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[boo-bee] /ˈbu bi/
noun, plural boobies.
a stupid person; dunce.
a gannet of the genus Sula, having a bright bill, bright feet, or both: some are endangered.
Origin of booby1
1590-1600; earlier pooby, apparently blend of poop to befool (now obsolete) and baby; (def 2) perhaps by association with Spanish bobo < Latin balbus stuttering
Related forms
boobyish, adjective


[boo-bee] /ˈbu bi/
noun, plural boobies. Slang: Sometimes Vulgar.
a female breast.
1930-35, Americanism; probably variant of earlier bubby Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for booby


noun (pl) -bies
an ignorant or foolish person
(Brit) the losing player in a game
any of several tropical marine birds of the genus Sula: family Sulidae, order Pelecaniformes (pelicans, cormorants, etc). They have a straight stout bill and the plumage is white with darker markings Compare gannet
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish bobo, from Latin balbus stammering
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for booby

1590s, from Spanish bobo "stupid person, slow bird" (used of various ungainly seabirds), probably from Latin balbus "stammering," from an imitative root (see barbarian).

Booby prize is by 1883: an object of little value given to the loser of a game; booby trap is 1850, originally a schoolboy prank; the more lethal sense developed during World War I.

At the end of every session the dominie had the satirical custom of presenting his tawse as a "booby-prize" to some idle or stupid lout whom he picked out as meriting this distinction so that next time they met he might start fresh and fair with new pair for a new set of classes. [Ascott R. Hope, "Dumps," "Young England" magazine, 1883]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for booby

boobie 2


A woman's breast

[late 1600s+; perhaps ultimately fr Latin puppa, literally ''little girl,'' which in child language became ''breast''; whence Old French pope, popel, ''breast,'' German dialect Bubbi, and so on]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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