Word of the Day : December 14, 2010


adjective BOH-gus


: not genuine : counterfeit, sham

Did You Know?

You may know "bogus" as a slang word meaning "uncool" or simply "no good," but did you know that "bogus" has actually been a part of English since the early 1800s? Not only was the word coined then, it was actually doing some coining of its own, so to speak. Back then, a "bogus" was a machine used to make counterfeit coins. No one knows for sure how this coin-copying contraption got its name, but before long "bogus" had also become a popular noun for funny money itself or for a fraudulent imitation of any kind. The more general "phony" adjective followed shortly thereafter.


Kelly knew that the letter informing her that she was a grand prize winner was bogus, so she threw it in the trash immediately.

"The scheme appears aimed at getting the food business operator to make a confirmation phone call that would allow others to create a false identity and set up an auction site on the Internet to sell bogus items." -- From an article by Larry Carson in The Baltimore Sun, November 2, 2010

Name That Synonym

What word meaning "not genuine" originated as an alteration of "Birmingham," a city in England that was once notorious for the manufacture of counterfeit coins? The answer is ...


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