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January 6, 2005

Slang of the Week: boo (noun)
girlfriend or boyfriend

Debbie was my boo until she found out Carol was my boo, too.

Celebrity quote:
“Even though there's another man who's in my life, you will always be my boo.”
-Alicia Keys in My Boo, her duet with Usher

Typically, English endearments follow predictable patterns. Some lovers are royalty (He’s my prince) or birds (She’s my dove). Others are flowers (sweet pea) or toys (baby doll, teddy bear). And some people nickname their beloved after things to eat, such as pumpkin, honey, sugar or sweetie pie.

But some pet names are less obvious. In the 1940s, people used poopsie to address a boyfriend or girlfriend (which most likely comes from the older poppet and not from poop!) The synonym boopsie may be the original source of this week’s word, though its history is uncertain. It might also come from the old-fashioned beau (boyfriend).

What’s new at Slang City?

  • What would Shakespeare call a hoe?
  • Is red paint worse than the clap?
  • Could a swinger be a quiff?

From the sixteenth century to the 1970s, test your knowledge with our Vintage Sex Slang Quiz. (Warning: contains many bad words.)