Boos and booze are easily confused words.
The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.
Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.
Boos (“booz”; rhymes with lose, fuse, dues, ooze, snooze) has multiple meanings.
- As the plural of the noun “boo,” it means the disapproving calls from an audience made in unison.
- As the plural of the noun “boo,” it means multiple sweethearts or romantic partners. This usage entered US pop culture 2000s-beyond.
- As the “he/she/it” form of the verb “boo.” Here are some examples:
- He boos when the band says it’s their last song. To him, the night is just getting started!
- She boos at the television when the Bachelorette picks the wrong man.
- According to local lore, at the historic hotel downtown, there’s a ghost lurking about. It always boos at midnight and keeps the guests awake. It stomps up and down the stairs and rattles cowbells.
- Around Halloween in the US (the end of October), home decor and party gear has pun-filled messages that spell “booze” as “boos,” “girls” as “ghouls,” “b*tches” as “witches,” etc.
Booze (rhymes with lose, fuse, dues, ooze, snooze) has multiple meanings.
- As a noun, it’s a slang term for alcoholic beverages.
- As a verb, it means to drink alcoholic beverages in abundance.
The following story uses both words correctly:
Maybe it was their imagination after too much booze in too few hours. As they stumbled back to their apartment, two young women coming back from a party swore that an old bootlegger’s car whizzed by them. It almost ran them off the side of the road. They heard a car horn, catcalls, and boos as it swept past. They dove into a nearby yard to avoid the car. They were a muddy mess all the way home, but at least they survived.
The next day over brunch, recovering from hangovers, the women told their friends about the encounter. The server stopped at their table to refill their coffee. Having overheard the conversation, she interjected, “That sounds like the ghost of Billy Blane.”
“Who?” The women inquired.
“He was a notorious bootlegger who got lost in the fog one night in 1931. He had his teenage brother Benjamin with him. They were never seen again.”