boo (interj. 1800, v. 1833)
cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Apr 9 13:06:25 UTC 2009
What an elegant little essay, Ben!
As for oooing (not aahing) to express mass affection for an athlete or other celebrity whose name contains the elongatable vowel /u/, like Bruce Springsteen or Bruce Benedict (of the Atlanta Braves in the 1980s), occasioning frequent notations by radio and TV announcers that the crowd isn't actually booing: The first instance I ever heard concerned the University of Texas football player Steve Wooster in the late 1960s, whose introduction and whose exploits were commonly marked with a resounding unison "Woooooooo" from the fans.
---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 01:01:14 -0400
>From: Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
>Subject: boo (interj. 1800, v. 1833)
>My latest Word Routes column is on the origins of booing:
>Following up this interview on WNYC's Soundcheck:
>Here are early cites I mention in the column:
>* "boo" (interj.)
>1800 Maria Edgeworth _Castle Rackrent_ 76 Oh, boo! boo! (says I, making light of it, to see what he would go on to next). [Footnote: "Boo! Boo! an exclamation equivalent to Pshaw! or Nonsense."]
>* "boo" (v. intr.)
>1833 _The Kaleidoscope_ (Eton College) 25 Mar. 177 The whole school raised a yell, booing, hissing, and scraping feet.
>* "boo" (v. trans.)
>1833 _The Kaleidoscope_ (Eton College) 25 Mar. 177 _At last_ get into upper school twenty-five minutes past seven--questioned by master--boo'd, laughed at, shinned in getting a seat.
>The last two quotes are in a republished diary of an Eton boy dated "September 182-".
>Someone familiar with Etonian sources can probably antedate these. There are a number of secondary references to booing directed at Eton headmaster John Keate taking place as early as 1810.
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