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See also: Bougie



  • IPA(key): /ˈbuːʒi/, enPR: bo͞oʹzhē
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːʒi

Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from French bougie (wax candle), after the Algerian city Bougie (Béjaïa), and the tapered, hand-dipped candles it made. The medical instruments were originally made from waxed linen.


bougie (plural bougies)

  1. (medicine) A tapered cylindrical instrument for introducing an object into a tubular anatomical structure, or to dilate such a structure, as with an esophageal bougie.
  2. A wax candle.

Etymology 2[edit]

From bourgeoisie.


bougie (comparative bougier, superlative bougiest)

  1. (chiefly African-American Vernacular, slang, usually derogatory) Behaving like or pertaining to people of a higher social status, middle-class / bourgeois people (sometimes carrying connotations of fakeness, elitism, or snobbery).
    • 1991, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Season 2, Episode 3, Will Gets a Job, airdate September 23, 1991:
      Hey, look, man, I haven't changed, I'm not gonna change and I'm not down with this bougie stuff.
    • 2007, Satire pervades the series of fictional magazine covers , L. Kent Wolgamott, The Lincoln Journal Star, October 12, 2007, [1]:
      Called “bougie” when she was growing up, even though she’d never considered herself close to that, Ewing has turned the word around, using it as the title of a fictitious magazine she has dreamed up.
    • 2007, "Glamorous" by Fergie:
      I'll be on the movie screens
      Magazines and bougie scenes
      I'm not clean, I'm not pristine
      I'm no queen, I'm no machine
    • 2010, RuPaul's Drag Race, Season 2, Episode 1, Gone With the Window, airdate February 1, 2010:
      Shangela is kind of bougie, but she's also your homegirl.
    • 2010, "Sleazy" by Ke$ha:
      I don't need you or your brand new Benz
      Or your bougie friends
      I don't need love lookin' like diamonds
      Lookin' like diamonds
  2. (Britain, Canada, slang) Fancy or good-looking, without the same connotations of snobbery or pretentiousness as in sense 1.
Alternative forms[edit]
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bougie (plural bougies)

  1. (chiefly African-American Vernacular, slang, usually derogatory) A person who exhibits bougie behavior.
    • 1991 [1965], Nathan Hare, “Introduction”, in The Black Anglo-Saxons, page iii:
      All in all, Black Anglo-Saxons today remain a variegated group, and their numbers continue, relentlessly, to multiply. / In the late 1960's[sic – meaning 1960s] following the first appearance of this book, The Black Anglo-Saxons, street militants and conscious members of the Black middle class popularly called them "bougies."



From Bougie, the French name for the Algerian town of Béjaïa بجاية‎, formerly known for exporting candle wax. Attested 1300 for "fine candle wax", and 1493 for "candle made from such wax".



bougie f (plural bougies)

  1. candle
  2. spark plug

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: bougie
  • Gulay: bùjì
  • Romanian: bujie

Further reading[edit]