Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 01:44:45 -0400
From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: BOGUS (movie title); other stuff (LAME DUCK, CORNERED, MARTINI, etc.)
A BOGUS movie opened up last week. No, I mean a movie called BOGUS--not a
bogus movie! For the producers' sake, let's hope the customers don't pay
with bogus coin!
"Bogus" is an important Americanism with a very uncertain etymology.
Early citations give an 1827 reference from Indiana. This doesn't help
much, but it's an 1825 reference from Indiana. This is from THE MICROSCOPE
(Early American Newspaper Series), New Albany, IND, 19 February 1825, vol. 1,
no. 43, pg. 3, col. 2:
FRANKFORT, KY. FEB. 12, 1825.
Dear Tim--The _Mush-room_ Court of _Re_peals acted a Political,
phantastical, Comic-tragic, Whimsical Burlesque Opera, in this town on
Thursday & Friday last, to the great amusement of spectators, and terror of
all the negroes. I will give you a sketch of the _fetes_--
Act I Scene 1--The Right honorable, the Lord chief Just_ass_ of Rag
commerce, took the seat which he bought of the old Buzzard, at uncle Ned's
cost. Scene 2--Three other Right honorable rag merchants and constitution
brakers, took seats by the _Mush_room chief and thus formed the _Mushroom_
Court of _Re_peals. Scene 3--Enter Bogus, as _Sharp_ as a razor, with a
sheet of paper in his hand--_Bogus_. I pray your honorable selves to hear
me--_aside_ What a show four great mush-heads make, considering they are