Friday, January 07, 2011

The Meaning of the Bok

By way of explanation, about references I make to "The Bok" in some of my poetry and songs.

"Bok" has had a special meaning to me ever since me and Jim Baggins (the late James Kimmis of Southend-On-Sea, Essex and latterly, Dorset) in 1972 devised a philosophical system cum timewasting exercise cum daydream cum exciting new fashion trend under the name of Boksterism. We started from the idea that "Bok" means luck in Romany. But, actually, the word "bok" has a lot of meanings. Bok means:

"Goat" in Afrikaans, Frisian and Dutch (but also has a slang meaning of "keen" or "willing" in South African slang.)

"Wife" in Khowar (Pakistan)

"Shit" in Azerbaijani or Turkish

"Hi" or "Hello" in Croatian and Serbian

"Side", "Flank" or "Hip" in Czech, Bohemian, Slovak, Slovenian and Polish

"Playpen" in Indonesian and Malay

"Tower" in Lithuanian

"Book" or "Beech" in Norwegian and Swedish

"River" in Choctaw (North America)

"Full" in Mbula (Papua New Guinea)

"Luck" in Romani

My favourite is that "Bok" is "Hip" in Bohemia!

Boksters (we decided in 1972) are tea drinking, Victorian/Edwardian style, slightly hippyish, science fiction geeks with an interest in show business, vaudeville, cabaret etc. Boksters drink excessive amounts of tea and like surrealism, Lewis Carroll, timewarps, 1950s beatniks and the Marx Brothers. It was a deliberately tongue-in-cheek faux fashion which we invented for ourselves so we wouldn't be following someone else's fashions. It was a joke in order to avoid being a joke. How, all these years later, Steampunks would invent virtually the same idea is a mystery. Jim died in 2007. He is sadly missed. Boksters were a small group of people, mostly English but there was a Swedish contingent (Marie-Louise and Gazelle).

Remember our proud, tea drinking, motto: KUSHTI BOK!!!

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