- noun a sodomite. The Bogomil (‘lovers of God’) heretics sent emissaries from their base in Bulgaria in the 11th and 12th centuries to contact heretics in Western Europe. These travellers were known as Bulgarus (late Latin), and bougre (Middle french), a name which was imported into Middle English along with a loathing of the heretics and their practices. One offence which heretics of all persuasions were accused of was unnatural vice, hence the transformation of Bulgarians into buggers. The word is now a very mild pejorative often meaning little more than ‘fellow’.
- noun an awkward or difficult task or person
- verb to ruin, wreck, incapacitate, thwart. This figurative application of the term is several hundred years old.