rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


My mom and my grandmother, when they were pissed off about something, frequently used the term "boochie" to express their displeasure. I'm not sure of the spelling, but that's the way it sounds. I suspect that the not-too-common Italian surname Bucci is pronounced the same way, but never having met any Buccis I can't be sure of that either.

In any case, I've wondered for years what the origin and exact meaning of the word is, and it has occurred to me to go searching on the Internets. The Internets have been no help. There are a few sites, including Urban Dictionary, which have the word on it, but the definitions they give do not indicate a curse word, which is how my mom and grandmother used it. Whenever my mom said "boochie" I knew that something bad had happened, and that I should, if possible, make myself scarce in case it was my fault. But nobody else seems to use the word that way.

It turns out that there's now a game called Boochie, played with a twelve-sided ball, but it appears to be of very recent origin. It also turns out to be a nickname used by some people. And one woman from India posting at Yahoo Answers says that Boochie is her given name and that it means "sweet child" in her native tongue, but, aside from "sweet child" not being much of a curse, I'm pretty sure my grandmother didn't know any East Indians.

I've considered the possibility that the word is of Native American origin. My grandmother, who grew up in Santa Barbara in the late 19th century, was practically raised by her family's housekeeper, who had a Spanish surname but came from a very early family of immigrants from Mexico (like late 18th century early) and could well have had Chumash ancestry. Sadly, the native languages of pre-Columbian Californians have left little mark on the Internets, so if boochie is one of their words I'm unlikely to discover anything about it here.

Lately I've taken to saying boochie myself when something goes wrong. I say it to this computer a lot. Even though I have no idea what it actually means, it is terse and somewhat explosive, which are good traits in a curse word. Being now of an age where I have, as they say, one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, it behooves me to save my breath as much as possible, and godammotherfuckingsonofabitch has simply become too exhausting to say. I could continue to use my old standby, "rats!", but I have grown a bit tired of it. Besides which I don't want the cats to get the false impression that I've spotted a tasty live treat for them to catch.

Given my age, it's likely that I don't have all that much time left in which to discover what boochie means or where it comes from. I've actually never heard anyone from outside my family use it, either, so I don't have much hope that an answer will turn up. Odds are that I'll die never knowing, and all I can say to that is boochie! Maybe I should make arrangements to have it carved on my tombstone. Then, other people can wonder what it means.

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