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Old 07-31-2005, 12:52 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Location: S of Canada, N of Mexico
Posts: 464
Etymology of the word "boo"?

In AAVE, the word "boo" means something akin to significant other, main squeeze, etc. Whence does the usage of this word come? (I'd be more than grateful if there have been previous threads on this subject to which someone can direct me, but you can't search for words that are three letters or less here.) offers up a couple of theories: namely, that it either derives from "booty" or from "beautiful" ("beau" in French). However, while the Urban Dictionary is useful when attempting to glean a vague definition of that trendy new word that all the damn kids are using nowadays, I don't trust it for my etymological needs.

So, Doper!Etymologists (not to be confused with Doper!Entomologists ), what about it?

Incidentally, the Urban Dictionary is chock-full of entertainment value on an idle afternoon. Some particularly perceptive definitions of "boo":

baby-daddy-man piece, luva boy,shuga daddy, main squeeze,the icin on ur cake, the socks on ur feet, the hair on ur head,the ----- in yo sheetz, the eye in yo glasses, the tooth in yo mouf, the shoes on ur feet, the watch on ur wrist,the ring on yo finger that he put thea, the car in yo driveway, the key to your lock, the shoelace in yo shoe, the earring in yo ear, the hot sauce on yo chicken,boyfriend, husband, fiance
The most amazin thing to ever walk this earth, you see her and your jaw is instantly broke cause it hits the floor so damn hard!! She's my everythin and wooahhh I aint never gonna let her go Boo you are so fit

Old 07-31-2005, 01:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 153
I'm not sure if this will satisfy you (in fact, it shouldn't), but I discovered three bits of info. from the Oxford English Dictionary ( that I will now share:

1) boo (as in booing a bad performance) is meant to replicate the sound of lowing oxen

2) boo is an older slang term for ganja

3) the word "bo" (short for boy) is an old-timey familiar form of addressing a male (like our "man" or "dude")

If the urban dictionary's explanation (boo from beau) is off, then I'll guess that boo just comes from boy...
Old 07-31-2005, 02:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Semi-Welsh in Paris
Posts: 1,153
It wasn't uncommon for the English upper classes to refer to someone's suitor as their 'Beau' (in French the masculine form of the adjective for beautiful); in fact my huntin' shootin' fishin' godmother in her 70s does just that even now. I have no idea if 'boo' comes from this but 'beau' in this sontext does exsist.

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