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Alternate meaning?[edit]

The following was posted on a Wikipedia talk page and alleges an entirely different meaning for the term. I have not yet had time to attempt to substantiate any of the claims made below. Rossami 05:28, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The definition says, "The term [bodge] was created after the collapse of a bridge designed by an architect named Bodge." This sounds like pure urban legend to me. (unsigned comment by [[w:user:

I agree, this is urban legend. "Bodgers" were originally wood turners/workers who made useful wooden tools and objects out of small pieces of waste wood. This was the use of "to bodge" in the 16th/17th & 18th C in England. (unsigned comment by w:user:

Not so! Bodging was the use of a pole lathe to turn wood in situ, a woodcraft practised around the country, and in is particularly well-known in the High Wycombe area and it's furniture industries (The local football team are nick-named the chairboys). Rather than cut and transport the wood to a workshop, it was more efficient to take the 'workshop' to the woods. I'm not sure how this skillful activity aquired it's negative conotations; maybe a view that factory made furniture was 'better'? Markb 07:34, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Too right. And as for this: "Bodge is British slang for a mistake of impressive magnitude, usually made through carelessness.". Nonsense. It's never used like that: "Oh no - the bridge fell down - such a terrible bodge to befall us!" I'm changing the main meaning to "clumsy,inelegant or inadequate solution to a problem". --Farry 14:42, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Any workman or craftsman I've ever heard use "bodge" has meant it in the sense of a repair or construction which is done with the tools and materials to hand and which is secure enough without being particularly elegant. In my experience the terms "botch" and "bodge" are used entirely differently and are not confused. However, Collins and Oxford each give these as synonyms. I first heard about the connection with wood-turning in the early 1980s from a craftsman greenwood turner. The connection the the Tay Bridge seems to me highly suspect.--Coconino 10:44, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Bodging is the art of skillful application of blue string and gaffa tape to problems. Perhaps some mention of scrapheap challenge should be made. (unsigned comment by w:user:

This article is sadly lacking in that there is no mention (except on the discussion page) of the use of the word relating to green woodworking. There are still bodgers carrying on their traditional, skilled craft. I refer to the following for more information: [1], [2] Ethicaljohn 20:13, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Bodge not botch![edit]

I'm am somebody with considerable bodging abilities and I must say that I am constantly indignant about the confusion between the words bodge and botch. Bodge, quite simply means 'to make good from rough materials'. Botch means mess up a job in a slipshod, half-baked manner. They have very different meanings, one describing a skill, the other describing the absence of skill. I'm am sceptical of the listed common origin of these words and feel it is a tad apocryphal. English language dictionarys tend to describe the common contemporary usage of words, in this case a usage that, I believe has been born from a culture that generally does not engage anymore in manufacture, craft or manual labour.

We try and describe how people actually use words, yes, and I'll bet bodge to mean botch has been around for decades, maybe as far back as the 19th century. I doubt it's a neologism. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:12, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

I do agree that in common public usage they have been understood to mean the same thing and for some time, but that may simply be down to the fact that they are similar sounding words. Within the crafts however I believe that the original meanings of these words have been preserved. The difference between a botched job and a bodged job is an important distinction to a craftsman, and after, all they coined the terms in the first place. We may have a bit of a schism here. I feel that the common usage is a clumsy accident of language and believe that each word having it's own definition is the more plausable interpretation. That bodge is viewed as a negative description I believe to be by assocciation with botch. Amongst craftsmen bodging abilities are considered badges of honour. Even Shakespeare makes the distinction, as I have discussed many times with some learned thespians.

I'm not denying that - I'm just saying that we describe not proscribe - words mean whatever people mean them to - did you know that peas was originally a singular noun, which became pea so the plural was peas. From memory, I think pease was the original plural (not sure). Mglovesfun (talk) 19:41, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Close, pease was the singular before that, and peasen was the plural! Mglovesfun (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Maybe, due to wiki ignorance I have been a bit proscriptive. I guess my main umbrage is the pejorative nature of the original wiki definition. To be able to bodge well is a remarkable creative act, and something the british are particularly good at. It in no way denotes shoddy work, only limited resources. I do believe that if they are synomyns it is because of their similarities in pronunciation. the 'make good' definition has existed in a longest continium. thank for your patience btw

A useful idea[edit]

In the (UK) Royal Air Force Bodge means to improvise - allegedly a woodturner had to find a suitable sapling and set his lathe near the delivery site - often copying existing spindles in broken chairs, railings etc. On mission, exact replacements may not be available, and aircraft should have authentic parts, but, in moments of dire necessity.... And if it all went '"egg shaped instead of round" then that was a botch!Timpo (talk) 18:38, 14 January 2013 (UTC)