In the First Act of Othello, just as things are getting interesting, the audience hears someone calling from offstage: ‘What ho, what ho, what ho!’ It is not Bertie Wooster but a sailor with news about the Turks (or Ottomites, as they are sometimes referred to).
Yet Bertie made ‘what ho’ his own. In Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest, Lord Pershore, known as Motty, has been billetted on Bertie, who goes to see how he is the morning, after returning spifflicated from a night out. He is sitting up in bed.
‘What ho!’ I said.‘What ho!’ said Motty.‘What ho! What ho!’‘What ho! What ho! What ho!After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.
In ‘Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch’, Bertie, accidentally engaged to Honoria Glossop, has to convince the girl’s father, Sir Roderick, a ‘nerve specialist’, that he is not, as suspected, mad or idiotic.