What Does Boo Someone Off the Stage Mean?

Boo Someone Off the Stage Meaning

Definition: Make disapproving noises until someone leaves the stage.

Boo is a sound made to show disfavor. If someone onstage either is unpopular or says something unpopular, the crowd may make a collective booing noise until the speaker or performer is so humiliated that he or she leaves the stage.

They may also accompany the booing with throwing things (usually harmless) at the stage, all of which contributes to the act of booing off the stage.

It is the opposite of applause for approval.

Origin of Boo Someone Off the Stage

boo get off the stageThe word boo was found in 18th-century religious works of two Scottish writers who defined it as a word that’s used in the north of Scotland to frighten crying children. Later, in 1830, Sir Walter Scott wrote in his Letter on Demonology and Witchcraft,

  • We start and are afraid when we hear one cry Boh! defining it as an “exclamation intended to surprise or frighten.”

This use expanded to include disapproval by the mid-1800s and the idea of showering someone with boos was seen by 1893.

While it was common among British and Italian theatergoers as a means of showing disapproval, it didn’t reach America until 1910.

Examples of Boo Someone Off the Stage

booed off the stageIn the modern day, people boo someone off the stage when they either disagree with what the person is saying or find performance unbearably awful.

For example,

  • They didn’t like what the politician was saying and booed him off the stage.

This is an example of the crowd disagreeing with what has been said.

Another example,

  • They booed him off the stage as soon as he began to sing.

This is an example where the crowd thought his singing was unpleasant.

More Examples:

  • Here’s a pop-rock maverick who got booed off the stage four years ago when he opened for the Rolling Stones in a concert at the LA Memorial Coliseum. –Los Angeles Times
  • He was viewed by many in Poland as an enemy of the country and in 2013 was booed off the stage during a debate in Wroclaw. –Jewish Telegraphic Agency


The phrase to boo someone off the stage is to shout your disapproval until a speaker or performer leaves the stage.