The word "booyah" could mean a number of things, depending on the circumstances and the one who proclaims it. During a intense game of one-on-one basketball, for instance, a perfectly executed slam dunk might be immediately followed by the dunker shouting it in the face of the dunkee. In those circles, the term is generally translated as in your face! or Take that! It is a taunt reserved for moments of memorable humiliation or superior physical dominance.
There are other circumstances in which a solo competitor might shout "Booyah!" as in the case of a perfectly thrown three point shot during a basketball game or the third strike against an opposing batter. Even people who score personal successes outside of the sports world have been known to use this exclamation after landing a lucrative business deal or other seemingly impossible task. The word seems to be the ideal shorthand to let others know about a personal success or good news.
Fans of financial advisor Jim Cramer's television program should recognize the exclamation Booyah as one of his most popular catchphrases. Most callers to the show begin their conversations with this word, followed by a question concerning possible stock investments. Cramer himself claims that the craze started when an investor from Louisiana called into the show to praise him for a recent piece of good advice. The caller's exuberant shout of "Boo-yah!" which he said was a popular exclamation in his state, soon caught on with other callers and Cramer himself.
The origins of the term are not exactly clear, but there are some interesting theories. Some sources say the expression started in Wisconsin, where there is also a casserole dish known as booyah. Others suggest that the exclamation is a shortened form of an African expression of joy, and its use in the United States began with African-American athletes using it as a competitive taunt during games. There is also some compelling evidence that it did indeed come from the Cajun culture of Louisiana, in the same sense as a jubilant "Ai YEE" or "YEE Haw" during musical jams.
It is also possible that the term was inspired by both the college chant "Boolah Boolah!" and the Marine shout of "Oo Rah!" Whatever the origin, an exuberant shout can feel very satisfying following a moment of personal success or great joy.