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

public barbers.