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Friday, February 24, 2012

Selections from My Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Slang bug!
  • Slang bug!

Continuing last week's Blogtown series, where I peruse my favorite book in the world, the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume I, A-G by J.E. Lighter. Speaking of hidden treasures (beautiful segue, right?), I found that dried-out lotus-sitting bug in my desk this morning—right beside a mysterious Dominican Republican cigar. Who used this desk before me, Kafka?

This week's slang is brought to you by the letter "B."

buggerlug v. to engage in aimless or trivial activities.
1871: "They only make the old buggerlugger stick her round nose in the water, and don't help... a mite." 1894: "Doldrums... There ain't no wind at all, an you jess buggalug aroun'." "Twarn't no... time fur the skipper to be buggaluggin' aroun' down below."

bloomer cricket n. crotch cricket. Jocular.
1974: Univ. Tenn. grad. student, age 22. "Bloomer crickets are damn crabs. I heard an old boy from the mountains use that in western North Carolina, 1973."

buffy adj. [orig. unkn.] tipsy. Rare in U.S.
1858-1859: "I must have conducted myself with extreme propriety, and not as you did at the Clissolds', when you came in buffy." 1923: "I don't want to get buffy tonight; have to work tomorrow."

Buggin' out 'til next week, slangsters.

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