Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Dec 6 22:48:51 UTC 2002

>#I've run into the word "bougie" many times ... but it doesn't mean
>#"bourgeois" to me.
>#Is/was the double-entendre intended?
>Double entendre?

"Bougie" (/buZi/ or /budZi/, not like "boogie-woogie" AFAIK):


"1. Medicine a. A slender, flexible, cylindrical instrument that is
inserted into a bodily canal, such as the urethra, to dilate, examine, or

This is actually how I would recognize the word (especially with regard to
dilation of the esophagus), but maybe it's medical jargon.

"b. See suppository."

I haven't heard this "bougie" for years, and I can't remember where I
encountered it. Is it medical jargon (perhaps obsolete) or is/was it
commonly used in lay English? If the latter, I suppose it could provide a
humorously derogatory or perhaps harmlessly frivolous intentional
deformation of "bourgeois".

"2. A wax candle."

I've never heard this one myself AFAIK.

-- Doug Wilson

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