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Dublin: 21°C Friday 23 July 2021

Royal Bank of Scotland has called its new app Bó

Although bó is the Irish word for ‘cow’, RBS makes no reference to this in its lengthy press release called ‘What’s In A Name’.

Image: Photojoiner/RBS/Shutterstock

ROYAL BANK OF Scotland has launched an online banking app today – and called it Bó which is the Irish word for ‘cow’.

The bank does not acknowledge the Irish translation in its statement about the new app, but it goes into detail about the fada on the o, which is the accent used as Gaeilge to elongate vowel sounds.

“We know it’s unusual, but say it again, Bó,” the release begins.

RBS says that ‘Bó’ is pronounced “the same way you would go, low, yo, mow, row, dough! It’s the fada (the acute accent) over the o that turns the ‘o’ into an ‘oh’ sound”.

“So we’re Bó or Bo. We’re most definitely not BO. That’s an acronym for body odour and we’re a banking app here to help everyone do money better.”

The Scottish Gaelic for ‘cow’ is bò, but is pronounced the same way as in Irish. 

Tweet by @Barry J Whyte Source: Barry J Whyte/Twitter

On the question we’re all asking – why did they call it Bó? – it says: “Well it’s because we like the way it sounds. It’s warm and friendly, gentle even.”

 We also like it because Bó doesn’t mean anything in English so it’s a word that we can own, that will grow with us and become associated with what we’re trying to do.

It says that the “fleck above our ‘o’ – the thing that looks like the spark from a bright idea, is called a fada”, and acknowledges that “it’s an accent from Irish”.

“…It’s what turns a short ‘o’ into a longer ‘oh’ sound. So you pronounce Bó in the same way you would so, no and low. You get it.”

It then lists ways of being able to use a fada on different devices.

The app, which isn’t available in Ireland, is to rival other customer-focused banking apps like Revolut, and features saving tools, a list of transactions and a ‘vault’ or ‘piggy bank’.

As we said, there’s quite a lot in a name, especially ours.

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