Appropriate translation for "bho"

Bhikkhu Bodhi translates “Master”, but does it give a fair idea of what was meant by using the vocative “bho”?

i think Sir would fit

It’s really hard to capture the Pali honorifics in English, as the whole social situation is quite different. I think “master” is okay for bho, but not great. I haven’t found a better, though. “Sir” would also work, although I use that for bhante, so …

Is it just a shortened version of bhante as bae is shortened version of baby or babe? :grin:

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I’m not sure. It might be, but I suspect the etymology of such things is lost in time.

Another translation of bho would be “bro”. At least no-one would forget it!


“bruh” is way cooler

from the contexts it appears in my impression of bho is as rather official and distant, that’s the form outsiders notmally use to address the Buddha, whereas bhante is used by monastics and sounds more affectionate

why not venerable? when we address yourself as bhante i don’t think we mean Sir :relaxed:

Because it’s used for āyasmā. Translation is hard!

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oh, right, sir


Wow, discourse really doesn’t like that gif …

why doesn’t it?

oh, you meant it wasn’t visible to you?

I don’t know, it’s weird, it looks fine in the preview. For some reason it’s decided it must take up 100% of the width, which is not the normal image behavior. A bug, I guess.

it looked fine in both modes on my end, so sorry if it defaced the thread unbeknownst to me

No, no problem. Actually I just checked a couple of other browsers, it’s fine there, too, just Chrome has an issue. Oh, well.

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