RE: Buggerlugs page 2

This is a discussion thread · 17 replies
1 2
Adrian Bailey:
[nq:2]In an interview in today's Guardian, the DJ/musician Norman Cook ... in both OED1 and Collins.) Any knowledge of regional distribution?[/nq]
[nq:1]Well known in 40s / 50s Lancashire. For many years I thought it was 'bug-a-lugs', never having seen it written ... gross or corpulent habit' from fusty + lug.('lug' in the sense of heavy or slow) Perhaps from buggy-lugs or bugs-in-lugs?[/nq]
I prefer "bug-a-lugs", since I don't think it's got anything to do with sodomy. A connection with insects and ears seems much more likely.

Adrian
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Mike Lyle:
[nq:2]Well known in 40s / 50s Lancashire. For many years ... sense of heavy or slow) Perhaps from buggy-lugs or bugs-in-lugs?[/nq]
[nq:1]I prefer "bug-a-lugs", since I don't think it's got anything to do with sodomy. A connection with insects and ears seems much more likely.[/nq]
I think so, too, and will modify my spelling.
Mike.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
MC:
[nq:1]I prefer "bug-a-lugs", since I don't think it's got anything to do with sodomy. A connection with insects and ears seems much more likely.[/nq]
Earwigs, presumably.

A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad.
‹Samuel Goldwyn
Proudly killfiling Jai Maharaj since 2003
http://www.schmuckwithanunderwood.com/trolls.htm
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Ian Noble:
[nq:1]It's familiar to me in Right-pondia. The dictionary of slang at http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/b.htm defines "buggerlugs Noun. A term of address, usually affectionate use. (Late 1800s)"[/nq]
Me too - my father used to use it occasionally. The context would be something along the lines of, "Oi, buggerlugs! get over here and..."

Cheers - Ian
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Robin Bignall:
[nq:2]I prefer "bug-a-lugs", since I don't think it's got anything to do with sodomy. A connection with insects and ears seems much more likely.[/nq]
[nq:1]Earwigs, presumably.[/nq]
That earwigs headed for the ears, dug in, and ate their way through to the other side of the head, was a common belief when I was a kid. It was hard not to believe, for just about every apple one bought back in the late 1940s / early '50s had a maggot burrowing somewhere through it, so the concept of little creatures eating their way through things was well established. I don't think that I've ever seen it written down, so I'd probably miss out the hyphens.

I don't remember my father using it, but my cousins, ranging in ages from 10 to 20 years older than I was, used to call me (and sometimes each other) bugalugs well before I was 10. I got the feeling at the time that it was an affectionate term that the older ones used on those who were younger, meaning something like "Hey you, with the big ears listening in to conversations between your elders..."

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Hertfordshire
England
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
peter curtiss:
[nq:2]Well known in 40s / 50s Lancashire. For many years ... sense of heavy or slow) Perhaps from buggy-lugs or bugs-in-lugs?[/nq]
[nq:1]Among others, my father, Qld born and bred, used it constantly in an affectionate way. A friend's English born and ... sense, IIRC, of "A.N.Other" or "whatisname". Partridge Dict. Hist. Slang calls it "offensive", which I never perceived. Mike.[/nq]My father (born Hampshire 1898) and my nother (Cornwall 1903) both used the term in the manner Mike suggested but I have never heard the word elsewhere. I assumed that it was Naval slang as my dad was in the Andrew for a long time. My mother also used the expression "Jonnick" for being honest and though I once read it in a novel as a word of the twenties used amongst horsey people (and she was of such on a farm in WWI) but that is another word that I have never heard elsewhere.

She also used the expression "daftest thing on Fullers" though she did not know about Fuller's Earth. Though married to a sailor she always confused "square rig" and "fore and aft rig" to distiguiish men dressed as seamen from those who wore a shirt and tie. Another oddity was that she could never remeber left from right and had to consult her wedding ring to establish direction.

Peter (who is not really Curtiss but has split identities to dodge spam).
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
CB:
[nq:2]I prefer "bug-a-lugs", since I don't think it's got anything to do with sodomy. A connection with insects and ears seems much more likely.[/nq]
[nq:1]Earwigs, presumably.[/nq]
Compare the expression "cute as a bug's ear": the word could just be an amplified version of "buglugs". Also, in the light of Robin Bignall's last comment, it might be analogous to "bug-eyes". CDB
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
John Holmes :
[nq:2]I prefer "bug-a-lugs", since I don't think it's got anything to do with sodomy. A connection with insects and ears seems much more likely.[/nq]
[nq:1]I think so, too, and will modify my spelling.[/nq]
The Australian Oxford has it as buggerlugs, Origin late 19C unknown.

I've always thought of it as bug-a-lugs, maybe by association with bugaboo. It is commonly used much as Harvey's post describes, or to refer to a specific but unnamed person (similar to referring to someone as "His Nibs" or "Kafoops" etc). The tone of it is mildly mocking rather than seriously insulting.
However, it is conceivable that it started life as a more serious insult in line with Partridge's etymology, and that it has softened over the years.

Regards
John
for mail: my initials plus those of alt.usage.english at tpg dot com dot au
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
John Dean:
[nq:2]Among others, my father, Qld born and bred, used it ... used it in the sense, IIRC, of "A.N.Other" or "whatisname".[/nq]
[nq:1]My father (born Hampshire 1898) and my nother (Cornwall 1903) both used the term in the manner Mike suggested but ... oddity was that she could never remeber left from right and had to consult her wedding ring to establish direction.[/nq]
Rick Jolly's guide to RN slang 'Jackspeak' doesn't have ***. Nor does 'Covey Crump' on the RN website.
OED has 'jannock' (a., adv) also spelt jonnock, jonnik, jonnic(k, jannic, jenick. for "fair, straightforward, genuine". Earliest use 1828. Poss. from 'jannock, n.' - Lancastrian dialect for a loaf of bread since C16.
Partridge has it too.
Etymology not known - wouldn't surprise me if it cam from "John (X)". When your Mother took off her wedding ring, how did she remember on which hand to put it back?

John Dean
Oxford
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Live chat
Registered users can join here