Larry Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 28 16:02:30 UTC 1999

At 1:02 PM -0700 4/27/99, A. Vine wrote:
>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".
Don't forget its use (also regionally restricted) as an intensifying
adverb, analogous to other expletives occurring in this frame:

        There's {bugger all/fuck all} I can do about it.   [i.e. 'nothing']


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