[Ads-l] boof

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 29 03:38:26 UTC 2018

Allow me to disagree with Andy Bach. I want to suggest 2 possibilities,
although both are speculations

1. Per GOT finds, boofing==flatulence has some appearances in the 1990s. We
have a nearly blank slate in the 80s. There seems to be little doubt of
aides working around the clock to give Kavanaugh plausible alternative
explanations for potentially offensive passages. It's possible that they
either found or experienced this version of the word and suggested it to
Kavanaugh, regardless of what the original meant. I would argue that
imposing this later lexeme on the yearbook exchange makes no sense
(particularly if it refers "primarily to children").

2. On the other hand, one item that was particularly popular in 1982-84 was
the Purity Test, in multiple versions (the test likely spans the entire
century, not just that limited period). This was used essentially as a
bragging contest among high-school & college students (particularly the
latter, but some classmates had mentioned they they had versions of this in
their high schools). Some MIT frats were known to have staged contests
based on purity test (kind of a sexual scavanger hunt). Anal sex is usually
at least one of the questions on the test. Given the obsession some had
shown WRT the purity test, it seems likely that a version of that "contest"
would've existed at DC/MD prep schools of that period

MIT purity tests

Other purity tests


On Fri, Sep 28, 2018, 4:00 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>

> I just checked the Usenet database for boof. The search engine is
> terrible, and only a subset of matches is shown. (The Google Books
> search engine is also terrible nowadays.) The term boof is linked to
> sex and to flatulence in the 1990s. I could not get the database to
> reveal matches in the 1980s although they may be present.
> ...

> On Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 2:29 PM Andy Bach <afbach at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Within the last hour, Judge Kavanaugh has explained that "boufed" in
> his
> > yearbook was a "reference to flatulence."
> >
> > Having graduated H.S. in '77 I will say that the phrase "Have you boofed
> > yet?" seems really unlikely to refer to boofu-ing.   I mean, admittedly,
> > usage in his fancy east coast H.S. might be different, but was it some
> sort
> > of contest to see who could find a partner willing to boof with them? Or,
> > was it a daily occurrence, as in "have you showered yet?".   I'd have to
> go
> > with it being just the more juvenile "flatulence".

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list