What Does Bo Mean?

February 23, 2024
David Sunnyside

The word bo means a staff or rod that can be used as a weapon in martial arts. The bo is often thrown at an opponent and then wacked in strategic places to cause injury. Martial artists train hard to master the art of bo.

Another meaning of bo is “friend” or “pal.” It’s most commonly used between male friends, especially in the southern United States. It’s similar to the word bro, but is usually more casual. You can even use it in the plural form, bos.

The etymology of the word bo is disputed. Some say that it is a variation of the French name Beau, which is also the origin of the slang term B-O. Other etymologists believe that it is derived from the Scandinavian word Bui, which comes from the Old Norse bua (“to live”) and the verb bod (“to build”).

A shortened version of the phrase bo, used in text messages and online forums, is B.O. It is short for body odor, and is a common way to describe a person’s unpleasant stench.

Gamers also use the acronym bo to refer to the build order of a strategy in real-time strategies (RTS) and multiplayer online battle arena games. Each strategy has a specific build order that you must follow in order to execute it correctly. Deviating from the build order can have disastrous results. The acronym bo is also sometimes used to refer to an obnoxious person, such as a boss or coworker.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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