boondocks

play
plural noun boon·docks \ˈbün-ˌdäks\

Definition of boondocks

  1. 1 :  rough country filled with dense brush

  2. 2 :  a rural area :  sticks <living in the boondocks>

Examples of boondocks in a sentence

  1. <a former city girl who was still adjusting to life in the boondocks>

Boondocks and boondoggles

Boon (“ a timely benefit; a favor”) is a fairly old English word, dating back to the 12th century. In light of this one might be excused for thinking that words such as boondocks ("a rural area") and boondoggle (“a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft”) are of similar vintage. However, not only are both of these words much newer than boon, they are not related to it (or to each other), except by a coincidence of spelling. Boondoggle is believed to have been coined in the 1920s by the American scoutmaster Robert H. Link as a name for the braided leather cords that are made and worn by Boy Scouts; it took on the “wasteful project” meaning sometime after. Boondocks is also a word from the early 20th century: it comes from the Tagalog word for a mountain, and was brought to English by the U.S. military forces who had occupied the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century.

Origin and Etymology of boondocks

Tagalog bundok mountain


First Known Use: circa 1909




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up boondocks? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a principle or belief held by a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ