Etymology
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ballyhoo (n.)
"publicity, hype," 1908, from circus slang, "a short sample of a sideshow" used to lure customers (1901), which is of unknown origin. The word seems to have been in use in various colloquial senses in the 1890s. To catch ballyhoo is attested from 1895 in sense "be in trouble." There is a village of Ballyhooly in County Cork, Ireland, (the Bally- is a common Irish place-name element meaning "a town, village") but no evident sense connection. In nautical lingo, ballahou or ballahoo (1867, perhaps 1836) was a sailor's contemptuous word for any vessel they disliked (from Spanish balahu "schooner"). As a verb from 1901 (implied in ballyhooer).
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zilch (n.)

"nothing," 1957; "insignificant person," 1933, from use of Zilch as a generic comical-sounding surname for an insignificant person (especially Joe Zilch). There was a Mr. Zilch (1931), comic character in the magazine "Ballyhoo," and the use perhaps originated c. 1922 in U.S. college or theater slang. Probably a nonsense syllable, suggestive of the end of the alphabet, but Zilch is an actual German surname of Slavic origin.

The [Cadence] agency aims to have each album cover actually promote the record, on the theory that "the day of pretty, boffy, zoomy and zingy covers for the sake of zilch is no more." [Billboard, Oct. 28, 1957]
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