Posted by James Briggs on April 15, 2002
In Reply to: Bodge, bodger posted by R. Berg on April 15, 2002
: : CHAIR BODGER -- "Don Weber, a Welsh chair bodger, or chair maker, worked on a lathe in his Paint Lick (Kentucky) shop last week. Weber trained in the old craft of woodworking when he lived in Great Britain. He needs only period tools.no electricity, nails or screws are used." Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, April 15, 2002.
: : Anyone know the origin of "bodger"?
: BODGE, v. Obs. or dial. [An altered form of BOTCH, v. . . . ]
: 1. trans. To patch or mend clumsily.
: 2. 'To bodge up'; to put together clumsily; to botch up, to do or make up in a clumsy fashion.
: BODGER, Obs. or dial. One who 'bodges'; a botcher.
: 1552 . . . Bodger, botcher, mender, or patcher of olde garmentes.
I've always understood that 'bodger' was a mediaeval term for a country craftsman in wood, especially for making simple chairs. This meaning doesn't seem to have entered the dictionaries, but the name is retained as a surname in the UK, a bit like 'Fletcher' (arrow maker). In 1999 there were just under 300 people with this surname in the UK.