US slang of Unknown or disputed origin, first recorded 1903. Robert Gold suggested that it is a variant of hip, from white jazz fans’ mishearing African American musicians,. Jonathon Green suggests a connection to a 19th century interjection used to drive horses; compare gee up.
From German hep or Hepp-Hepp, an interjection used to attack Jewish people. The origin of the German source is unknown, but may come from a goatherd’s call.
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