bovver

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Represents a nonstandard or dialectal (in particular Cockney) pronunciation of bother.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bovver (plural bovvers)

  1. Eye dialect spelling of bother.
    • 1990, Linda Svendsen, Words We Call Home: Celebrating Creative Writing at UBC, University of British Columbia Press, page 38,
      "You specials," Nigel said disgustedly. "I don't know why I bovver, really I don't."
    • 1997, Patricia Guiver, Delilah Doolittle and the Purloined Pooch, page 27,
      No need to tell me, I'd recognize that Cockney accent anywhere! “I'm in a bit of bovver,” he said. “Do me a favour and go to the shelter and do the necessary for Trixie.”
    • 2007, Hugh Walpole, The Golden Scarecrow, page 83,
      "What do you think, Lucy?"
      "Oh, I don't know. How can I tell? Don't bother."
      It was then that Bim felt what was, for him, a very rare sensation. He was irritated.
      "I don't bovver," he said, with a cross look in the direction of his brother and sister Rochesters. "No, but, Lucy, s'pose some one—nurse s'pose—did fall down into the street and broke all her legs and arms, she wouldn't be dead would she?"
  2. (UK, slang) Violence, especially that associated with youth gangs.
    • 1976, Freda Adler, Herbert Marcus Adler, Sisters in Crime: The Rise of the New Female Criminal, page 100,
      In London there are some thirty gangs of “bovver birds,” violence-prone girls who roam the streets in packs attacking almost any vulnerable object for no apparent reason other than the sheer thrill of it.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]