We Were Today Years Old When We Learned What It Means When Ghosts Say 'Boo!"

Rae Batchelor
A ghost standing in the doorway.
Unsplash | Florian Lidin

As Halloween rapidly approaches us, there are certain things about the holiday that we take for granted in all the hassle of figuring out our costumes, buying candy, planning trick or treat routes for the kids, and figuring out what parties we might be hosting or going to. Some things, like why it is exactly that ghosts say "boo!" don't even occur to us as something there could be an answer for. Why do dogs bark, why do cats meow? It's just the noise they make!

Actually, as it turns out, that's not the case.

I always thought 'boo!' was just a loud noise.

A ghost holding a sign that reads boo.
Giphy | Mia Page

I'd never given the idea much thought before, but I guess I just figured that it was an easy word to shout with that hard "b" at the beginning to really give it some punch.

But no! Apparently, ghosts aren't just yelling at you — they're doing it in Latin.

Twitter user @thatsajellyfish pointed this out in a viral tweet.

And as someone else confirmed in the comments, the root word here is "boare," which translates to "call loudly upon, cry aloud, roar, or bellow" which means that when you yell BOO! you're both yelling and telling everyone that you're yelling.

This obviously makes cute ghosts even cuter.

A series of tweets.
twitter | @kittyhatts, @colthandsome

It makes scary ghosts a little less intimidating, although I guess getting yelled at in any language you don't speak can be pretty stressful, whether or not it's a dead person or a dead language.

Did you know this fun fact already or did you learn it the same way I did? Let us know in the comments!