Author Topic: Halloween Lore and Legends  (Read 21965 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2011, 01:00:22 pm »
I would have loved to have seen nuns in costumes!    ;D

Me, too!  ;D
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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 11:24:03 pm »


http://www.slate.com/articles/life/explainer/2011/10/why_do_ghosts_say_boo_.html

When Did Ghosts Start Saying “Boo”?
Plus: Is boo a scary word in other languages, too?
By Forrest Wickman
Posted Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, at 6:59 PM ET



Why do ghosts say "boo"? And how long have they been saying it?


Everyone knows that ghosts say “boo,” but when did they first start using that scary word? And what about ghosts in other parts of the world—do they have their own version of boo?
 
Ghosts were saying "boo!" by the middle of the 19th century, though the exclamation had been used to frighten English-speaking children for at least 100 years before that. Perhaps the first appearance of boo in print comes from the book-length polemic Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Display’d  (1738), in which author Gilbert Crokatt defines it as , “a word that’s used in the north of Scotland to frighten crying children.” (It's not clear why people in Scotland would want to frighten a crying child.) The verbal tactic had been adopted by proper ghosts—and people with sheets on their heads—by the 1820s at the latest.

Variations of the word boo —including bo  and boh —have been found in books as published as far back as 500 years ago. While the Oxford English Dictionary  notes the similarity between bo and the Latin boāre  and the Greek βοãv,  both meaning “to cry aloud, roar, shout,” it’s unlikely that bo and boo—as nonsensical exclamations—derived  from these words. An etymological dictionary of Scottish from 1808 notes that the sound  might denote "a sound in imitation of the cry of a calf," or be related to menacing creatures like the bu-kow and the bu-man (a possible ancestor of the modern bogeyman).
 
The combination of the voiced, plosive b-  and the roaring -oo  sounds makes boo a particularly startling word. Some linguists argue that the “ooh” or “oh” sounds can be pronounced at a higher volume than other vowel sounds, such as the “ee” in “wheel.” Since boo is a monosyllable, it can also be said very quickly, which may add to its scariness.
 
If you want to frighten someone in Spain, you can say uuh  (pronounced like ooh in English), and in France you can say hou.  A Czech ghost might say baf.  In most European languages, including non-Romance languages like Polish and Turkish, the sound boo  is also understood as an attempt to scare someone, but it comes in different spellings. For example, the Spanish version is written as ¡bú!

The use of the word boo  for jeering doesn’t seem to have come about until the 19th century. Boo  is now used in slang to mean boyfriend or girlfriend (the term appears to derive from beau,  meaning lover), and in the 1950s it was hipster slang for marijuana—but these usages seem to be unrelated.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2011, 08:52:49 am »
Ghosts were saying "boo!" by the middle of the 19th century, though the exclamation had been used to frighten English-speaking children for at least 100 years before that. Perhaps the first appearance of boo in print comes from the book-length polemic Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Display’d  (1738), in which author Gilbert Crokatt defines it as , “a word that’s used in the north of Scotland to frighten crying children.” (It's not clear why people in Scotland would want to frighten a crying child.) The verbal tactic had been adopted by proper ghosts—and people with sheets on their heads—by the 1820s at the latest.

Hmm. Then I wonder how far back the expression about saying--or not saying--boo to a goose goes?  ???
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 02:42:26 pm »
Certainly not "legend" but maybe personal "lore": Those of us who went Trick or Treating as a child, what was your favorite treat to receive?

Mine was always a Milky Way candy bar. In fact, I still use a Milky Way to "treat" myself.  ;D

(When I don't use liquor. ...  ::) )
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2011, 03:43:54 pm »
For me, it was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I could eat a thousand of 'em!
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 03:52:45 pm »
For me, it was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I could eat a thousand of 'em!

You're supposed to guard the peanut butter cups, not eat 'em.  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2011, 08:50:04 pm »
You're supposed to guard the peanut butter cups, not eat 'em.  ;D

Good Halloween Brokieism!  :D



Getting back to the religious disapproval of Halloween, my sons' elementary school never allowed any Halloween parties or costumes because of that. And this was a public school, in a blue neighborhood in a blue city in a blue(ish) state. There were a handful of students from conservative Christian families, plus quite a few kids of Muslim immigrants (not sure how they stand on Halloween, but that might be relevant).

The school apparently was just playing it reeeeaaally safe -- it wasn't even district policy.




Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2014, 08:18:03 am »
I don't know what it's like in your areas, but NJ is already getting set up for autumn and Halloween. 

Stores are stocked with Halloween candy, decorations are starting to appear (for sale, houses are not decorated yet).  Stores that sell garden related stuff already have mums and other autumnal items out for display.

Pumpkins are soon to follow.


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Offline Sason

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2014, 05:51:21 pm »
I don't know what it's like in your areas, but NJ is already getting set up for autumn and Halloween. 

Stores are stocked with Halloween candy, decorations are starting to appear (for sale, houses are not decorated yet).  Stores that sell garden related stuff already have mums and other autumnal items out for display.

Pumpkins are soon to follow.

 :laugh:

I didn't know the English word for chrysanthemum was mum!

Your sentence made absolutely no sense to me, Chuck! I mean, you usually don't consider a mother being an item of autumnal display....  ::)

Thank god for dictionaries!   ;D

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Offline brian

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Re: Halloween Lore and Legends
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2014, 08:05:50 pm »
I have never heard that either but we do really speak a different language  ;D
Here Mum is mother. We never say mom.