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Re: Still don't know how 'bog' originated

Posted by Masakim on September 14, 2003

In Reply to: Still don't know how 'bog' originated posted by Lotg on September 14, 2003

: : : : : : Why do some people in Britain - I think it may be Irish people in particular - refer to the toilet at "the bog"? Shae?

: : : : : The Compact OED says it is 'British informal' for toilet. It is seldom used in Ireland, so I think it must indeed be British. 'The john' is another British expression for 'toilet,' while 'the jacks' is commonly used in Ireland. I've no idea why, though.

: : : : Actually, the 'john' is virtually unused in the UK - we regard it as a US term. We widely use 'Loo'. The origin of this word is as diverse and obscure as that of 'OK'!!!

: : :
: : : I believe the word "loo" meaning the toilet comes from the french "l'eau" (water). In days gone by, before proper sanitation, people would throw their slops out of the window, shouting "Guardez l'eau!" - watch out for the water!

: : I always thought 'Bog' was a British army term. We always called it toilet or lavatory when I was young (1950's). 'Loo' and 'Bog' seemed to become popular in the 1960's.

: ::: Where it's used, how and when is all fine, but we still don't know how the term has come about, and I'd like to know too. I suppose the mind can conjure up some fairly unpleasant pictures, but does anyone actually know why the term 'the bog' is used in reference to going to the toilet, loo, dunny, john, lavatory, wc, etc.?

BOG HOUSE. The necessary house. To go to bog; to go to stool.
From _Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue_ by Captain Grose et al.
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bog, n. (Often the bogs.) Abbr. bog-house, q.v., a privy: since early C.19 (in _Spy__, 1825); orig. Oxford University s., > C.20 coll. Also, by ca. 1945, Aus. (A. Buzo, 1973). Hence _go to bog_, 'to go to stool' (_Lex. Bal_, 1811), and _do_ or _have a bog_: low. ...
bog, v. To defecate: from ca. 1870; s. >, ca. 1920, low cool., including Public Schools'. (Baumann; B.P.) ...
bog-house. A privy: from ca. 1670; low coll. ...
From A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 8th Edition by Eric Partridge & Paul Beale