Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
August 8th, 2016
Episode 610 of 830 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 8, 2016 is: bogus \BOH-gus\ adjective : not genuine : counterfeit, sham Examples: "Any time you are provided with anything that is supposedly 'free' or 'complimentary,' including a security monitoring service for a year, when you do not actually know if your personal data has been compromised, it's likely a bogus scheme to steal your identity." — Martha R. Tromberg, The (Jackson) Florida Times-Union, 5 July 2016 "Stars on the downward trajectory of their careers often try to sign with teams that have a chance to win, especially if those stars haven't won a ring. People know it's bogus but smile and share in the warmth of unfinished business getting finished." — Rick Morrissey, The Chicago Sun-Times, 6 July 2016 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 began being used about the same time.