boob

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    "Boob" seems to have at least two different meanings: (1) woman's breast (2) stupid person. Is there a difference in entymology or are they divergent meanings from the same source?
     
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  3. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Same source, you could use the word "tit" in the same place. (Although it also is a type of bird as well)
     
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  5. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe it's because stupid people like breasts. No wait...
     
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  7. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    As is the blue-footed booby. Wikiquote:
    "Their name was possibly based on the Spanish slang term bobo, meaning "stupid", as these tame birds had a habit of landing on board sailing ships, where they were easily captured and eaten. Owing to this, boobies are often mentioned as having been caught and eaten by shipwrecked sailors, notably William Bligh of the Bounty and his adherents, during their famous voyage after being set adrift by Fletcher Christian and his followers."
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Dictionary.com says that "boob" for breast is coincidental and not related to "boob" for a stupid person. It is a truncation of the original slang word "booby" (which is also coincidental, not related to the bird), and this is probably a variation of bubby, a slang word for "breast" in the 17th-18th centuries. The origin of this word is unclear, but one suggestion is that it is onomatopoeia for the sound of a baby suckling.

    Slang words change periodically, as they become accepted as standard language and lose their power to excite, offend, deceive or amuse. Consider the various words for "good" in my lifetime, including the antonyms "hot" and "cool," as well as "bad" itself!

    Slang words for sexual and excretory terms are no exception. "Dick" and "pussy" are on TV, and you can hear "asshole" and "bullshit" in corporate board meetings... out of the mouths of female board members!
     
  9. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    I thought that was more to do with the general lessing of morality in society. I still refer to the "f" word in the classroom, as it is always classless to use it explicitly, and students are routinely reprimanded thereon.
     
  10. !!!!!batman!!!!! Registered Member

    Messages:
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    well both boob and tit are types of birds.
     

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