[Ads-l] Bog standard

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 19 16:39:32 EST 2017

Now I see that the OED entry has the 1962 match in Google Books as the
first citation.

[Begin excerpt from OED]
bog-standard, adj.
Origin: Of uncertain origin.
Etymology: Origin uncertain; perhaps an alteration of box-standard
adj. (although this is first attested later), after bog n.4 Differing
theories of the origin of bog-standard have been proposed, but none
proven. An immediate association with bog n.1 seems unlikely on
semantic grounds. The most commonly held view is that the transition
from box to bog resulted from a mishearing or misunderstanding of
box-standard n.

  Ordinary, basic, standard; without extra features or modification;
unexceptional or uninspired. Cf. box-standard adj.

1962   Motor Sport Apr. 283/1 (advt.)    Bog standard Sprite, 1959, two owners.
1968   Hot Car Oct. 35/1   The brakes are bog-standard—anyway Barry
says he only uses them in the paddock!
[End excerpt from OED]

On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 4:29 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Google Books has a match for "bog standard" in an issue of a
> periodical called "New Society" that probably was published circa
> 1969. The snippet indicates that the phrase was employed in the
> automotive domain. The phrase was used in the description of a car,
> but it is easy to see how the meaning could be extended to yield the
> modern semantics.
> Year: 1969
> Periodical: New Society
> Volume 14
> Quote Page 446
> Database: Google Books Snippet; data is incomplete and may be
> inaccurate; search for "1969" displays snippets from issues published
> in 1969
> https://books.google.com/books?id=lPMqAAAAMAAJ
> [Begin extracted text]
> It has become the custom of the industry to quote a basic selling
> price that applies only to a car so bog-standard that no one would
> normally want to buy it (no heater, no windscreen washers, no
> reversing light, no external mirrors, no carpets, ...
> [End extracted text]
> There a few more pertinent matches for "bog standard" in "Motor Sport"
> earlier in the 1960s. Here are two examples:
> Year: 1968
> Periodical: Motor Sport
> Quote Page 289
> Google Books Snippet: Searches show that 1969 cars are for sale, but
> 1970 is a future date
> https://books.google.com/books?id=TypBAQAAIAAJ
> [Begin extracted text]
> I know Porsche make a hot 91 IS and a hotter 91 1R, but my Jaguar is
> bog-standard
> [End extracted text]
> Year: 1962
> FOR SALE — continued
> Periodical: Motor Sport
> Quote Page 282
> Google Books Snippet; search for "1962" displays snippets from issues
> published in 1962
> https://books.google.com/books?id=8VhEAAAAIAAJ
> [Begin extracted text]
> BOG STANDARD SPRITE, 1959, two owners,.
> [End extracted text]
> Below is a match in the railroad domain
> [Begin raw match that I have not examined; looks like the railroad domain]
> The Journal of Transport History - Page 125
> https://books.google.com/books?id=WqG5ftgqegQC
> 1961 - Snippet view - More editions
> The track on the Clifden line consisted of 65 Ib. flat-bottomed rails
> laid on half round cross sleepers, while on one large bog standard
> M.G.W.R. 79 Ib. rails were employed. After completion of the line the
> company ran some of its heaviest ...
> [End raw match]
> Garson
> On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 2:29 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Thanks. Still puzzled, but at least I know I'm not alone.
>> On Feb 19, 2017 1:40 PM, "Michael Quinion" <
>> michael.quinion at worldwidewords.org> wrote:
>>> Used by a blogger I follow who, when queried, explained thus:
>>> It's a slang term I picked up from my extended family, of British origin
>>> (and sometimes spelled bog-standard or even bogstandard). It means utterly
>>> ordinary, unremarkable, and unexceptional.
>> For more see http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bog1.htm
>> --
>> Michael Quinion
>> michael.quinion at worldwidewords.org
>> http://www.worldwidewords.org
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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