a boo-boo


a mistake

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“The wrong spelling of the word ‘acknowledgements’ as ‘acknowledgments’ is one of the top 20 biggest self-publishing BOO-BOOS.”

Slideshare

Did you
know?

boo-boo
noun

- a stupid or silly mistake; blunder

- a usually trivial injury – such as a bruise or scratch (US)

The Cambridge Dictionary / Merriam-Webster


WORD ORIGIN

The word “boob”, meaning "a stupid person", is from 1909. By 1934 “boob” had acquired the secondary meaning “a foolish mistake”. By 1954, “boob” had been shortened to “boo” and then re-duplicated to “boo-boo”


REDUPLICATIVES

Words that are made up of sounds that repeat are called “reduplicatives”. This seems to be a primitive human impulse that begins with baby talk and some, like “boo-boo”, persist into adulthood.

There are three types of reduplicative in English:

1. Repeating reduplicatives (aye-aye, bang-bang, ha-ha)

2. Rhyming reduplicatives (boogie-woogie, mumbo-jumbo, okey-dokey)

3. Vowel change reduplicatives (chit-chat, hip-hop, tick tock)

Boo-boo is a useful synonym for “mistake” as it can provoke a bit more sympathy in the listener:

“I’m so sorry Tom, I made a bit of a BOO-BOO this morning, I accidentally erased your hard disk.”


TEST YOUR REDUPLICATIVES!

Here are some more repeating reduplicatives – how many do you know?

- aye-aye

- beri beri

- can can

- cha cha

- chin-chin

- choo-choo

- chop-chop

- din-din

- goody goody

- ho ho

- hush hush

- murmur

- Never-Never Land

- nighty-nighty

- a no-no

- to pooh-pooh

- so-so

- twenty-twenty

- yum-yum

(scroll down for answers)


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- aye-aye (a sailor’s assent)

- beri beri (a nutritional disease)

- can can (a dance)

- cha cha (a dance)

- chin-chin (a drinking toast)

- choo-choo (baby talk for train, or the sound of a train)

- chop-chop (do it quickly, without delay)

- din-din (baby talk for dinner)

- goody goody (an expression of delight)

- a goody goody (an overly proper person)

- ho-ho (what Father Christmas says)

- hush-hush (secret)

- murmur (a quiet low sound)

- Never-Never Land (an imaginary perfect place)

- nighty-nighty (goodnight)

- a no-no (something forbidden)

- to pooh-pooh (to reject an idea or suggestion)

- so-so (mediocre; undistinguished)

- twenty-twenty (perfect eyesight)

- yum-yum (an exclamation of delight at nice food)


SYNONYMS

a small mistake:

balls-up, blip, bloomer, blooper, blunder, bobble, boner, BOO-BOO, boob, botched job, botch-up, brick, clanger, clinker, cockup, dropping the ball, dumb move, error, fault, flub, fluff, foul-up, fumble, gaff, gaffe, goof, goof up, howler, inaccuracy, lapse, miscue, misestimation, misstep, mistake, oversight, pratfall, screw-up, slip, slip-up, snafu


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“John made a bit of a BOO-BOO this morning - he accidentally erased Tom’s hard disk.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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