Senses of selfishness and excess evolved from the original 1960’s use meaning “keep a joint in the mouth instead of passing it on”, recalling the actor’s signature practice of constantly keeping a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, even while talking. Other senses of “bullying” or “tough guy” also originated in the 1960’s and recall the actor’s various movie roles.
Another potential origin of the vernacular comes from Humphrey Bogart's role in the film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) in which his character, Dobbs, becomes increasingly selfish with the gold mine that he shares with his two partners.
bogart (plural bogarts)
- (slang) To selfishly take or keep something; to hog; especially to hold a joint (marijuana) dangling between the lips instead of passing it on.
- Dude, don’t bogart the chocolate fudge!
- Don’t bogart the can, man.
- (slang) To get something by bullying, intimidation; be a tough guy.
- He tried to bogart his way in.
- 1990, Stephen Dobyns, The House on Alexandrine, Wayne State University Press (ISBN 9780814338858), page 152
- “He comes trying to bogart his way into my house and he smashes two of my wWindows, two great big windows.”
- 2013, Sandra Kitt, Family Affairs, Open Road Media (ISBN 9781480438798)
- David studied Kel for a moment and considered the question. His former running buddy was a big man who'd learned early how to use his size to intimidate people. To bogart his way past resistance to instant gratification, whether it was for advantage in a one on one at the hoops or with a woman in bed.
- 2014, Travon Pugh, Have Heart Have Money, Queen C's Publishing (ISBN 9780692248423), page 33
- He sat patiently and rode it out, inching his way along, drinking a Red bull and listening to the news radio until he was able to bogart his way over to the lane on his right that was moving at a faster pace.
An early, prominent use of the term in reference to hogging a joint (marijuana cigarette) appeared in the lyrics of the song “Don’t Bogart Me” by the American band Fraternity of Man. The song was released on LP in 1968, and subsequently used in the 1969 film Easy Rider. In 1978, Little Feat's widely celebrated live album Waiting For Columbus included a song entitled “Don't Bogart That Joint”. In the television series The Mentalist (Season 5, Episode 10), Patrick Jane, a consultant with the "CBI," informs a tobacco company that "someone bogarted your stash" of Marijuana.
- (selfishly keep): hog