One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A stupid or childish person.
idiot, fool, stupid person, simpleton, moron, cretin, imbecile, ignoramus, oaf, dunce, dolt, dullard, nincompoop, duffer, jackassView synonyms
- ‘‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The stonefaced booby has zero interpersonal skills.’
- ‘Actors, for the most part are ego-driven boobies.’
- ‘No boobies, but more black neckties than I ever hope to see outside of a Blues Brothers film festival or a big ska revival.’
- ‘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’.’
2A large tropical seabird of the gannet family, with brown, black, or white plumage and brightly colored feet.
Genus Sula, family Sulidae: several species, including the common red-footed booby (S. sula)
- ‘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.’
- ‘The waters surrounding Pigeon Island offer great fishing for sea birds including gulls, terns and the brown booby.’
- ‘Galapagos Penguins have been observed foraging with boobies, terns, and shearwaters.’
- ‘Within Sulidea, skeletal differences have been cited to support splitting gannets and boobies into two genera, Sula and Morus respectively.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘My nervous dance consists of much weight-shifting and hand gestures similar to the mating dance of the blue-footed booby.’
- ‘Even the egrets and boobies had a role to play and were rewarded by fish chunks, tossed and caught in mid-air.’
- ‘One scenic palm stands alone midst the cry of gulls, pelicans and boobies.’
- ‘For example, blue-footed booby and osprey nestlings fought more when hungry, but great egrets, blue herons and swallow-tailed kites did not.’
- ‘But the gravestone also provides shade for the survival of the chick of a pair of brown boobies that nest beside it each year.’
- ‘And don't miss the Brac's colonies of brown boobies and white-tailed tropic birds.’
- ‘Boobies that nest on the ground, the masked gannet and the brown booby, are also found on remote cays of the Great Barrier Reef.’
- ‘Later that day, we visit Middle Island to gape at thousands of boobies and frigatebirds returning to their roostings.’
- ‘Rich fish stocks make it the only avian rookery in North America for sooty terns, masked boobies and frigate birds.’
- ‘With more food available, the numbers of guano-producing seabirds, including cormorants, boobies and pelicans, similarly increased from 1925 to 1955.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It is here we find the boobies, shearwaters, gannets, petrels, and the albatross.’
- ‘Perched on the back of the large booby, the small finch then sucks its blood.’
- ‘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.’
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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They trusted my judgment that there would be sunshine and boobies, basically.’
- ‘My daughter was not quite three years old when she announced, ‘Mummy, when I grow up I want to have boobies and smoke cigarettes!’’
- ‘In other words, expect to see boobies, and lots of them.’
- ‘It's nice to know girls like to sing about boobies as much as guys.’
- ‘And so were her perky boobies poking through a deliciously thin white top.’
- ‘It was, like, enhancing nothing and I couldn't even get my boobies played with anymore.’
- ‘Back in my teens, I'd have dreams where all I did was run around grabbing boobies and reciting poetry to hoboes.’
- ‘I said to him please don't hit mummy's boobies because they're a bit sore.’
- ‘Like her, this beer is some pasty, lanky overrated chick with no boobies.’
- ‘They are my boobies and I will not, I repeat, I will not, show them to you!’
- ‘You'd be surprised what they can show as long as it doesn't include the F-word or boobies.’
- ‘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 always thought those boobies should be labelled as a health hazard (warning - can poke you in the eye!’
- ‘This movie slinks across the screen with its pert boobies pointed at you from the first frame.’
- ‘Sure, it was risky but I told Nathan chicks with large boobies would be all over him if he did this.’
- ‘Nor does it involve plastic boobies popping out ‘by accident’.’
1930s: alteration of dialect bubby (see boob).
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