E Zine of KV Pattom published by the Library

Boogie

In Word of the week on March 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Boogie (verb)

Pronunciation: [‘bu-gee]

Definition: (Humorous slang) To dance in a fast and unrestrained fashion; to move quickly, hurry; to leave or get moving.

Usage: The term is used humorously in North America as a term meaning “let’s party” (also slang) or “let’s get moving.” Other than the expectable “boogying,” it is an orphan that has not gained wide acceptability in the English-speaking world.

Suggested Usage: Like all slang words, the meaning of this one is so general that it may be applied to almost any motion in the sense of an intensifier, to move exceptionally in some way: “When he saw the new car his parents bought him for his birthday, Sanford’s eyes boogied around in their sockets several times.” It can add a bit of color in top of its inherent humor in casual conversation, “As the pungent Island aromas began boogying out of the kitchen, Tremayne’s esteem for Shallala rocketed.”

Etymology: From “boogie-woogie” a reduplication of “boogie,” certainly from Black English, possibly from Black West African English bogi “to dance” akin to Hausa buga “to hit, beat (drums, etc.)” “Boogie-Woogie” entered the American idiom from a 1928 recording “Pinetop’s Boogie-Woogie” by Clarence “Pinetop” Smith. It was originally a piano style that developed in the U.S. after rag-time based on recurrent chord progression C-F-C-F-C-G-F-C played with a strong recurrent bass rhythm. These chords were the immediate predecessor of the blues and made a come-back in early rock and roll. The dancing that accompanied boogie was fast and unbridled, hence the meaning of today’s word.

–Dr. Language, YourDictionary.com

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