In Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6, Episode 8, title He Said, She Said, Captain Holt says the phrase

Zowie, I'm young!

to Terry and Boyle upon discovering the Disco Strangler is still alive (around 16 minutes into the episode, immediately after Holt receives a fax).

It isn't a phrase I'm familiar with, and I am unable to find anything online about it except for articles relating to this particular episode. However, the name "Zowie" strikes me as very odd, and I feel as though he is quoting something when he says this.

Is the phrase "Zowie, I'm young!" a reference?

  • Possibly related to an old cartoon featuring a talking shark called Jabberjaws - I seem to remember it said "Zowie" a fair bit...? Not sure exactly what the reference might be though in B99
    – Dave
    Mar 30, 2020 at 1:15
  • 2
    "Zowie" is just another term for "Wow".
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 30, 2020 at 19:15
  • It may be a reference to the movie Some Like It Hot, 1959, Joe E. Brown's character, who says it all the time, possibly even this exact phrase.
    – user207421
    Mar 31, 2020 at 1:42

1 Answer 1


This is a good one. "Zowie!" is a thing that cowboys said in old westerns. Because they couldn't swear. Something like "todly-o" or "gorsh dam".

It's a word that means "Huuray!". And it's also, a word that is no longer used.

From Merriam Webster

The word zowie was inspired by the sound of a speeding vehicle-a new phenomenon when the word entered the lexicon in 1902, the year before the Ford Motor Company sold its first car

So it's a joke on how Holt is really old when, feeling young, he use phrase that is 80 years old.

  • Ahh, so "zowie" isn't a name in this instance, just an exclamation! Okay it feels like less of a reference when "zowie" is just a word, I understand now; I think seeing it capitalised (for starting a sentence) and being aware of Zowie Bowie had me barking up the wrong tree. Although I've had to have the joke explained to me (nothing kills a joke like explaining it), I do have a new appreciation for the scene now, so cheers!
    – Nemon27
    Mar 30, 2020 at 11:57
  • 3
    It is clearly not a word that is no longer used, since Holt used it. Q.E.D. :) Mar 30, 2020 at 18:49
  • 5
    You're correct that it's a joke about it being an old-fashioned exclamation, but I think it means something closer to "wow", rather than "hooray". So the line translates to "wow, I'm young", which is ironic because he used a super old-timey word to express his youth.
    – BradC
    Mar 30, 2020 at 22:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .