or woo woo


What does woo-woo mean?


Woo-woo is an insult for or describing mystical or supernatural beliefs not backed up by science, e.g., alternative medicine practices like healing crystals or cupping.

Examples of woo-woo


Examples of woo-woo
I've seen two posts about being an empath on Facebook today. Everyone ready for a new, woo-woo buzz word?
@tomorrow_kelly, October 2018
I don’t want to get too woo-woo about the whole thing, but there is kind of a spiritualism or mysticism with some kinds of fly fishing, especially when you progress through the beginning, intermediate and advanced stages
Tom Morgan quoted by Chet Layman, MTN News, October 2018
I was looking for info on talc in cosmetics & came across an article on a woo-woo health site advocating a "DYI foundation" w/ cinnamon or nutmeg (!!!) as pigment. Wow yes, talc is bad, put these known irritants on your face instead! PS good luck with that contact dermatitis 🙄
@runmyheart, October 2018

Where does woo-woo come from?


Woo-woo emerges in the 1980s as a dig on far-out, New Age-y, hippy-dippy beliefs. It may imitate the sound of theremin music in horror and sci-fi film and TV or the spooky noises associated with ghosts and the supernatural.

Although woo-woo is usually considered dismissive and derogatory, some alternative medicine practitioners, such as perennial Oprah guest Deepak Chopra, have embraced the label.

Who uses woo-woo?

As noted, some in the spiritualist or alternative medicine communities have taken up the label woo-woo, including UK-based spiritual teacher and podcaster Vix Maxwell (New Age Hipster). She offers Woo Woo 101 courses for beginners at her Woo Woo School. Very woo-woo.

Skeptics, however, typically use woo-woo to make fun of pseudoscientific wellness beliefs and their practitioners. National Geographic Traveler even declared Sedona, Arizona to be the “Capital of Woo-Woo” in a 2010 magazine article.

Lastly, we at Dictionary.com would be bad Oaklanders if we didn’t mention a very different woo-woo. Oakland, California resident Bubb Rubb became one of the internet’s first viral video sensations in 2003 when he was interviewed on local news about whistle tips (which modify car mufflers), memorably describing their high-pitched sound as “Woo-woo!”

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