Bogart was a dice game featured in the Cheapass Games Spring 1999 Catalog. It's distinction was that it used nothing but d4's. What follows is the rules, taken from said catalog.


Players: 2-6

Playing Time: 15 Minutes

Equipment: Five 4-sided dice, and a stack of poker chips.

Object: To score 30 points.

To Begin: There is a holding area called the "Pot" in the middle of the table, and an unlimited supply of chips elsewhere, called the "Bank." Play begins with a random player, and proceeds to the left.

On Each Turn: Put one chip from the Bank into the Pot, and roll one die. If you roll a "1" you are "aced out." This means your turn is over, and you pass the dice to the left.

If you do not roll a "1," you may either collect the Pot and end your turn, or you may roll again. If you roll, add two chips to the pot and roll two dice. If you roll a "1" on either die you are aced out. If you don't roll any 1's, you may take the pot, or keep going with three dice.

This process continues, using one more die and adding one more chip each time you repeat. If you ever roll a "1" you are aced out, and if you don't roll a "1" you may either take the Pot or roll again. Whether you ace out or pass, the next player always starts again at one die. Anything left in the Pot remains for the next player to shoot for.

Winning: If you make it all the way to 5 dice and still don't ace out, you win the game. Otherwise, the winner is the first player to collect 30 chips.

Gambling Variant: Each player contributes 20 chips to the Bank. Play continues until the Bank is empty. If anyone makes it to 5 dice rolled without acing out, they immediately win the Pot and collect the remainder of the Bank.

The term "bogart" was first heard in reference to a fairy in popular Yorkshire folk-myth. This fairy was known to be extremely hostile and mischievous.

The term, used as a verb in modern English, is defined as "To bully, to act tough or belligerent".

Oddly enough, that definition was not derived from the actions of the mythical bogart. Instead, the verb "to bogart" was coined in English because of the tough, bully roles that were played by Humphrey Bogart in movies.

"Bogart" means either to hog, to take more than the fair share of something (particularly a joint), or less often, to bully, act tough and to be belligerent. Both of these usages come from the name of the actor Humphrey Bogart (1900-1957) who generally played tough-guy movie roles. The second usage makes sense to anyone who's seen "Bogey" on film, but how did a guy who only smoked tobacco on screen become the verb for hogging marijuana?

A subscriber of A.Word.A.Day named Chris Strolin offered this explanation:

While "to bogart" now means "to hog or take more than one's share," (largely because of the song lyric "Don't bogart that joint, m' friend. Pass it over to me again.") this is only because so many people have gotten it wrong for so many years. One of the great misunderstood slang phrases of my youth, "to bogart a joint" originally meant to dangle a marijuana cigarette from your lips in the same manner Humphrey Bogart would do with a regular cigarette while eyeing a sultry Lauren Bacall from across a smoky bar room. With the lit end pointing downward this way, the joint would burn much more rapidly and, worse, would do so to no one's benefit. . . . the social crime involved was not in hogging the marijuana but in wasting it!

(The song he quotes is "Don't Bogart Me" {also known as "Don't Bogart That Joint" after the repeated chorus}, written by Elliot Ingber and performed on the soundtrack of the 1969 movie "Easy Rider" by Fraternity Of Man (as well as Fraternity of Man's self-titled first album in 1968). It was later covered by Little Feat among others. )

This explanation made sense to me, so I went looking for confirmation -- but I found several completely different explanations from others. Word Detective users offered these other possibilities:

'I thought "bogart"ing something was to toss it away before it was done. As in, don't toss away that joint before I have a chance to get high . . . I was told it was a reference to the way Humphrey Bogart, as the tough guy, would always dramatically flick a half-finished cigarette when he was making a point.'

'Originally, I thought "bogarting a joint" meant to accidently soak the end in your mouth as often happened when unfiltered cigarettes (the kind Bogart smoked) stayed in your mouth for extended periods.We referred to it, in the 1950's, as "mugging" the cigarette.'

However, one person came up with a movie reference:
'In "The Roaring Twenties" Cagney is sharing a cig with Bogart. He keeps it. Hence, bogart - to hog.'

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (via, "Bogart" is also a town in Georgia, USA:

Bogart, GA (town, FIPS 9068)
  Location: 33.94731 N, 83.53232 W
  Population (1990): 1018 (424 housing units)
  Area: 6.5 sq km (land), 0.0 sq km (water)
  Zip code(s): 30622
And one user of actually claims the hog/steal usage comes from this town rather than the actor!
"to steal or borrow in a white trashy manner. Coined after the citizens of Bogart, GA."

So, barring a lot more scholarship and sources that pre-date the 1968 song, the exact route this term took to its present meaning will remain unsure.


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