[Ads-l] "Bugger"

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Tue Jul 12 10:27:43 EDT 2016

This is pretty-much well-established.  The Roman Catholic church started the 
trend in their stigmatising of the Cathars:

"Following their principles, Cathars could deduce that sexual intercourse 
between man and wife was more culpable than homosexual sex. (Catholic 
propaganda on this supposed Cathar proclivity gave us the word bugger, from 
Bougre, one of the many names for medieval Gnostic Dualists)."

    --    http://www.cathar.info/

Thus (later) the Bulgers in Voltaire.

Robin Hamilton


-----Original Message----- 
From: Yagoda, Ben
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: "Bugger"

I just found an interesting letter to the “Comment and Query” section of the 
New York Times “Saturday Review of Books and Art.” It is dated July 9, 1898, 
and the writer is William Harlow, PhD, of Connecticut. He wonders whether a 
“Dictionary of Colloquial and Dialectic English Words” has ever been 
published. Among “those quaint words which I often hear country people use,” 
he says, are nincompoop, snub, and Bugger (the capitalization is Dr. Harlow’s). 
He says the last is “from a Bulgarian heretic who was supposed to be capable 
of any evil deed.”

That is the same etymology provided by the OED.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list