(used to express contempt or disapprobation or to startle or frighten).
an exclamation of contempt or disapproval:
a loud boo from the bleachers.
to cry boo in derision.
to show disapproval of by booing.
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an exclamation uttered to startle or surprise someone, esp a child
a shout uttered to express disgust, dissatisfaction, or contempt, esp at a theatrical production, political meeting, etc
would not say boo to a goose, is extremely timid or diffident
verb boos, booing, booed
to shout “boo” at (someone or something), esp as an expression of disgust, dissatisfaction, or disapproval: to boo the actors
To be able to say Bo! to a goose is to be not quite destitute of courage, to have an inkling of spirit, and was probably in the first instance used of children. A little boy who comes across some geese suddenly will find himself hissed at immediately, and a great demonstration of defiance made by them, but if he can pluck up heart to cry ‘bo!’ loudly and advance upon them, they will retire defeated. The word ‘bo’ is clearly selected for the sake of the explosiveness of its first letter and the openness and loudness of its vowel. [Walter W. Skeat, “Cry Bo to a Goose, “Notes and Queries,” 4th series vi Sept. 10, 1870]
An exclamation of disapproval, the equivalent of a hiss (1890s+)
A supposedly frightening exclamation, such as a ghost might give: She jumped out of the closet and hollered ”Boo!” (1940s+)
a stupid or silly mistake; blunder. a minor injury. Contemporary Examples Read Jon Favreau’s Full Commencement Address to College of the Holy Cross Jon Favreau May 26, 2014 Historical Examples A Waif of the Plains Bret Harte What Timmy Did Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes noun (pl) -boos (informal) an embarrassing mistake; blunder n.
a small, reddish-brown spotted owl, Ninox boobook, native to Australia and New Zealand. Historical Examples An Australian Bird Book John Albert Leach noun a small spotted brown Australian owl, Ninox boobook
South Midland and Southern U.S. bogeyman. an imaginary evil character of supernatural powers, especially a mythical hobgoblin supposed to carry off naughty children. Historical Examples Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Work Projects Administration The Bishop and the Boogerman Joel Chandler Harris The Bishop and […]
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person. boogie-woogie. a lively form of rock ‘n’ roll, based on the blues. to dance energetically, especially to rock music. Slang. (often followed by on down) to go. Contemporary Examples I Am an Accidental Pornographer Colette Burson September 29, 2011 The Art […]