SKATE/explain is a new feature that takes shit in skateboarding and tries to explain whatever comes to mind, whether it’s an obvious skate-related question, something you might Wikipedia but don’t have the time, or a random tangential association that makes you wonder what the f—k it has to do with anything. But, we’ll keep it interesting, so pay attention, you might learn something. Or not…whatever.

(Clip Link)

I’m fascinated by Boo Johnson’s name, about as much as I am by the skating in the video accompanying his addition to the Bones Wheels team. There are so many good kids, but there’s enough creativity thrown in there to make him stand out a bit. Plus, what kind of name is Boo? I’m not saying that to be a dick. I mean, where’s it come from? Is it legit? Is it a nickname?

I’d heard boo used a few different ways and after an initial search of the Internet, I knew I could disregard boo as in what a ghost says, what a baby calls an “owie” or what a crowd yells at a Nickleback concert. Also, there’s no way his mom would name him the diminutive form of an early 20th century racial slur. That would be f—ked up. Apparently, boo was a common way to refer to marijuana too, but it was a short-lived term from the 1950s and probably had no influence on Boo’s name. Maybe it was boo as in “Ay Boo Boo“?

Barring those options, I came to the more likely origin. Number one: Boo may be the Americanized version of Beau, which in French means beautiful and is often used by women to affectionately refer to their boyfriend and can be used more casually for someone you care about, like a son. While beau is actually pronounced “boh” in French, it’s thought that someone reading it in English would pronounce it “boo.” You can find this type of Boo tossed around in R&B songs, used interchangeably for men or women, where some singer will croon sensually, “You will always be my boooooo!” or super gully songs where someone barks, “…bitch was my mu’f—kin’ gangsta boo.”


(Clip Link)

But, like most colloquialisms, the origin is never certain, boo notwithstanding. In popular culture, boo is sometimes believed to be the short version of “booty call.” Therefore, it actually refers to a man or a woman another person calls whenever they’re trying to get laid, but whom they often could give two shits about. Such a disrespectful tone seems unlikely, though, unless it’s just a nickname.

So, I went to the source to find out why Boo was named Boo Johnson…

Boo, why are you named Boo?
Oh, Boo? Ha ha ha…um, when I was a little kid—I was probably three or something—my mom and my dad named me that, I’m pretty sure, because I whined a lot at that age. Like, they’d call me lil’ Boo Boo…and as I got older, I just became Boo and it stuck with me.


Really? I was looking up all the shit people use Boo for and I guessed wrong…

Yeah, you musta been like, “Wait…how is this his name?”


So, what’s you’re real name?

Jakel…J-A-K-E-L.

In conclusion, Jak-…Boo…is not named Boo as in what people yell at WWE wrestlers, or Boo as in the short form of the 20th century racial slur (which would be f—ked up), or Boo as in dirt weed from the 1950s, or Boo as in the Americanized form of beau or the shortened form of Booty Call. It’s just Boo, like what babies say. So, I guess I’m an idiot.