booby


booby
booby1
boobyish, adj.
/booh"bee/, n., pl. boobies.
1. a stupid person; dunce.
2. a gannet of the genus Sula, having a bright bill, bright feet, or both: some are endangered.
[1590-1600; earlier pooby, appar. b. poop to befool (now obs.) and BABY; (def. 2) perh. by association with Sp bobo < L balbus stuttering]
booby2
/booh"bee/, n., pl. boobies. Slang (sometimes vulgar).
a female breast.
[1930-35, Amer.; prob. var. of earlier BUBBY]

* * *

Any of six or seven species of large tropical seabirds (family Sulidae), named for their presumed lack of intelligence.

Two common species are wide-ranging in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans; another is found in the Pacific from southern California to northern Peru and on the Galápagos Islands. The booby has a long bill, cigar-shaped body, and long, narrow, angular wings. It flies high above the ocean looking for schools of fish and squid, which it snatches in a vertical dive. Boobies vary in length from 25 to 35 in. (65–85 cm). They nest in colonies but are territorial.

* * *

bird
  any of six or seven species of large tropical seabirds constituting the family Sulidae (order Pelecaniformes). They vary in length from about 65 to 85 centimetres (25–35 inches). The red-footed booby (Sula sula) and the masked, or blue-faced, booby (S. dactylatra) are wide-ranging in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. The blue-footed booby (S. nebouxii) occurs in the Pacific from southern California to northern Peru and on the Galápagos Islands. Boobies' bills are long, their bodies cigar-shaped, and their wings long, narrow, and angular. They fly high above the ocean looking for schools of fish and squid. When prey is sighted they plunge headlong into the water in a swift, vertical drop.

      Boobies nest in colonies but have a highly developed territorial sense. Many ritualized displays (e.g., head nodding and jabbing) are used to defend the individual's territory within the large breeding colony. Courtship also involves display—an elaborate dance by the male in which the feet are raised alternately several times, followed by a gesture known to ornithologists as sky-pointing (the birds extend their wings horizontally and toward the tail, raise their heads, and emit a long, continuous whistle). The eggs, usually two in number, are laid on the ground in a rudimentary nest. Boobies get their name from their tameness and lack of fear of humans; they were easily killed by early mariners, who named them boobies to denote their presumed lack of intelligence.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
, / , , , (Sula bassana or fusca)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Booby — Boo by (b[=oo] b[y^]), n.; pl. {Boobies} ( b[i^]z). [Sp. bobo dunce, idiot; cf. L. balbus stammering, E. barbarous.] [1913 Webster] 1. A dunce; a stupid fellow. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A swimming bird ({Sula fiber} or {Sula sula})… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • booby — 1590s, from Sp. bobo stupid person, slow bird (used of various ungainly seabirds), probably from L. balbus stammering (like barbarian, from an imitative root, Cf. Czech blblati to stammer, Skt. balbala karoti he stammers ). Booby prize is 1883,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Booby — Boo by (b[=oo] b[y^]), a. Having the characteristics of a booby; stupid. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • booby — Ⅰ. booby [1] ► NOUN (pl. boobies) 1) informal a stupid person. 2) a large tropical seabird of the gannet family. ORIGIN probably from Spanish bobo, from Latin balbus stammering . Ⅱ. booby …   English terms dictionary

  • Booby — Booby, Insel, s. Bubi …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • booby — [bo͞o′bē] n. pl. boobies [prob. < Sp bobo, stupid < L balbus, stammering < IE echoic base * bal bal ] 1. a stupid or foolish person; nitwit 2. any of a genus (Sula, family Sulidae) of pelecaniform birds that dive and feed on fish of warm …   English World dictionary

  • Booby — pp semi protected|small=yesTaxobox name = Booby image caption = Blue footed Booby displaying by raising a foot image width = 240px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Pelecaniformes familia = Sulidae genus = Sula genus… …   Wikipedia

  • booby —    A word for a fool which was introduced to English from Spanish (bobo=fool) at the beginning of the seventeenth century. A booby is the kind of man who would be caught out by a booby trap, but the term is often used jokingly, to imply mild… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • booby — n. (pl. ies) 1 a stupid or childish person. 2 a small gannet of the genus Sula. Phrases and idioms: booby hatch esp. US sl. a mental hospital. booby prize a prize given to the least successful competitor in any contest. booby trap 1 a trap… …   Useful english dictionary

  • booby —    a mentally ill person    Literally, a fool. Usually in a phrase such as booby hatch or hutch, an institution for the insane:     A year later the bride was in the booby hatch. (Sohmer, 1988)     Check the booby hutches... for escapees.… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.