Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bogus adj.

also bogey
[bogus n.]

1. (also bogy) fake, spurious.

[US]C.M. Kirkland New Home 227: Half-dollars, principally bogus.
[UK]C. Mackay Life and Liberty in America 104: Among the pure Americanisms may be cited the following: [...] Bogus, false, or sham. Said to be derived from the name of a man notorious for issuing counterfeit notes.
[US]Night Side of N.Y. 63: If it [i.e. a banknote] proves to be ‘bogus,’ the hander of it is given into custody.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 297: Ladies are accused of wearing bogus diamonds; overdressed, assuming upstarts are called bogus gentlemen; maimed soldiers wear bogus-legs, blind men bogus eyes, and even in courts of justice bogus charges are of constant occurrence.
[US]F.H. Hart Sazerac Lying Club 141: Passing bogus gold-dust [...] also met the punishment of death.
[US]Forest Republican (Tionesta, PA) 24 Aug. 4/2: Among the swindles that have been very successful [are] the bogus counterfeit money manufacturing shops. The principal victims [...] are country people to whom communcations are sent by bogus firms.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Feb. 11/4: The £5-note was a bogus one, and the devil, he subsequently discovered, was only employed to lure holy young men into the meshes of a caravanserai.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Tom Sawyer, Detective 29: He allowed we would steal the bogus swag.
[UK]Sporting Times 6 Jan. 5/2: Why, they ackshally advertise bogus competitions.
[US]Inter Ocean (Chicago) 25 Jan. 34/5: I [...] went down to John L’s to see if the old man could put me wise to the bogus banks.
[US]A.H. Lewis Confessions of a Detective 202: The bogus yeggman, just from the roads, was the leader in the conversation.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 26 Mar. 12/3: I do say them yarns is bogus / (Though, of course, sir. some is true).
[UK]R. Tressell Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1955) 276: ‘True? No!’ said the man on the pail scornfully. ‘It’s all bogy.’.
[UK]J. Buchan Greenmantle (1930) 155: Thirty years ago there was a bogus prophecy that played the devil in Yemen.
[US]Ade Bang! Bang! 41: I sent him a bogus telegram calling him out of town.
[UK]J. Betjeman ‘Slough’ in Coll. Poems (1970) 23: They often go To Maidenhead And talk of sports and makes of cars In various bogus Tudor bars.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 11 Aug. [synd. col.] Gregory ratoff had to be substituted at the last minute because, it seems, Prince Mike wasn’t bogus enough.
[US]R. Chandler Farewell, My Lovely (1949) 27: A bogus heartiness, as weak as a Chinaman’s tea, moved into her face and voice.
P.C. Wren Uniform of Glory 227: The greasy little Italian cur. All flash and bombast, completely bogus.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings’ Diary 93: It might well have belonged to a bogus hippogriff.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 43: What’s bogus about not wanting to get busted?
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 137: Did the traveller’s cheques come from the same party as sent you the bogus share certificates?
[US](con. 1982–6) T. Williams Cocaine Kids (1990) 56: There are many beat artists selling bogus drugs in these copping zones, so buyers will remain loyal to an honest dealer.
[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 17: The black cop holstered his pistol but left the snap undone — would have looked bogus on network TV, like a parody of something from a long time ago.
[US]J. Lerner You Got Nothing Coming 228: Fucking Crips capped him behind some bogus rocks.

2. a general term of disapproval, unpleasant, undesirable, untrustworthy, unfair.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 20 Jan. 1/1: The electors of Lithgow are always engaged in declaring ‘bogus’ some member of the Labor Party.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 154: All you’ve got to do is send a small boy out with an armful of bogey parcels on the day your things are done.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Out for the Coin 83: Are you handing me a line of bogus conversation?
[UK]E. Waugh Vile Bodies 59: Oh, dear [...] this really is all too bogus.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings’ Little Hut 46: Don’t be such a bogus ruin, Jen.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 1: bogus – not cool or good.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 265: That bogus asshole don’t know dick about the real world.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 4: Don’t getcha knickers in a twist over him, honey. He’s bogus.
[US]Source Aug. 129: Just because we do a song with Jay-Z, we get attention. That’s bogus.

3. (US campus) great, excellent.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 1: bogus – outstanding, awesome: Going to the beach was a bogus idea.

4. (US campus) pretentious, pointless, stupid.

[UK]D Gram Foxes (1980) 27: ‘Hey Jeannie, like your new hair-do,’ said the shiny-faced man with a bogus smile.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Oct. 1: bogus – pretentious, snobbish.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 1: bogus – peculiar, awkward, ridiculous, or stupid. ‘She had on the most bogus dress.’.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: bogus – unoriginal, tedious, unnecessary.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: bogus – boring, silly, false: That guy is bogus.
[US]C.W. Ford Deuce’s Wild 12: Everyone thinks his beat’s cool. But the way he dances. All that spinning. A lotta people think he’s bogus. You know, he became a Muslim because it’s controversial, and that’s good for album sales.