[Histonet] Off topic and long
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
A DICTIONARY OF SLANG AND UNCONVENTIONAL ENGLISH.
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
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.
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,
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.
medical students' (- 1933). Slang, p. 191.
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