A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Tue Apr 27 20:02:45 UTC 1999

Beverly Flanigan wrote:
> Andrea Vine wrote:
> >>I always assumed this was Anglo snobbery, just as posh invitations will use
> >>"colour" and "harbour", and even a character on 'Ally McBeal' last night
> cursed
> >>with the word "bugger".
> >>
> Cursed with the word "bugger"--is that a Britishism?  Was it a noun or a
> verb?  My dad (b. 1900, Minnesota) always used "bugger" (n.) to refer to a
> somehow-despised person; the first vowel was a wedge (upside down V).  A
> student of mine from Wisconsin, on the other hand, named his dog "Bugger,"
> pronounced with /U/.  For my dad, the word was a derogation; for my student
> it clearly was not.  I'm aware that the word could also be a verb--but is
> it British only?  (I don't use it in verb contexts....)

"Bugger" in the sense of "damn".  I believe the context was that some bad news
on a case was given to one of the attorneys, to which he said "bugger".

Can't say I've heard this much from Americans.  In fact, when I said it at a
prior job (where we sat in cubicles), a nearby English engineer accused me of
living with an Englishman too long!

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