Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Sat Mar 3 19:28:39 UTC 2001

At 02:09 PM 3/3/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Laurence Horn wrote:
>> At 10:52 AM -0500 3/3/01, D. Ezra Johnson wrote:
>> >
>> I've never heard diddly-boo (variant of diddly-poo, perhaps?).  But I
>> am familiar with the use of "boo" itself as a squatitive (on which I
>> have a paper forthcoming), only with "say" as its governing verb.  I
>> assume there's some connection with Halloween-type scenarios in its
>> origins (see below).
>According to American Heritage Dictionary, "boo" in this context means,
>"[a]ny sound or anything at all: <i>You never said boo to me about
>overtime</i>."  In my experience, both with fictional dialog and
>real-life experience, this use of "boo" is found mostly in Southern U.S.
>and AAVE variations.  I also have only heard it used with "say", but the
>"anything at all" part of AHD's definition is consistent with its use
>with "see".
I'm familiar with "never said boo" usage from my childhood in Minnesota in
the 40s and 50s; my (very white) mother said it all the time.

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