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Etymology 1[edit]

From French bougre, from Medieval Latin Bulgarus (Bulgar), used in designation of heretics (especially the Bogomils, who arose around the 10th century AD in the First Bulgarian Empire), to whom various unnatural practices and perversions such as sodomy were ascribed. Doublet of Bulgar.


bugger (plural buggers)

  1. (obsolete) A heretic.
  2. (Britain law) Someone who commits buggery; a sodomite.
    The British Sexual Offences Act of 1967 is a buggers′ charter.
  3. (slang, derogatory, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) A foolish or worthless person or thing; a despicable person.
    He's a silly bugger for losing his keys.
    The bugger′s given me the wrong change.
    My computer's being a bit of a bugger.
    • 1928, Frank Parker Day, Rockbound, Gutenberg Australia eBook #0500721h,
      “I′ll take it out on dat young bugger,” he thought viciously.
    • 1947, James Hilton, So Well Remembered, Gutenberg Australia eBook #0600371h,
      Here the cheers and shouts of the gallery were interrupted by a shabby little man in the back row who yelled out with piercing distinctness: “Don't matter what you call ′im now, George. The bugger′s dead.”
  4. (slang, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) A situation that causes dismay.
    So you're stuck out in the woop-woop and the next train back is Thursday next week. Well, that's a bit of a bugger.
  5. (slang, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) Someone viewed with affection; a chap.
    How are you, you old bugger?
  6. (slang, dated) A damn, anything at all.
    I don't give a bugger how important you think it is.
  7. (slang, Britain) Someone who is very fond of something
    I'm a bugger for Welsh cakes.
  8. (slang, US) A whippersnapper, a tyke.
    What is that little bugger up to now?
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


bugger (third-person singular simple present buggers, present participle buggering, simple past and past participle buggered)

  1. (vulgar, Britain) To sodomize.
    To be buggered sore like a hobo's whore (Attributed to Harry Mclintock's 1920s era Big Rock Candy Mountain)
  2. (slang, vulgar in Britain) To break or ruin.
    This computer is buggered! Oh no! I've buggered it up.
  3. (slang, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) To be surprised.
    Bugger me sideways!
    Bugger me, here's my bus.
    Well, I'm buggered!.
    Buggered if I know the answer to that.
  4. (slang, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) To feel contempt for some person or thing.
    Bugger Bognor. (Alleged to be the last words of King George V of the United Kingdom in response to a suggestion that he might recover from his illness and visit Bognor Regis.)
  5. (slang, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) To feel frustration with something, or to consider that something is futile.
    Bugger this for a lark.
    Bugger this for a game of soldiers.
  6. (slang, Britain, Australia, New Zealand) To be fatigued.
    I'm buggered from all that walking.
Derived terms[edit]



  1. (slang, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, vulgar) An expression of annoyance or displeasure.
    Bugger, I've missed the bus.

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From bug +‎ -er.


bugger (plural buggers)

  1. One who sets a bug (surveillance device); one who bugs.
Related terms[edit]