I spotted some click-bait the other day promising ‘mind bogling’ content.
I think they meant ‘boggling’, and I have to say that if they ARE going to troll for views, they could at least proof their own typing.
But then I decided it might be intentional, which got me wondering about what ‘bogling’ might possibly mean. It looks like Brit public school slang of the kind the RAF were so good at appropriating. Probably more verb than noun or adjective. You know: ‘I say, Carstairs, remember the time we were bogling around on the Wankie game reserve when I saw this bally tiger?’, or ‘Bigglesworth! I think Jerry’s just dropped in for a quick bogle.’
Bogle seemed such a good word of itself that eventually I decided to try my luck with the OED. You never know. And there it was. Not too surprising. English has over one million individual real words in it, including walrus and calypigian.† And bogle. This, it turns out, is a noun of sixteenth century origin, meaning variously a phantom or goblin; or – in Scotland – a scarecrow.
Of course, that wasn’t what the writers of the click-bait meant with their typo, but in any event I declined to click on it. I didn’t want to be bogled.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016