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The term "anyhoo" is used as an alternative word to anyway and other words and phrases that have a similar meaning. This word is considered slang and is not used everywhere, but is popular in the United States and some parts of Canada. It is typically used to mean in any case or nonetheless. For example, it may be used in the following manner: "Anyhoo, I am going to the amusement park soon," or "I am happy, anyhoo."
There are all sorts of slang words people use, and the most popular types of slang expressions often depend on where the speaker lives. In some places, the slang word anyhoo is commonly used as an alternative to saying such words as anyhow and anyway as well as instead of such phrases as "at any rate" or "in any case." For instance, a person may use this slang in a sentence such as, "He purchased the phone anyhoo." It may also be used in sentences like this one "Anyhoo, we hired the roofer who provided a reasonable estimate."
Many people enjoy using slang words, which is why this word is popular in some places. It's hard to analyze exactly why a person would rather use slang than a proper word, but for many people, it may be done in the interest of having fun. Using slang makes a person's speech sound more colorful or interesting to some listeners, and some people simply enjoy using it. There are many people, however, who do not enjoy using or listening to slang and find the use of slang words annoying or upsetting.
While people may use words like anyhoo in casual speech, there are some places in which such slang is generally not acceptable, such as in formal speech or in many types of writing. For example, most people would not use this word when giving an important speech, unless the purpose was to connect with audience members who commonly use the word or to inject a little comedy into the speech. Additionally, this word is usually not acceptable for newspaper articles, college papers, or essays — unless it is used as a quote. A person may, however, use it when writing a book, especially if he's trying to capture the way a character might speak or quoting something another person said. It is also generally acceptable for use in friendly letters and emails as well as in texting.
I thought anywho / anyhoo was more like when a third person (or second person) derailed the conversation and the speaker listens then ignores it and continues with the original topic.
P1: I was going to the store to buy some bread.
P3: Oh, I like bread... back in my day we used to...
P1: Anyhoo, when I got to the store, I met up with Jan.
In the above case, it's occasionally used as a gentle smack without actually smacking the person.