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My husband recorded and watched Easy Rider this week and then dug around on the 'Net to find a recording of a song from the soundtrack: "Don't Bogart That Joint."

I was puzzled as to the meaning of the verb "to Bogart." I thought it meant "don't hog the whole thing," because the lyrics say, "Don't Bogart that joint, my friend; pass it over to me."

George says it means don't slobber all over it. Has anybody ever heard this term used in conversation? Did you know what the song meant the first time you heard it?

Wordmatic
 
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it means don't slobber all over it

Never heard of this meaning.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I haven't looked it up myself, but when he said that I could picture Humphrey Bogart just letting a cigarette hang loosely from his wet lips.

And now that I look it up, it appears it does mean to monopolize or take more than one's fair share of something, and not to slobber all over it. I think my husband may have just read that into it. But I had never heard the term at all.

WM
 
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I've not heard it used as a verb, but here is a site I found that concurs with your view, WM.

We'll have to come up with a substitute word for your husband to use for "don't slobber all over it." Wink
 
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Here and here are other places that talk about it, the lyrics to and and a YouTube performance of "Don't Bogart that Joint."

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I think CJ's explanation is probably right, that it started off meaning to let the cigarette or joint dangle uselessly from one's lips without inhaling, and therefore wasting whatever was there to be smoked.

Bogart always did have wet lips when he did this; otherwise the cigarette never would have stayed there. So, revoltingly, the spit is part of it, but never made it into the definition, and then the definition evolved from a meaning of waste to one of greed. My husband, being squeamish about such things, would have noticed the adhesive involved. OK, time to go back and watch Casablanca.

Wordmatic
 
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quote:
OK, time to go back and watch Casablanca.


If you're interested in researching "don't bogart that joint", go to the source -- the term is first attested in Easy Rider.
 
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Yes, since we had just recorded it, I watched it too. What a period piece that was! Picaresque, complete with noble hippie savages, zilch dialog, bad trips, evil redneck stereotypes and a bathetic denouement. 40 years after my Flower Power years, it's hard to believe so many of us at least half bought into that aimless drivel!
Hard for me to make heroes out of the Hopper and Fonda characters now that I am so waaaaay far past 30.

Anyway, the TCM version cut off the "Don't bogart that joint, my friend" song abruptly. The Jack Nicholson character wasn't actually bogarting it by dangling it from his lips without inhaling. He was holding it between his fingers while he talked on and on about UFOs.

So I need to watch Casablanca to watch the original Bogart bogarting his cigarette!

Wordmatic
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordmatic:
He was holding it between his fingers while he talked on and on about UFOs.


hence, monopolizing it.

Roll another one
Just like the other one
You've been hangin 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
 
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So you don't think Bogart's style of smoking feeds into the meaning?
(the lip-hanging comes towards the end.)
WM

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Wordorigins lists three meanings for bogart:

  • The selfish connotation comes from hogging a marijuana cigarette. Someone who kept the joint in their mouth, hanging from their lip like Bogey, would be bogarting the joint. Instead of bogarting, one should pass it on to another. The term can be used for hoarding items other than pot.

    The term is first attested to in the song Don’t Bogart Me, by Elliot Ingber and Larry Wagner, which appears on Fraternity Of Man’s eponymous album, released 24 June 1968 by ABC Records:

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

  • In some circles, there is a slightly different definition of bogarting. It is to get saliva all over the joint before passing it on—again from the imagery of the cigarette hanging from Bogey’s lip. But this sense seems to be used by a minority.

  • There is an older, unrelated meaning of the term—to be aggressive or bullying. It comes from the fact that Bogart played toughs in the movies.


The OED Online lists two meanings:

  • 1. trans. U.S. (esp. in African-American usage). To force, coerce; to bully, intimidate. [attested from 1966]

  • 2. trans. orig. and chiefly U.S. To appropriate (a marijuana cigarette) greedily or selfishly. Hence more generally: to take or use most of; to steal. Also occas. intr.
    Popularized by the 1969 U.S. film Easy Rider, the soundtrack of which featured the song cited in quot. 1968


The Word Detective says:

  • "Bogart" as a verb owes its existence to a genuine (at least in my book) 20th century cultural icon, Humphrey Bogart. There are actually two slightly different senses of "bogart," and they both take their meanings from the brusque, often tough, characters Bogart portrayed in his many films.

  • The earlier slang sense of "to bogart" means to bully or intimidate, the way Sam Spade (Bogart) treated Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) in "The Maltese Falcon." This sense first showed up around 1951, but only became widespread in the mid-1960s, long after Bogart's last picture, and seems to have been largely confined to African-American slang of the period. [emphasis mine]

  • The later, and still current, sense of "to bogart" appeared in the late 1960s and means "to hog," especially to hold onto and not pass a marijuana cigarette that is being shared by several people. This meaning is probably partly an extension of the earlier "bullying" sense and partly in reference to the ever-present cigarette dangling from Bogart's lip in many of his film roles. The first recorded instance of this use of "bogart" was in the 1969 film "Easy Rider," and I vaguely remember a pop song called "Don't Bogart That Joint" that appeared shortly thereafter. I'm not required to remember who recorded that song, incidentally, on the principle that no one who actually participated in the 1960s remembers much of anything.


So I don't see much support for C J's assertion that the original meaning was to not waste the joint. Perhaps, as the Word Detective says, "... no one who actually participated in the 1960s remembers much of anything."
 
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You're right, but surprisingly, there is support for the slobber angle. Thanks for all the research.
 
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I'd say Tinman is our best researcher here.
 
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