New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, May 20, 2024
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Razoo! Gettin' the last one of sumpin, like when you and ya bes fren walk into KBs and ya both spy da last box of Elma's Gold Brick Eastah aigs. Ya immediately yell "Razoo!" and grab 'em.
By all reports, my dad was a rather mischievous kid. He remembers razoo mostly in the context of playing marbles - as in "razooing" the marbles and running off with them. He said "I couldn't shoot too good, but I could run." I swear, some of the memories he has of his N.O. childhood seem straight out of Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn. (He's 87, so we're talking way back.) For example, for a while he had a pet goat (and he lived in the city, not out in the sticks) which he hooked up to a little cart so he could ride around the neighborhood. He had to give it away eventually, though, because the neighbors complained that it bleated all day when Dad was in school - I guess it missed him. Another world!
"Razoo" was used mostly in the game of marbles instead of saying "dubs" when someone would grab a handful of marbles from the playing ring and run with them. It developed into general use whenever one would want something such as, "let's razoo dem seats ba da winda" or grabbing a candy bar out of a friend's hand and hollering RAZOO! I don't think anyone knows where the word originated, but it is also used in New Zealand to denote a very small amount of currency. A penniless person is described as "not having a brass razoo to his name".

Ronnie Virgets once wrote a newspaper column named "Razoo".