Bogarting, the real story?

David A. Daniel dad at POKERWIZ.COM
Tue Jul 14 13:37:58 UTC 2009

As a former card-carrying sixties hippie I can firmly and without
reservation attest that, at least on the West Coast, at least among
card-carrying hippies, bogarting meant holding on to the joint too long,
being too slow in passing it on. As in the song Don’t Bogart that Joint,
"you been hangin on to it, and I sure would like a hit" has nothing to do
with getting it wet, it has to do with not sharing it. We also all
understood that bogarting was called bogarting because Bogart's cigarette
always seemed to be stuck to his face, i.e., if the (marijuana) cigarette
was stopped to long in any one place it was being bogarted. (Whether or not
Bogart really had a cig in his mouth a lot is irrelevant; the perception was
that he did.) As to getting it wet, I don’t recall ever hearing a word for
it, but proper joint-smoking etiquette was to sort of draw your lips back
over your teeth so that only dry, sort of under- or over-lip area was
touching the joint. You were not supposed to let the joint touch the inside,
wet part of your lips. I occasionally hear bogarting these days referring to
something being hung on to or refused in sharing, but rarely, and I have no
idea if it is still used in grass-smoking circles as, unfortunately, I
haven’t been in one of those circles for many years. Sigh...

We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there
-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
ronbutters at AOL.COM
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 9:44 AM
Subject: Bogarting, the real story?

This has been discussed here many times.

What does it mean to say that HB "would hold on tight to a cigarette"?
Nobody holds a cigarette loosely.

Bogart had prominent lips, and in the movies he often held a cigarette
between his lips, hands-free. When one does this, the cigarette sometimes
gets wet with saliva.

In the 1950s people sometimes shared a (tobacco) cigarette. The admonition,
"Don't Bogart it!" merely meant "Don't get it wet!" It had nothing to do
with unfair sharing or "hogging." Among more socially conscious smokers it
stood in for a vile racist term.)

Perhaps within pot culture  the term took on the secondary meaning that
Silliman puts forth (through hearer misunderstanding). My memory is that it
continued to mean "Don't get spit on the doobie".

I have never heard the verb "Bogart" used with respect to "hogging" in any
nonsmoking context. Maybe it does so occur--one would expect to hear it in
the context of pie or cake or turn-taking in general if S's explanation is
more than an occasional novice  pot-smoker's naïve mistake.
------Original Message------
From: Ron Silliman
Sender: ADS-L
ReplyTo: ADS-L
Subject: [ADS-L] Bogarting
Sent: Jul 14, 2009 7:10 AM

Bogarting is indeed a reference to Humphrey Bogart. It refers to the
practice of holding on tight to a marijuana cigarette (the way Bogart, more
in films like Maltese Falcon than Casablanca, would hold onto his
cigarettes). Hence, a failure to share what should be passed around...

Ron Silliman

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