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[boh-gee; for 2 also boo g-ee, boo-gee]
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noun, plural bo·geys.
  1. Golf.
    1. a score of one stroke over par on a hole.
    2. par1(def 3).
  2. bogy1(defs 1–3).
  3. Also bogy, bogie. Military. an unidentified aircraft or missile, especially one detected as a blip on a radar screen.
  4. bogie1.
verb (used with object), bo·geyed, bo·gey·ing.
  1. Golf. to make a bogey on (a hole): Arnold Palmer bogeyed the 18th hole.

Origin of bogey1

First recorded in 1890–95; spelling variant of bogy2


noun, plural bo·geys.
  1. a swim; bathe.
verb (used without object), bo·geyed, bo·gey·ing.
  1. to swim; bathe.

Origin of bogey2

< Dharuk, equivalent to bū- bathe + -gi past tense marker


[boh-gee](sometimes initial capital letter)Slang.
verb (used with or without object), bo·geyed, bo·gey·ing, noun, plural bo·geys.
  1. bogart.

Origin of bogey3

1965–70; in reference to Bogey or Bogie, nickname of Humphrey Bogart


or bogie

[boh-gee; for 1, 2 also boo g-ee, boo-gee]
noun, plural bo·gies.
  1. a hobgoblin; evil spirit.
  2. anything that haunts, frightens, annoys, or harasses.
  3. something that functions as a real or imagined barrier that must be overcome, bettered, etc.: Fear is the major bogy of novice mountain climbers. A speed of 40 knots is a bogy for motorboats.
  4. Military. bogey1(def 3).
Also bo·gey (for defs 1–3).

Origin of bogy1

1830–40; bog, variant of bug2 (noun) + -y2


  1. Humphrey (DeForest)BogieorBogey, 1899–57, U.S. motion-picture actor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bogey



  1. an evil or mischievous spirit
  2. something that worries or annoys
  3. golf
    1. a score of one stroke over par on a holeCompare par (def. 5)
    2. obsoletea standard score for a hole or course, regarded as one that a good player should make
  4. slang a piece of dried mucus discharged from the nose
  5. air force slang an unidentified or hostile aircraft
  6. slang a detective; policeman
  1. (tr) golf to play (a hole) in one stroke over par

Word Origin

C19: probably related to bug ² and bogle 1; compare bugaboo



  1. to bathe or swim
  1. a bathe or swim

Word Origin

C19: from a native Australian language


  1. (tr) slang to monopolize or keep (something, esp a marijuana cigarette) to oneself selfishly

Word Origin

C20: after Humphrey Bogart, on account of his alleged greed for marijuana


  1. Humphrey (DeForest). nicknamed Bogie . 1899–1957, US film actor: his films include High Sierra (1941), Casablanca (1942), The Big Sleep (1946), The African Queen (1951), and The Caine Mutiny (1954)


noun plural -gies
  1. a variant spelling of bogey 1, bogie 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bogey


World War II aviator slang for "unidentified aircraft, presumably hostile," probably ultimately from bogge, a variant of Middle English bugge "a frightening specter" (see bug (n.)). Thus it shares ancestry with many dialect words, such as bog/bogge (attested 16c.-17c.), bogeyman (16c.), boggart "specter that haunts a gloomy spot" (c.1570, in Westmoreland, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire). The earliest modern form appears to be Scottish bogle "ghost," attested from c.1500 and popularized c.1800 in English literature by Scott, Burns, etc.


in golfing, c.1891, originally "number of strokes a good player is supposed to need for a given hole or course;" later, "score one over par" (1946); from the same source as bogey (n.1), on the notion of a "phantom" opponent, represented by the "ground score." The word was in vogue at the time in Britain because of the popularity of a music hall tune "Hush, Hush, Hush, Here Comes the Bogey Man."

One popular song at least has left its permanent effect on the game of golf. That song is 'The Bogey Man.' In 1890 Dr. Thos. Browne, R.N., the hon. secretary of the Great Yarmouth Club, was playing against a Major Wellman, the match being against the 'ground score,' which was the name given to the scratch value of each hole. The system of playing against the 'ground score' was new to Major Wellman, and he exclaimed, thinking of the song of the moment, that his mysterious and well-nigh invincible opponent was a regular 'bogey-man.' The name 'caught on' at Great Yarmouth, and to-day 'Bogey' is one of the most feared opponents on all the courses that acknowledge him. [1908, cited in OED]

Other early golfing sources give it an American origin. As a verb, attested by 1948.



1969, "to keep a joint in your mouth," dangling from the lip like Humphrey Bogart's cigarette in the old movies, instead of passing it on. First attested in "Easy Rider." The word was also used 1960s with notions of "get something by intimidation, be a tough guy" (again with reference to the actor and the characters he typically played). In old drinking slang, Captain Cork was "a man slow in passing the bottle."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper