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And the dictionary says...

Posted by Word Camel on December 10, 2004

In Reply to: The Bung Hole in High Holborn posted by Word Camel on December 10, 2004

: : : In a heated discussion a student recently told another student to "Stick it in your bunghole!"

: : : When I asked him if he was aware of what a "bunghole" was, he said he was not, but that it was synonymous with a**hole, and as such was in common usage among young people.

: : : I realize that Rap, Hip-Hop and Pop Culture are notorious for taking established words and phrases and ascribing new meanings to them, but at what point in the evolution of the language do these new meanings become acceptable? Also, I have two requests.

: : : Can anyone provide another example of a word or phrase that started out meaning one thing and ended up meaning something else, and has anyone heard "bunghole" as another term for the double bull in darts?

: : the only odd place on a dart board is "madhouse" for double 1. being so called because modest players find it very difficult to get it to go 'out' and finish the game.

: : some people play 'splitting the 11' as double 1/2 if they get too fed up with double 1 and get a singleton.

: : 'bung-hole' I suppose would be any round opening that can be plugged. a rectum shouldn't really be described as a bung-hole, as it is a sphincter which does not require an additional piece to seal, the same as an 'iris'. a 'plug' is usually horizontal, but the word 'plug' is synonymous with 'bung', which albeit usually vertical, need not be.

: : L

: There is a wine bar in High Holborn, in London called The Bung Hole. I seem to remember that on a sign above their entrance, they proclaim that the origin of the term comes from the cubbies (attatched to a desk?) where law clerks would stuff papers they weren't using, a bit like a "pigeon hole". This always seemed plausible to me because of the verb "to bung", as in "Bung it over here." Perhaps it has been assumed that it means the other because "bung" rhymes with "dung". Or perhaps it does and the wine bar is just the legal sense of humour.

bung ( P ) Pronunciation Key (bng)
n.
A stopper especially for the hole through which a cask, keg, or barrel is filled or emptied.
A bunghole.

tr.v. bunged, bung·ing, bungs
To close with or as if with a cork or stopper.
Informal. To injure or damage: fell on skis and bunged up my leg.
Chiefly British. To fling; toss: "The Hungarian director bungs star Klaus Maria Brandauer once more into the breaches of past Teuton history" (Nigel Andrews)

[Middle English bunge, from Middle Dutch bonge, from Late Latin pncta, hole, from Latin, feminine past participle of pungere, to prick. See peuk- in Indo-European Roots.]

From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

And the moral of the story is - don't rely on the Camel's memory. *cringe*