By: Joseph Jacobs
A cry stated to have been used by the Crusaders during their attacks upon the Jews. It appears, however, to have been first used duringthe so-called "Hep! Hep!" riots of 1819 at Frankfort-on-the-Main and along the Rhine (see Grätz, "Gesch." xi. 357); e.g., on Aug. 2, 1819, by anti-Semitic students Würzburg as a term of reproach to Professor Brendel of that university, who had written in favor of the Jews. The students themselves claimed that the word was derived from "Hierosolyma est perdita"; others claim that it is a contraction for "Hebräer," while a further attempt has been made to derive it from "Hab! Hab!" The brothers Grimm, in their dictionary, trace it from a call to animals in the Franconian district, especially to the goat, and suggest that it was applied to Jews because of their beards. Their earliest quotation is from W. Hauff (1802-27). A person named Brouse is stated to have been condemned to three months' imprisonment for having used the expression against a Jew and his wife ("Arch. Isr." 1848, p. 47). During the anti-Semitic movement in Germany a pamphlet appeared in favor of the Jews with the title "Hepp! Hepp! Süsssaure Stöckerei in 1 Vorschrei und 7 Gejohlen" (Jacobs, "The Jewish Question," No. 25). The expression has since become a synonym for an out-break against the Jews, and is thus used by George Eliot in her essay "The Modern Hep! Hep! Hep!" in "Impressions of Theophrastus Such." It is stated that on some occasions in 1819 the Jews replied to the cry of "Hep! Hep!" with the similarly sounding one of "Jep! Jep!" meaning "Jesus est perditus" ("Notes and Queries," 4th series, iii. 580).