You will see the word "Ho" on many old buildings around Phoenix. Examples would be the Westward Ho in Phoenix, the Valley Ho in Scottsdale, and before it was demolished, the Superstition Ho in Apache Junction.
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Sailors would shout "Land ho!" when they saw land. Leaders of wagon trains would just shout "Ho" to get everyone moving. If your wagon train were to go west, the leader would shout something like "Westward Ho!". The ho, by the way, would be emphasized and stretched out with a very long o.
Of course, the language changes over the years, and if becomes confusing. So if you're stuck in the world of Eddie Murphy's "ho", I recommend that you find an old western movie, maybe something with wagon trains, and you'll hear the word ho as it used to be used.