noun, plural boo·bies.
- a stupid person; dunce.
- a gannet of the genus Sula, having a bright bill, bright feet, or both: some are endangered.
noun, plural boob·ies. Slang: Sometimes Vulgar.
- a female breast.
noun plural -bies
- an ignorant or foolish person
- British the losing player in a game
- any of several tropical marine birds of the genus Sula : family Sulidae, order Pelecaniformes (pelicans, cormorants, etc). They have a straight stout bill and the plumage is white with darker markingsCompare gannet
1590s, from Spanish bobo “stupid person, slow bird” (used of various ungainly seabirds), probably from Latin balbus “stammering,” from an imitative root (see barbarian).
Booby prize is by 1883: an object of little value given to the loser of a game; booby trap is 1850, originally a schoolboy prank; the more lethal sense developed during World War I.
At the end of every session the dominie had the satirical custom of presenting his tawse as a “booby-prize” to some idle or stupid lout whom he picked out as meriting this distinction so that next time they met he might start fresh and fair with new pair for a new set of classes. [Ascott R. Hope, “Dumps,” “Young England” magazine, 1883]