bugger's grip

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bugger's grip

Post by Archived Topic » Sat Aug 21, 2004 6:01 pm

What is a "bugger's grip"? It has something to do with hair (possibly facial hair?). Found it in a quote from the book "The Professor and the Madman."
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Bugger's grip

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Aug 21, 2004 6:15 pm

From _Cassell's Dictionary of Slang_ (1998) by Jonathon Green:
bugger's grips n. [20C] (orig. RN) the brushed back 'wings' of hair that adorn the temples of many upper class Englishmen. Coarse rumour imputes these as the handholds for those who are positioning such partners ready for anal penetration.

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Bugger's grip

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Aug 21, 2004 6:29 pm

The above anonymous reply which answered what a “bugger’s grip” was [the ‘orig. RN’ in that posting meant ‘originally a Royal Navy’ expression] wasn’t very illuminating as to where it came from, which I’ll now address.

The word ‘bugger’ has a long and (in)glorious history. It also has several different meanings (noun, transitive and intransitive verb) which vary from Britain to the U.S.
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BUGGERY noun [Middle English (~1150-1350)] 1. sodomy; also = bestiality [early 16th century] 2. ‘to buggery’ to hell, to the devil, to damnation. [coarse slang early 20th century]
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BUGGER:
Noun 1. [early 18th century and still in use] Informal: A fellow, person, man, ‘a bloke’– none of which is necessarily pejorative <that silly bugger>; a lad (used affectionately) <a cute little bugger> 2. [1920s] Informal: Any object or thing <set the bugger down in that corner> 3. Often Vulgar: a sodomite in Britain, but this Standard English sense is no longer commonly understood in the U.S. 4. a) a despicable or contemptible person, especially a man; bastard; booger <those rich buggers don’t care abut cost> b) an annoying or troublesome thing or situation < that issue is a bugger> 5. a variant of booger (boogeyman or a piece of dried nasal mucus). 5. [1910s and still in use] an undertaking that is unpleasant, undesirable, difficult, dangerous, or just a great nuisance <It’s a bugger to do>, <that solo is a bugger to play>

Verb transitive 1. [late 16th century] Often Vulgar: to commit buggery; to sodomize <he got arrested for trying to bugger a boy in broad daylight> 2.[late 18th century] to curse, damn <bugger the cost – I want the best> 3. [1910s and still in use] (with similar sense development as ‘fuck,’ ‘screw,’ etc.) a) confound, ruin, spoil, to make a mess of, botch, interfere with, doom, confuse, etc.—usually constructed with ‘up’ as in ‘bugger up’<The short of it is he buggers things up> b) Chiefly British Slang: trick, cheat, victimize, deceive, or take advantage of <He has buggered us all.>

Verb intransitive. Chiefly British Slang: to depart or bug off [short for ‘bugger off’ –1920s and still in use]

Exclamation [late 19th century and still in use] synonym for ‘damn!’ Also in ‘I don’t give a bugger.’

(New Shorter OED, Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, and the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Merriam-Webster’s and the Random House Unabridged Dictionaries)
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But, all of the above just address the various meanings of the word, but not where it came from!
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Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins

‘Bugger’ in British English never means a child, as it does in American expressions like “he’s just a little bugger.” A ‘bugger’ in England is only a sodomite and ‘to bugger’ is only to sodomize.—in fact, use of the word in print was actionable in England for many years. ‘Bugger’ in this sense, which is American slang as well, derives, down a tortuous path, from medieval Latin ‘Bulgarus,’ meaning “both a Bulgarian and a sodomite.” [[The Bulgarians, belonging from the early Christian era to the Eastern Orthodox Church, were regarded by Western Europeans as heretics. Thus it was the Latin word came to be applied generically to any heretic and eventually specifically to the Albigenses, a Catharistic sect (ascetics who believed the world was divided between good and evil, and flesh and matter were evil – what’s left? Light!) in southern France in the 11th to 13th centuries. It passed via Old French ‘bougre’ and Middle Dutch ‘bugger’ into English, acquiring along the way the association of heresy with anal intercourse.]] The word first referred to a Bulgarian and then to the Bulgarian Albigenses or Bulgarian Heretics, an 11th century religious sect whose monks and nuns were believed to practice sodomy [[not likely for such an ascetic folks, but who knows what evil lurks? – since they didn’t believe in procreation, perhaps this was an early form of birth control (<:)]]. Some historians claim that the charge of sodomy against these heretic dissenters was a libel invented with the approval of the Church. They had already been banished from Bulgaria, were living in the south of France, and the trumped-up story caused the French to oust or exterminate them, too.

[[Now Standard English, the word was formerly regarded as vulgar and the 1888 OED states ‘in decent use only as a legal term.’ and they didn’t print the examples they cited. The weakened use of the word as a term of abuse dates from the early 18th century and no idea where the affectionate young lad thing fits in, unless there is somehow a young runny-nosed lad/booger connection]].

Note: [[ ]] is material I’ve inserted (from Ayto’s Dictionary of Word Origins and my twisted mind) and which wasn’t in the original Word Detective text.
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Ken G – February 1, 2003
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Bugger's grip

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Aug 21, 2004 6:44 pm

In other words, Bugger's grips are sort of like "love handles."

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Bugger's grip

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Aug 21, 2004 6:58 pm

Well, I'm buggered! = I am pleasantly surprised.
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Bugger's grip

Post by Archived Reply » Sat Aug 21, 2004 7:13 pm

Quoted in Simon Winchester's book - The Surgeon of Crowthorne
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Re: Bugger's grip

Post by morningrise » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:20 am

'Buggers grips' are bushy sideburns as modelled by Gaz Coombs, Lemmy, Hindenburg and sundry Victorian explorers etc. Used, apparently, to gain leverage while buggering the wearer!
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