One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A stupid person.
idiot, fool, stupid person, simpleton, moron, cretin, imbecile, ignoramus, oaf, dunce, dolt, dullard, nincompoop, duffer, jackassView synonyms
- ‘Even the European right, I believe, regarded him as an amiable old booby who was, fortunately, an ally of their heroine, Mrs T.’
- ‘I stood there like a booby for five minutes solid.’
- ‘‘I just wandered around and hit the ball, to be honest,’ Howell explained, as if he was some country booby on his first visit to the big city.’
- ‘But you do rather wonder whether she won't get tired of someone who is either a tongue-tied booby or a rapier-twitching ‘rattle’.’
- ‘The stonefaced booby has zero interpersonal skills.’
- ‘No boobies, but more black neckties than I ever hope to see outside of a Blues Brothers film festival or a big ska revival.’
- ‘Actors, for the most part are ego-driven boobies.’
2A large tropical seabird of the gannet family, with brown, black, or white plumage and brightly coloured feet.
- ‘With more food available, the numbers of guano-producing seabirds, including cormorants, boobies and pelicans, similarly increased from 1925 to 1955.’
- ‘The gannet is the largest member of the unfortunately-named booby family and the most common on the Atlantic coast.’
- ‘This being burlesque, the plot is purely filler to set up the well-executed dance numbers and a seemingly endless cavalcade of jiggling boobies.’
- ‘Perched on the back of the large booby, the small finch then sucks its blood.’
- ‘It is here we find the boobies, shearwaters, gannets, petrels, and the albatross.’
- ‘For example, blue-footed booby and osprey nestlings fought more when hungry, but great egrets, blue herons and swallow-tailed kites did not.’
- ‘Declines in seabird populations (kittiwakes, boobies, cormorants, pelicans) have also been blamed on depletion of the fish stocks that they feed on.’
- ‘The Pacific seabirds called brown boobies lay two eggs but hardly ever fledge more than one chick.’
- ‘The waters surrounding Pigeon Island offer great fishing for sea birds including gulls, terns and the brown booby.’
- ‘Boobies that nest on the ground, the masked gannet and the brown booby, are also found on remote cays of the Great Barrier Reef.’
- ‘But the gravestone also provides shade for the survival of the chick of a pair of brown boobies that nest beside it each year.’
- ‘Even the egrets and boobies had a role to play and were rewarded by fish chunks, tossed and caught in mid-air.’
- ‘Rich fish stocks make it the only avian rookery in North America for sooty terns, masked boobies and frigate birds.’
- ‘Galapagos Penguins have been observed foraging with boobies, terns, and shearwaters.’
- ‘While a few beaches and dozens of animals were tarred by oil, miraculously, the only fatal victims were four pelicans and two blue-footed boobies.’
- ‘My nervous dance consists of much weight-shifting and hand gestures similar to the mating dance of the blue-footed booby.’
- ‘One scenic palm stands alone midst the cry of gulls, pelicans and boobies.’
- ‘You'll witness the same panoramas of life that Darwin once did as you trek through blue-footed booby colonies and watch huge tortoises roam a raw lava landscape.’
- ‘Within Sulidea, skeletal differences have been cited to support splitting gannets and boobies into two genera, Sula and Morus respectively.’
- ‘Later that day, we visit Middle Island to gape at thousands of boobies and frigatebirds returning to their roostings.’
- ‘And don't miss the Brac's colonies of brown boobies and white-tailed tropic birds.’
Early 17th century: probably from Spanish bobo (in both senses), from Latin balbus ‘stammering’.
A woman's breast.
- ‘I cannot imagine if my boss were to have seen my boobies before.’
- ‘Well it is, but on the upside, you see a lot of these farmers driving around in gold Cadillacs and hanging around chicks with big boobies.’
- ‘I said to him please don't hit mummy's boobies because they're a bit sore.’
- ‘They trusted my judgment that there would be sunshine and boobies, basically.’
- ‘Sure, it was risky but I told Nathan chicks with large boobies would be all over him if he did this.’
- ‘I always thought those boobies should be labelled as a health hazard (warning - can poke you in the eye!’
- ‘You'd be surprised what they can show as long as it doesn't include the F-word or boobies.’
- ‘They are my boobies and I will not, I repeat, I will not, show them to you!’
- ‘My daughter was not quite three years old when she announced, ‘Mummy, when I grow up I want to have boobies and smoke cigarettes!’’
- ‘It's nice to know girls like to sing about boobies as much as guys.’
- ‘How amusing, then, to meet there, where the body language is about as subtle as being hit over the head with a pair of boobies.’
- ‘And so were her perky boobies poking through a deliciously thin white top.’
- ‘Nor does it involve plastic boobies popping out ‘by accident’.’
- ‘In other words, expect to see boobies, and lots of them.’
- ‘Like her, this beer is some pasty, lanky overrated chick with no boobies.’
- ‘Instead, I get a bunch of overweight, smelly computer geeks while the dance co-op gets girls with big boobies and guys with long willies.’
- ‘It was, like, enhancing nothing and I couldn't even get my boobies played with anymore.’
- ‘This movie slinks across the screen with its pert boobies pointed at you from the first frame.’
- ‘Back in my teens, I'd have dreams where all I did was run around grabbing boobies and reciting poetry to hoboes.’
1930s: alteration of dialect bubby (see boob).
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