a local man stationed at Camp Shafter, Eagle Pass TX.]] 1918 Muscatine Jrl. (IA) 27 June 7/3, The size of the Journal staff, so far as young men of military age are concerned, is shrinking alarmingly, but, boy howdy, look how the army’s growing. 1934 Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore OK) 25 Feb 1/1, She pointed out that there was [a] lengthy article therein on the subject of calendars. And, boy, howdy! I’ll say there is. 1949 Amarillo Sun. News–Globe (TX) 30 Jan 18/1, Groundlings wading in Thursday’s slush probably missed the beauty, but boy, howdy! It’s pretty from the air. 1963 Cherokeean (Rusk TX) 11 Apr 5/3, Speaking of the show Saturday night—that was something else to talk about, wasn’t it? Boy-hidy! Did everyone plant their “Triffid seeds”? 1977 Ruston Daily Leader (LA) 27 Jan 9/1, Remember how it was in the pre-central heat, pre-thermal knit days? Boy howdy, I do! 1983 Quanah Tribune–Chief (TX) 20 Mar 2/2, Now, to work it [=Sisyphean] into a conversation. How about: . . “Boy, hidy, those Texas Rangers had better find themselves a decent pitcher, or else this will be another Sisyphean year.” 1984 Burns Cold Sassy 77 nGA (as of 1906), Boy howdy, I did some fancy praying. 2004 Lockhart Post–Reg. (TX) 22 Jan sec B 1/2, Boy hidy, does that ever excite this ol’ person called, “Me.” 2009 Maeder When I Married 137 NC, Boy howdy, this burger’s so good it’ll tongue-slap yer brains out. 2015 DARE File—Internet cwCA, About 10 months ago, there was a kickstarter campaign for a product called the Seeding Square. I bought in. And boy howdy, am I glad I did.