Where the whole booing thing came from

June 19, 2006

Who would have imagined that someone would actually look into the origins of booing? The Explainer at Slate magazine did just that:

    While people have expressed displeasure publicly since ancient times, the English word boo was first used in the early 19th century to describe the lowing sound that cattle make. Later in the 1800s, the word came to be used to describe the disapproving cry of crowds.

So, now you know. If you have a bad speaker at a European or South American conference, don’t be surprised if they whistle instead, according to the article. Better yet, I’d get a clip of the speaker to make sure s/he’s not boo-worthy!

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