Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Apr 11 12:23:48 UTC 2010

Michael Quinion wrote:
> The leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron (Eton and Oxford), was
> visiting a big bakery in Bolton last week. He made a joke about his
> failure to make his own bread: "So it'll be back to boughten loaves in
> future." This adjective (meaning shop-bought) isn't known in standard
> British English, though it was once in the dialects of southern England
> (almost completely defunct now, I believe). I'm wondering if Cameron might
> have picked it up in the US. Some newspaper comments I've read suggest
> that, though it's known, it's deprecated as dialectal or regional. What do
> you say about its US distribution and status?

MWDEU is good as usual IMHO:

This includes a review of the DARE entry.

I think most would find "boughten" rural or old-fashioned. I see the
word discussed as "quaint" etc. in 20th century newspaper columns. But
occasional apparently non-self-conscious examples (both 'participle' and
'adjective') can be found in print from the 20th century, and even in
recent Web usage.

Even more so: "boughtened", "store-bought[en[ed]]".

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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