From the battlefields to popular culture, the United States Marine Corps’s signature catchphrase “Semper Fi,” “Oorah,” or “Ooh-Rah” has definitely made its mark on the English language and perhaps, a phrase that transcends language barriers all over the world. “Semper Fi” is easy enough to understand; however, “Oorah” has quite an elusive history behind it.

Where did the signature battle cry come from, and what does it mean?

The Oorah Origins

If you ask a US Marine about where the famed Oorah came from, chances are you’ll get different answers every time. The truth is, nobody really knows where the expression came from. We can only speculate about its elusive origins.

When was it first used? Some insider knowledge had surfaced that no US Marine Veteran before the 1950s ever used the term, so this means the phrase was popularized in the 50s onwards. Before we do dig into that time frame, let’s look at the other older theories: