Jamie King Mistakes British Expression ‘Hey Ho’ for Insult, Writes Screed on ‘Online Abuse’

Shearer AP
Shearer AP

Sometimes things can get lost in translation, even if two people are speaking the same language.

After a misunderstanding regarding the word “ho,” actress Jaime King responded to a commenter on Instagram Wednesday and is now in damage control mode.

According to ET, King went online Wednesday to remind pregnant woman to stay hydrated by posting an image of a Fiji water bottle to her Instagram page.

This in turn led one of her Instagram followers, a woman in the U.K. named Jessica, to post a critical response, which included the phrase “hey ho.”

Jessica wrote:

I’m sure the people of Fiji would like Fiji water too but unfortunately they can’t have any because some big business decided that they now own the water in Fiji. But hey ho, keep paying top dollar for those bottles of water, as long as oppression is it on your door step, am i right?

Unaware that in Britain, “hey ho” simply means “oh well,” the Hart of Dixie actress issued a lengthy response in which she highlighted her upbringing and lambasted the woman for her “filthy language.”

Dear Jessica- an open letter to your own assault. Apparently, I am a ho. Oppression is not at my doorstep according to this you. (Ironically, I grew up with my father taking care of the tenements and section 8 housing, collecting quarters out of washing machines and cleaning broken toilets) there are many forms of oppression. Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and beyond. These things are immeasurable as they are relative to one’s life experiences.

The reason why I am posting this is because I am disgusted by the language and online abuse that people think is a standard way of communicating. Take responsibility for your words. Let’s call this instant Karma. You don’t know how I grew up, we didn’t have fancy things and lots of money, you don’t know how hard I had to work for everything I have. I applaud everyone that achieved their dreams.

I don’t degrade them when they are pregnant or not pregnant and putting good things in the world. You are not invisible to me. You do not mean nothing to me just because you are ignorant and rude. I care for you because I care that you’re happy and clearly, you aren’t. Take a look into your heart when you are ready.

And maybe that won’t be in this lifetime. But I will not except that this will be the norm of how we speak to each other. Because I idealistically believe that we can and will have the capability to lift each other up as women. And not use words like HO to address one another.

It turns out, King misinterpreted Jessica’s usage of “hey ho,” and that it’s a British idiom which is the “verbal equivalent of a shrug.”

After being informed of the misstep by other users, King then issued a warning to her fans: “Social media may be the downfall of all of the love that connects us. I wish we all spoke the same language & I am sad & sorry when we don’t.”

She then deleted the post.