[Histonet] Off topic and long

From:"Rittman, Barry R"

As there was so much discussion and so many opinions about the term
"bugger". I am listing below an extract from a 1937 book I have as you
may find this interesting and that you may all be correct. Remember this
was printed before 1939 so GW here refers to the Great War (first world




Slang - including the language of the underworld.

Colloquialisms and Catch -phrases

Solecisms and Catachreses




Such Americanisms as have been naturalized.


By Eric Partridge

Published by George Rutledge & Sons, Limited

London, 1937



buggah. A variant, rare in C. 20, of sense 2 of: 

bugger. In c., a stealer of breast-pins from C drunks: C. 19. Ex bug,
n., 2.-2. A man: fellow;  chap: low coil.; 1719, D'Urfey. In S.E. (C.
16- P 20), a sodomite. In low coll. and in dial., as in the U.S., the
word has no offensive connotation whatsoever: cf. the remark at pakeha,
q.v., and the gradual and complete decolorisation of bastard, q.v., and
of Fr. bougre, as in C. 19-20 un bon bougre, a good chap. But also as a
pejorative: disagreeable person of  either sex; an unpleasant, very
difficult, or dangerous thing, project, episode, circumstance, as in
G.W. 'It's a bugger making a raid on a wet night.' In 1929, still an
actionable word if: printed (Norah James: Sleeveless Errand); in 1934,
no longer so (R.Blaker: Night-Shift; GeoffreyDennis: Bloody Mary's). See
also bugger, not a. Ex L. Bulgaris, a Bulgarian: the Albigensian
heretics were often perverts. O.E.D.; E.D.D.; and the introduction to B.
& P. 

bugger, v. To spoil; ruin; check or change drastically: from ca. 1880;
in 1914 +, badly  wounded, done for. In the G.W. the Tommy and his
Colonial peers were often heard to say,  Well, that's buggered it.'
Doubtless & development from the S.E. sense, to commit sodomy with. The
past PJ ppl. passive, buggered, occurs in expletive phrases, e.g.
'Well, I'm buggered!', damned; . you be buggered ! ' (cf. . 'bugger you
!'), go to the devil! -  2. Vi. and t., to cheat at cards: c. or low:
late C. 19-20; ob.-3. See bugger about. 

bugger! A strong expletive: latish C. 19-20 Manchon.

bugger, not a. Not at all, as in not care a bugger:  low coil.: C.20.
Geoffrey Dennis, 1934. bugger about, v. Potter about; fuss; act
ineffectually; waste time on a thing, with a person. Hence, bugger about
with, to caress intimately; interfere with (person or thing). C. 20 :
colI. rather than s.; in Australia more than in Britain. 

bugger all. A low variant of damn all q.v.

bugger up. To spoil, ruin; nullify: low: late 101 C.19-20. Cf. bugger,
v., 1. 

bugger you! A strong expletive: low (- 1887). Baumann. 

buggered. See bugger, V., 1, latter part. 

buggerlugs. An offensive term of address: mainly nautical: late C.
19-20. (J. Brophy, Waterfront, 1934.) 

buggery. (In S.E., sodomy: like bugger and to bugger, it is the correct
legal term: see O.E.D. and S.O.D.) In unconventional English, in two
phrases: (all) to buggery, completely, destructively, ruinously: C. 20.
In G. W., ' Our batteries shelled poor old Jerry to buggery';
Manchon.-2. like buggery: either vigorously, cruelly, vindictively; or,
as an expletive, certainly not! From ca. 1890. 

buggly, v.t. To exchange, to swap: military: 

C.20. F. & Gibbons. ? ex Hindustani. 

*bugher; occ. as in Coles, 1676, bughar. .A dog, esp. if a mongrel or
given to yelping or barking: ca. 1670-1820: orig. c., then low. Cf.
buffer, 1, and see bufe. 

bugs. A dirty seaman: nautical: late C. 19-20. Bowen. Cf. bug.trap.-2.
Bacteria; bacteriology: 

medical students' (- 1933). Slang, p. 191. 






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