The phrase means literally "good song" or "good DJ". selecta is the DJ ("the selector"). But why that spelling? And where does bo come from? Is it from the French beau or the Latin bona? Is there a link via Jamaican English? What evidence of use exists prior to the 1999 song?


1 Answer 1


One explanation is bo is a gunshot, representing appreciation. And selecta is the DJ, the one who selects the music. So when the crowd say "Bo selecta!" they're giving appreciation and want the song played again.

From the Drum n Bass Dictionary:

Bo! - Simulated gunshot.. when a tune is big, say this loud if you want a rewind. In Jamaica people used to fire blanks all the time when a tune was big.

Booyaka! - an expression, like a gunshot.. say it loud when you want the rewind.

Boomshot - see booyaka, bo

Selector - A DJ, the person who is mixing records,

The phrase "bo selecta" was featured in the 1999 song "Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)" by The Artful Dodger featuring Craig David. In the song 'Gunman' by '187 Lockdown', the phrase "bo selecta" can also be heard.

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    Do the crowd say Bo Selecta or is it a request to the DJ to replay the tune when the crowd say "Bo" as in Selecta, when the crowd say "Bo", please play that tune again.
    – Frank
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 16:13

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