Becoming a “boo”

booWhat is a boo? Does it have something to do with ghosts? When doubled, does it refer to a child’s scraped knee?

No. It is from the language of the street, sometimes referred to as “ghetto,” often used by African Americans from the ‘hood.

A “boo” is a beau, sweetheart, boyfriend/girlfriend, main squeeze. (I once had a boo named Bo.) You’ve moved from “we’re talkin’,” to “kinda be likin’,” to “going out,” to boo.

What is involved in being a boo? Being exclusive, of course. Talking at least once a day, seeing each other regularly, becoming a part of each other’s lives. No different than what you think of with the other terms, just a hipper name.

The journey of my becoming a boo began in one of our early conversations. We were IMing and somehow a comment about “street” language came up. I said I knew a little “street,” and used the example, “He’s my boo.” Raucous laughter erupted at the receiving end of the message as my boo-to-be took a long break from the keyboard to roll on the floor. I had no idea this would be the response, but I guess the image of a 52-year-old white woman uttering this was just too much. He said he fell for me right then.

BeyonceLater, thinking of Beyoncé‘s “bootylicous” moniker, I dubbed myself “boolicious.” It stuck. That’s become my nickname with him. So he is Boo and I am Boolicious.

So next time you want to appear hip, try working “boo” into the conversation. However, if you’re a middle-aged white person talking to those who know “street,” prepare for peals of laughter.

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10 responses to “Becoming a “boo””

  1. Elena Avatar

    DG, What’s with you? You’re dating a black guy so now you think you have to be cool and hip by speaking in ebonics (“kinda be likin’”) ?? Is he the first black man you’ve ever had social contact with? You really need to get out more. And please, don’t try to be cool. It just comes across trying too hard. Just be yourself.

    If you want to refer to hip-hop culture, you say “urban”, not “ghetto.” Also, that term “boo” is so 1990s. You dated yourself with that one. One last thing, not all “African Americans from the ‘hood” speak that way. Gosh, what year are we in? 2007? I guess the generalizations and stereotypes about black people in the U.S. will never go away. 🙁

  2. Ally Avatar

    What are you talking about, Elena?! You may be right about the ‘urban’ vs ‘ghetto’, but you’re all wet with the rest of it. There is nothing wrong with picking up vernacular – imitation being the highest form of praise, especially since she’s talking endearments.
    Numero duo – did we not just have the song “My Boo” with Usher and Alicia Keys in 2004-2005? Hardly ‘so 1990s’.

    Being yourself will always include kidding around if you’re any fun at all.

    p.s. my beau and I read in our local paper in No. Cal. this morning that the high school kids were were ‘pomping’ on their homecoming float for 4 hours one night – what the heck is ‘pomping?’ Google isn’t helping

  3. Sassy Avatar

    Ally, try Urban Dictionary dot com.

  4. Ally Avatar

    Thanks, Sassy
    – relevant u.d. word of the day for this thread: Leave Britney Alone!

    Apparently, my very, very frappucino-drinking town is making use of the definition of ‘pompin’ ‘, rather than ‘pomping’, or perhaps there’s a reason that the latter has 7 ‘thumbs-down.’ 🙂

  5. sd Avatar

    Hey, mellow out!
    (to use the vernacular of My youth’s NorCal coastal origin, 30 years and still in common usage)

    It’s all good, all good…
    (current ‘urban’ and Caribe vernacular, moderately wide usage in some groups)

    If you live in urban or large metropolitan areas, the bleedover of slang and language is rampant.
    It doesn’t even matter what you look like or how old you are, you will find them sprinkled into conversations.

    The problem comes up when they are DELIBERATELY and carefully used by someone that appears stiff or self-aware when doing so… and I suspect that poor DG got caught in that perception for a minute by the beau (French, seriously dated, BUT STILL USED WIDELY).

    So, I shouldn’t say ‘my peeps’ or ‘phat’ because I am not comfortable doing so and it sounds off to others. (recent ‘urban’ origins, common usage in all segments of the under 25 crowd)

    But I CAN engage in casual usage of many other urban slang words in moderation when conversing with that younger set- they don’t seem to notice it much and they can certainly understand me without turning on the Mom-translator for my normal ‘big words’.

    and not only do I use boo as a sign of close affection, and boo-boo for little ones, but my oldest granddaughter has decided to call ME Boo!

    Jus’ keepin’ it real, my peeps 😉
    (and if you happen to be a young black man and hear me, a middle aged white lady, say that in the real world you have my permission to laugh at me)

  6. Dating Goddess Avatar
    Dating Goddess

    SD: “(and if you happen to be a young black man and hear me, a middle aged white lady, say that in the real world you have my permission to laugh at me)” — you are so funny — even to this white woman! Thanks for your comments. And for clarification, I wasn’t stiff in my comment to him — it was on an IM and we were joking around. I’m glad it pleased him so much.

    Sassy: Great tip. I love it!

    Ally: Yes, you are right on.

    Elena: Just for the record, about a third of the men I’ve gone out with are Black, with another chunk being Latino, Indian, Asian and/or mixed race. I’m an equal-opportunity dater! I look for the core of the man no matter what’s on the outside. And 4 of the 9 men with whom I’ve had 6-week to 6-month relationships are Black. My nieces are half-Black and they taught me the relationship continuum, so I’m using their words — “kinda be likin” — in fact, they said the first step is “we be talkin’.” They also taught me that dating multiple men simultaneously is called “pimpin’” in teenager language. And it is they, as well as my other Black friends, who call it “ghetto,” so perhaps it is different in your area. These phrases are in quotes to show they are in the vernacular — perhaps you missed that inference.

    I find it fun to learn new terms that apply to something the mainstream doesn’t have a word for or would take many words to express the same concept. It’s the same as using “kaizen” when I refer to continuous improvement — one word says a lot when there is a shared understanding, even though it became popular in the ’90s, it says what’s needed succinctly.

    As SD points out, I use what’s become comfortable, even though you’ve decided that I think I’m being cool. If I don’t keep up and comfortably integrate new words, I’d soon be out of business as my audiences would think I’m outdated. And yes, I still do say “groovy” on occasion and, to the right audiences, “I grok” (admittedly, not to many audiences!).

    And you totally misread what I said, as I would not say that all African Americans speak a certain way. That is just dumb to say that all of any large group does anything.

  7. Christine Avatar

    DG: I know you don’t need any help defending yourself against negative comments, but I have to say that I think it’s rude for someone to visit here and get hostile. It’s out of scale with the upbeat tone to your entry. I view this a fun, casual site where alot of good information is shared – not a platform for anyone to go off around the world’s societal issues.

  8. singlemomseeking Avatar

    You go DG! I’m loving this real, recent posts. Thanks for giving us a peak inside.

  9. greendaze44 Avatar

    I agree with Christine. Although I’m sure you’re self-esteem is stong enough to handle the negative criticism that comes from time to time on these blog sites. That is part of putting what you have to say out there for everyone to read. The bad with the good. And because of that negative comment, others have more to say that is positive.
    I dated a guy who loves to hunt and has a lot of camo clothes and likes the camo print, so what did I do? Went out and bought a camo shirt and always felt sexy when I was wearing it, because I knew he liked it. I also bought him fun camo things, like a fire lighter in the shape of a gun in camo print, a camo puzzle, a bag. I put choclate syrup and Mr. Bubbles in the camo bag, because we also jokes about pouring chocolate syrup on each other and then taking a bubble bath together, so putting those in the camo bag was really unexpected to him.
    The things we do love………………..

  10. Ally Avatar

    I use ‘peeps’ in a self-mocking manner, and ‘grok’, as well (mostly to suss out people who get the reference.)