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Alternative forms[edit]


Unknown, but probably derived from a corruption of box-standard under influence from bog (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, allegedly short for British or German, referring to the supposed dominance of British and German engineering during Victorian times.[3]


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  1. (UK, Ireland slang, derogatory) Utterly basic, ordinary, or standard; unremarkable, unexceptional, etc.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:common, Thesaurus:normal
    • 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.
    • 2019 December 18, Barry Doe, “Little prospect of a return to the great days of InterCity”, in Rail, page 73:
      Don't misunderstand me: there's nothing wrong with a low-cost bog-standard service, it's just that many people want something more and are happy to pay for it.

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. ^ Michael Quinion (1996–2023), “Bog-standard”, in World Wide Words.

Further reading[edit]