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I've looked on Google for several minutes, but I can't find a plausible reason, nor any immediately useful things to follow up.

(I understand "Don't bogart that joint" to mean "Pass the [cannabis] joint over to me!").

Any explanations as to where it came from?

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    It means "don't let it hang in the corner of your mouth in a Humphrey Bogart style", but I'm not sure I can find a authoritative source either.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 21:28
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    Urban dictionary: the best resource for all cannabis related language. Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 21:43
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    You didn't check Etymonline? For shame! Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 9:35
  • Apparently this question has just earned me a badge for getting 1000 views. I think that means enough people are interested that it should be reopened. Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 3:00
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    @FumbleFingers, how do we vote for reopen?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 0:44

1 Answer 1

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The Online Etymology Dictionary says:

1969, "to keep a joint in your mouth," dangling from the lip like Humphrey Bogart's cigarette in the old movies, instead of passing it on. First attested in "Easy Rider." The word was also used 1960s with notions of "get something by intimidation, be a tough guy" (again with reference to the actor and the characters he typically played). In old drinking slang, Captain Cork was "a man slow in passing the bottle."

The Oxford English Dictionary says it is "with allusion to Bogart's frequent on-screen smoking, especially to the long drags he took on cigarettes" and has it from a year earlier:

Popularized by the 1969 U.S. film Easy Rider, the soundtrack of which featured the song cited in quot. 1968.

1968 ‘Fraternity of Man’ Don't bogart Me (transcription of song) in www.stlyrics.com (O.E.D. archive) , Don't bogart that joint, my friend Pass it over to me.

Here's the song's lyrics:

Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.
Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.
Roll another one
Just like the other one.
This one's burnt to the end
Come on and be a friend.
Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.
Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me.
Ro-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oll another one
Just like the other one.
You've been hanging 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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    Just one year earlier, in prisons, it meant something different: Corrective and Social Psychiatry..., 1967 There is also a new language."Don't Bogart and don't smack to a supervisor; shine him on or you'll be a stoneout," translated, means: "Don't act either tough or fawning with a supervisor, just act as if you agree with him; if you don't, we won't have a thing to do with you.” Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 2:21
  • @FumbleFingers look at the subject. This is about as clear cut as you're likely to get. :) From a past life more than 30 years ago, this is the interpretation everyone I knew who used it used. Now-a-days I don't know what it means anymore. :) Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 2:36
  • Scholarly citation, 1970. Eve Mitchell, "Folklore of Marijuana Smoking", Southern Folkore Quarterly, vol 34, p. 127. It's called "Bogarting the joint" when, rather than passing the joint on around the circle, a person hangs onto it and keeps puffing. (p. 128) Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 3:23
  • @StoneyB: The coerce/bully/intimidate meaning is included in the Online Etymology Dictionary definition above. It's also the Oxford English Dictionary's first meaning, first quoted in a US university's 1966 slang dictionary.
    – Hugo
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 7:30
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    1966&7=swagger, 1968 the song, 1969 the movie, 1970=hog the joint, all contemporary scholarly citations. You don't get better confirmation than that for the ascription. Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 12:21

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