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Alternative forms[edit]


Of uncertain etymology, but probably derived from a corruption of box-standard under influence from bog (shitter, coarse slang for an outhouse or toilet), possibly via bog-wheel (Cambridge slang for bicycle),[1] or from bog (unsettled swampland) in reference to a lack of sophistication or polish.[2] Sometimes folk etymologized as separately deriving from bog (toilet) + standard after a supposed similarity among chamberpots or toilets[2] (despite box-standard predating it by a century and bog's original use only in reference to latrines and outhouses) or from the unattested acronym BOG standing for British or German.[3]


bog standard

  1. (Britain slang, pejorative) Utterly basic, ordinary, or standard; unremarkable, unexceptional, etc.
    • 1962 April, Motor Sport, p. 283:
      Bog standard Sprite, 1959, two owners.
    • 1972 May 15, Daily Mirror, p. 21:
      She was ‘bog standard’—meaning straight from the production line without modifications.


Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "bog-standard, adj." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crystal, David. "Bog standard" for Learning English: Keep Your English Up to Date. BBC (London).
  3. ^ Quinion, Michael. World Wide Words. "Bog-standard". 2 June 2001.