origin of ‘bogart’ (to monopolise)

 

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart
photograph: Up in Smoke: Freedom and Responsibility in the Corporatist State
by Theodore Dalrymple
Law and Liberty

 

 

MEANING

 

to bogart something: to selfishly or greedily appropriate or keep something, originally and especially a marijuana cigarette

 

ORIGIN

 

Dennis Eskow gave the following explanations in the Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona) of 3rd March 1971:

“Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend, pass it over to me,” was the opening line of a rock song recorded by the Holy Modal Rounders¹ in 1968. […]
Bogarting a joint refers to the way Bogey² held a cigarette for long dialogues without smoking it.

¹ In fact, the song in question, copyrighted as Don’t Bogart That Joint on 8th January 1968 (words by Larry ‘Stash’ Wagner – music by Elliot Ingber), was first interpreted by the American band Fraternity of Man; it was popularised by the American film Easy Rider (1969), the soundtrack of which featured the song under the title Don’t Bogart Me.

² Bogey, or Bogie, was the nickname of the American actor Humphrey DeForest Bogart (1899-1957).

 

The verb was apparently used in Taking Off (1971), a film by the Czech director Miloš Forman (born 1932); in the review published in The Nashville Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) of 3rd June 1971, Harry Haun wrote:

Forman hilariously institutionalizes it [= misery] with a fictitious group called the Society for the Parents of Fugitive Children. An indication of the kindness of his comedy occurs at an elaborate S.P.F.C. banquet […].
The floor-show […] is an orientation session in grass smoking. A wild-haired pothead wafts forward to turn on the old-timers, acquaint them with dope terminology (“joint,” “Bogarting it,” etc.) and remind them that all butts are to be turned in to him.

Laura Sanders used the verb in a non-specific sense in The Home News (New Brunswick, New Jersey) of 7th November 1980 (Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) had just been elected President of the USA):

The “Desperate Journey” over, “Brother Rat” has joined “The Winning Team,” at least in the land of television, where Ronald Reagan movies have hit “King’s Row.”
United Artists, owner of the air rights to 32 of the 50-some movies Reagan made in his film years as the wavy-haired All-American Hero, reports that the demand for such unforgettables as “Dark Victory” and “Boy Meets Girl” has increased “in spotted fashion.”
[…]
A few stations – WCHL, WKBS – are bogarting their air time. “We have no plans to run them,” said Jim Sirmans, associate director of television press for WCBS-TV. In explanation, he quoted Jack Warner Jr. of Warner Brothers: “If my father had given Reagan better movies, he never would have been in politics.”

 

With allusion to the series of strong, tough characters played by Humphrey Bogart, the verb bogart is also used to mean to bully, intimidate, to force, coerce. For instance, on 19th October 1973, the Richmond Review (Richmond, British Columbia) published Foxx hires pals from lean years, about the American comedian Redd Foxx (John Elroy Sanford – 1922-91), star of CTV’s sitcom Sanford and Son, which contains:

Joe Busby met Redd in later years and was not originally asked to be in the series. However, when he heard the gang was going, he came too. Redd subsequently nicknamed him “Bogart” because he bogarted (slang expression for “forced”) his way on the show.

 

Don’t Bogart That Joint, by Fraternity of Man

Don’t bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me
Don’t bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me

Roll another one
Just like the other one
You’ve been hanging on to it
And I sure would like a hit

Don’t bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me
Don’t bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me

Ro-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oll another one
Just like the other one
That one’s just about burnt to the end
So come on and be a real friend

Don’t bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me
Don’t bogart that joint my friend
Pass it over to me

Leave a Reply