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[boh-guh s] /ˈboʊ gəs/
not genuine; counterfeit; spurious; sham.
Printing, Journalism. matter set, by union requirement, by a compositor and later discarded, duplicating the text of an advertisement for which a plate has been supplied or type set by another publisher.
Origin of bogus
1825-30, Americanism; originally an apparatus for coining false money; perhaps akin to bogy1
1. fraudulent, pseudo, fake, phony. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bogus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Save for subsiding bubbles, and the bogus water, there was nothing there.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • In all such cases the heraldry should be true, and not of the "bogus" kind.

    Wood-Carving George Jack
  • She must explain to me how that bogus money came into her possession.

    Frank Merriwell's Bravery Burt L. Standish
  • By some fearful mischance I dropped a real despatch and not the bogus one.

    The Lost Despatch Natalie Sumner Lincoln
  • Wall, I must say I like yer looks a heap better nor I did the bogus one!

    Dave Porter in the Gold Fields Edward Stratemeyer
British Dictionary definitions for bogus


spurious or counterfeit; not genuine: a bogus note
Derived Forms
bogusly, adverb
bogusness, noun
Word Origin
C19: from bogus apparatus for making counterfeit money; perhaps related to bogey1
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
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Word Origin and History for bogus

1838, "counterfeit money, spurious coin," American English, apparently from a slang word applied (according to some sources first in Ohio in 1827) to a counterfeiter's apparatus.

One bogus or machine impressing dies on the coin, with a number of dies, engraving tools, bank bill paper, spurious coin, &c. &c. making in all a large wagon load, was taken into possession by the attorney general of Lower Canada. [Niles' Register, Sept. 7, 1833, quoting from Concord, New Hampshire, "Statesman," Aug. 24]
Some trace this to tantrabobus, also tantrabogus, a late 18c. colloquial Vermont word for any odd-looking object, in later 19c. use "the devil," which might be connected to tantarabobs, recorded as a Devonshire name for the devil. Others trace it to the same source as bogey (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bogus



  1. False; fake; counterfeit; phony (1830s+)
  2. Ignorant; not up-to-date; unattractive; lame, square: ''Bogus'' is a different shading of ''lame'' (1980s+ Teenagers)
  3. Not to be trusted; useless, false, wrong, silly, incredible, etc (1980s+ Computers)

[origin unknown; certainly connected with bogus,attested as name of a counterfeiting machine in 1827, whence a connection has been made with bogy]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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