[Ads-l] Bog standard

Yagoda, Ben byagoda at UDEL.EDU
Mon Feb 20 07:57:43 EST 2017

Here’s my Not One-Off Britishisms post on “bog standard.”


The comments discuss various possible etymologies, including some of the ones mentioned here. One commenter said: "To offer my own bit of popular ‘etymology’, perhaps ‘bog-standard’ referred to the old “bog-roll” toilet paper, before soft tissue, especially the kind with “property of HM Government” on every sheet.”

This one seemed dubious: "In the 20th Century the Meccano toy construction sets had two starter packs: the Box Standard and the Box Deluxe. Over time these have given rise to the expressions bog standard and dog’s bollocks.”

Another noted, "Not the oldest source, but a great leak of UK English into US; J. K. Rowling uses it in 2003 'we thought it was a bog standard chicken until it started breathing fire.’”


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

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