Derogatory fanfare or publicity without substance dates from the early 19th century and is of American origin. The source is unknown. Theories that it derives from circus slang or the town in Ireland called Ballyhooly in County Cork are unproven. Not without some common sense, Eric Partridge maintains that it could be a combination of bally, a euphemism for bloody, and hoo-ha a commotion. Unfortunately, the first citation for hoo-ha appears to be from the 20th century.