I sometimes use this phrase, and I have no recollection where I first heard it. I know I've heard other people use it as well, and a search on google shows references to it dating back to at least the early 2000's (frequently on blogs or other informal resources).

I recently made this comment to my wife, and she said she had never heard of it before.

Where and when did this phrase originate?

  • 2
    Never heard of it before, though I have seen a few similar formations. I'd assume that it was a somewhat jocular attempt at taking the Lord's name in vain without taking the Lord's name in vain.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 17:15
  • 1
    The following appears to be a usage from 1964: ....."as I was chirping to Tom just before his bridge debut, “ thank bog there are young, jukes like ol' Rawn Pudgey etc., the load is no longer bustin.... " books.google.it/…
    – user66974
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 17:19
  • Could be borrowed from Russian (or another Slavic language)? Commented May 15, 2017 at 17:25
  • 3
    There are no instances at all in COHA (corpus of Historical American English). "Bog" is Russian for God, so I immediately thought of two science fiction books where the slang has a Russian element: A Clockwork Orange by Anthorny Burgess (1962), and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein (1966). I don't know whether the phrase occurs in either though.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 17:26
  • @ColinFine That's almost certainly it! I've read both many times (and watch A Clockwork Orange more times than I can count). I'm sure its one or the other, although I believe A Clockwork Orange has more pop-culture weight, so I'm leaning toward that.
    – Beofett
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


Bog appears to be the English version of the Russian word Бог which means God.

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