1861 as a place name, originally applied by U.S. Congress to a proposed territorial division centered in what is now eastern Colorado; said at the time to mean "Gem of the Mountains" but probably rather from Kiowa-Apache (Athabaskan) idaahe "enemy," a name applied by them to the Comanches. Modern Idaho was organized 1861 as a county in Washington Territory; in 1863 became a territory in its own right and it was admitted as a state in 1890.
native people of Idaho and vicinity, and their language, from French Nez Percé, literally "pierced nose." In reference to an early custom of the people of wearing shell ornaments in pierced septums.
breed of horses favored by Indian tribes in U.S. West, 1849, either from Opelousa (perhaps from Choctaw api losa "black body") in Louisiana, or from the name of the Palouse Indians, who lived near the river of that name in Idaho, whose name is from Sahaptin palou:s "what is standing up in the water."
city in Idaho, U.S., from French-Canadian boisé, literally "wooded," from French bois "wood," which (with Italian bosco, Spanish bosque, Medieval Latin boscus) apparently is borrowed from the Germanic root of bush (n.). Medieval Latin boscus was used especially of "woodland pasture."
"long, narrow projecting strip; something resembling the handle of a pan," 1851, from pan (n.) + handle (n.). Especially in geography, originally American English, in reference to a long, narrow strip projecting from a state or territory interposed between two other states or territories: from 1856, in reference to the spike of Virginia (now West Virginia) between Ohio and Pennsylvania. Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Alaska also have them.
Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of an arm stuck out like a panhandle, or of one who handles a (beggar's) pan.
also sometimes hubba-hubba-hubba, a U.S. slang cry of excitement or enthusiasm, noted in early 1946 as a vogue phrase among teenagers and "one of the most widely used expressions emerging from the war" [The Y News, March 21, 1946]. It served as "a refined wolf call, or merely to express approval, approbation, or exultation" [Twin Falls, Idaho, Times News, May 5, 1946, quoting Hartford Courant].
Contemporary sources traced it variously to the U.S. Army Air Forces and the phrase sometimes is said to be from an Asian language. Another suggested origin is the drill instructor's repeated hup! to keep his soldiers marching in rhythm. Hubba and hubba-hubba appear in an armed forces publication from 1944 over photographs of soldiers marching or drilling. A column in the official service journal "Air Force" for September 1943 mentions "the old cadet war-cry, 'Habba Habba.' "
Hubba! also is noted by 1905 as a call used at sea by Cornish fishermen when sighting a school of pilchard, and haba-haba is attested as circus term for a sort of side-man for an artist working a crowd (1924). Haba Haba also figures in a 1925 poem-chorus of suggestive nonsense phrases.