A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 20, 2013
You Always Have Other Options ("Yahoo!” backronym)

Yahoo! is a California-based Internet company that was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995. The word “yahoo” was used in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726) to describe a brutish human being. Yahoo! was born when many Internet companies were starting up, and the backronym (back acronym) “You Always Have Other Options” was cited in print by at least November 1995.

“You Always Have Other Options” is sometimes said to have been coined by Yahoo!’s founders themselves, but this has not been confirmed in print. Another Yahoo! backronym is “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”


Wikipedia: Yahoo!
Yahoo! Inc. is an American multinational Internet corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It is globally known for its Web portal, search engine Yahoo Search, and related services, including Yahoo Directory, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Answers, advertising, online mapping, video sharing, fantasy sports and its social media website. It is one of the most popular sites in the United States. According to news sources, roughly 700 million people visit Yahoo websites every month. Yahoo itself claims it attracts “more than half a billion consumers every month in more than 30 languages.”

Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995.

Wikipedia: Yahoo ((Gulliver’s Travels)
A Yahoo is a legendary being in the novel Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift.

Swift describes them as being filthy and with unpleasant habits, resembling human beings far too closely for the liking of protagonist Lemuel Gulliver, who finds the calm and rational society of intelligent horses, the Houyhnhnms, greatly preferable. The Yahoos are primitive creatures obsessed with “pretty stones” they find by digging in mud, thus representing the distasteful materialism and ignorant elitism Swift encountered in Britain. Hence the term “yahoo” has come to mean “a crude, brutish or obscenely coarse person”.

2 November 1995, USA Today, “Yahoo! Popular guide comes out in print” by Leslie Miller, Life, pg. 6D:
“You Always Have Other Options.”

Google Groups: misc.invest.stocks
YHOO 25 to 43 to 36 to ???
Brent Byer
4/12/96
>> YHOO has 90 competitors.
> Agreed Jim.
> Yahoo is for Yahoo’s!! 

Remember, YAHOO is actually an acronym:

You Always Have Other Options

[ credit for the above to George Franz from Manasquan, NJ; in a letter to Barron’s ]

Google Books
Using JavaScript
By Andrew Wooldridge, Mark C. Reynolds, et al.
Indianapolis, IN: QUE
1997
Pg. 751:
Yahoo! is short for “You Always Have Other Options,” and although this is most definitely true on the Internet you’d be hard pressed to find others as broad.

Google Books
Virtual Power:
Using Your PC to Realize the Life of Your Dreams

By Mark Bunting
New York, NY: Fireside (Simon & Schuster)
1999
Pg. 221:
I’ll start with the Yahoo search engine, a company whose acronym is the essence of the endless capacity of the Web: You Always Have Other Options.

Customer Think
Y.A.H.O.O. – You (should) Always Have Other Options
Posted by Donal Daly on July 19, 2010
The founders of Yahoo! are purported to have said, “You Always Have Other Options”. It might be one of those apocryphal stories – but it’s a good one.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Friday, September 20, 2013 • Permalink