Saturday, October 6, 2012


Kaitlyn Jenkins plays "Boo" on Bunheads
Boo would be such a fun Halloween name! It's what ghosts (supposedly) say to scare people, and what kids - and some adults - yell out to surprise people when they jump out from behind a corner.

But surely no one would actually give their child the name Boo, I hear you say. Not so. There are a few examples, such as Boo Cook, a (male) British comic artist. But perhaps more famously known is the example of Jamie and Jools Oliver's second daughter, Daisy Boo. Jools Oliver supports creative naming, so would probably love to hear that one New York couple loved the nickname they gave their growing baby so much that it stuck. Yes, they called their child Boo! - exclamation point and all! Boo! was due on Halloween, and they left the exclamation point because they wanted people to know that the reference to Halloween was fully intentional. Brave or silly? You be the judge.

Clearly these parents are in the minority. Most people see Boo as really cute - for a nickname. The cute factor is probably helped a lot by the small girl character Boo from 'Monsters Inc', or Yogi Bears sidekick Boo Boo, or even Boo the maniacally giggling ghost in the 'Mario Brothers' video games. Plus peek-a-boo is a cutesy game played with young children. And of course there is the fact that Boo is commonly used as a term of endearment.

Funnily enough, famous people with the nickname Boo tend to be male. I say funnily enough because my first instinct is that it would be more of a girl's name. However, famous male Boo's include:
  • Character Arthur "Boo" Radley from the book "To Kill A Mockingbird";
  • American professional golfer Thomas Brent "Boo" Weekley;
  • American football player Kevin "Boo" McLee Jr; and
  • English singer-songwriter Mark "Boo" Hewerdine.

Perhaps the reason I see Boo as more of a girl's nickname is because I've recently seen Boo pop up as a nickname for the character Bettina in the ABC family TV show 'Bunheads'. A lovely, vintage revival given name with a cute as a button nickname. This show has helped to bring both Bettina and Boo back onto the radar for a lot of baby name lovers.

And then there is that other TV show - the steam train that is the reality show 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo'. Honey Boo Boo's real name is Alana. She is currently the talk of America, although not necessarily for good reasons. But even if her show is controversial, her cute nickname is well suited to her extremely bubbly personality.

What do you think? Would you use Boo as a name? Would you use it as a nickname? As we can see from the above examples, Boo could be a nickname for pretty much any name under the sun. For parents who love Halloween but want a to use a birth name that won't hamper a possible future professional career , Boo as a nickname or second name could be a nod to one of their favourite times of the year.

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