WHERE DID THE TERM "HOKIE" COME FROM?
A spirit cheer. The university changed its name and colors in 1896, so it needed a new cheer and a contest was held. O.M. Stull (Class of 1896) won with his spirit yell "Old Hoki." Stull said that the word had absolutely no meaning and was used merely as an attention-getter.
Though Mr. Stull may not have known it, "Hokie" (in its various forms) has been around at least since 1842. According to Tech English professor Johann Norstedt, Hokie was a word people used to express feeling, approval, excitement, or surprise. "Hokie, then, is a word like 'hooray,' or 'yeah,' or 'rah,'" he says.
(And, yes, the "e" was added to "Hoki" later.)