Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's Cold Outside...Let's Keep the Bogey Going

During an oral history interview with 95-year-old Alice Mercer, originally of Bay Roberts, I asked her to share some memories from her school days. She talked about having to go outside in all kinds of weather to use the washroom, and how it was hard work for the teacher to keep the classroom warm.

"We had stoves in all the classrooms. Teachers had a time to try and learn us something and keep the bogey going. One of the boys would come with a handful of splits in the morning and the bucket of coal. Used to buy the coal from the coal shed. He’d light the fire and it was up to the teacher then to keep it going. sometimes the teacher would forget it and it would go out. Then we’d get cold."

Wait, "...keep the bogey going"? What's a bogey? From the context of the conversation I could see that with her use of the word bogey, she was referring to a stove for heating, but since I hadn't heard that word before, I checked the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, just to make sure. It states:

bogie n also bogey, bogy. PARTRIDGE bogy 4 'a stove for heating'; SND ~ 'cooking galley on a fishing boat (1916); DC Nfld (1916-). A small stove used originally on a fishing schooner; applied generally to any small coal- or wood-burning stove.

This was the word that Alice and her family would have used for a wood stove when she was a child. But do people still use it? And are there regions of the province that it is more widely known?

(The above photographs of two variations of small stoves, or bogeys, were taken from the Geography Collection - Historical Photographs of Newfoundland and Labrador on MUN's Digital Archives Initiative.)

If you have an experience with this word and its uses, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know.

- Lisa

No comments: