Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 3 18:32:05 UTC 1999

>According to Major's _Juba to Jive...African-American
>Slang_, bogard (bogart) means to act in a forceful
>manner, from movie tough guy Humphrey Bogart.
>--- paul meier <pmeier at RURALNET1.COM> wrote:
>> Am directing Fen by Caryl Churchill and there is the
>> word "boggart" used in the sense of "the bogeyman"
>> or an evil spirit--"I don't believe in boggarts".
>> This is East Anglia, English dialect of course,
>> though I wondered if any variants had cropped up in
>> American English.  Any comments on derivation, usage
>> or pronunciation?
No relation between the two, I'd be willing to bet.  They're not pronounced
the same, they're not that close in meaning, and they're not even the same
category (noun vs. verb).  Plus there's the fact that the British boggart
(also appearing as bogard, boggerd, boggat, bugart, buggart, and bawker),
'apparition, ghost, hobgoblin' (attested in 11 counties of England,
according to Wright's English Dialect Dictionary) has cites going back to
the mid-19th century (< one of the Brontes, in fact), so it's not too
likely to derive from Humphrey.  There's even an ancestor cited in 1570,
spelled "boggarde", and glossed as 'spectrum'.  My source is the Wright
dictionary, Oxford, Vol. I, p. 326.

The African-American slang verb IS related, on the other hand, to the old
hippie verb, as in the song "Don't Bogard That Joint, My Friend", deriving
from a different trait associated with the eponymous actor.


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