12 June 2009

boo! boo hoo?

So a lot of onomatopoeic expressions really do sound like what they are representing... but what about "boo hoo"? When does crying ever sound like that? Who cries like that?

I looked up the origins and this is what I found:
boo⋅hoo [boo-hoo]
–verb (used without object)
1. To weep noisily; blubber.
2. The sound of noisy weeping.

1515–25; rhyming compound based on boo
that's it? just because it rhymes?! jajaja oh well.

and then the origin of boo? Here's our answer!

"to startle," c.1430, probably because it can be pronounced as a loud, booming sound; as an expression of disapproval, 1816, perhaps imitative of oxen; hence, the verb meaning "shower someone with boos" (1893). Boo-hoo first recorded 1525, originally of laughter or weeping. To say boo "open one's mouth, speak," originally was to say boo to a goose.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

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