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Dogging at the BBC…

18 June, 2007

Not the usual activity you’d expect from Aunty I grant you, but there it is in black and white: “The OED is preparing a new entry to cover this curious cultural phenomenon and recent inventive use of the ancient verb to dog. Meaning ‘the practice of watching people engage in sexual acts in a public space, typically a car park’, there is evidence of the term from 1993. Can you top that?”

Stan Collymore walking his ‘dog’! I must admit I was intrigued by this strange request, but my curiosity was soon squashed when I realised it was for the TV Programme Balderdash & Piffle hosted by Victoria Coren. The programme works with the Oxford English Dictionary to try and find out the origins and first usage of words, the above mentioned word “dogging” had been cited as first used in popular print in 1993 and then again when the footballer Stan Collymore was “outed” as a “dogger” in 2004. 

The programme makers ask the general populace to send in their own evidence of the use of the word, preferably in print, so that they can determine whether they should anti-date the original OED entry. The programme featuring the word “dogging” aired on Friday 15th June. I was glued to my TV set in eager anticipation of what they would come up with, and sure enough, I wasn’t disappointed.

The programme sent Roland Rivron out to meet up with two old geezers on a wild strip of desolate sand dune on the south coast, where they led him down to a spot where they claim dogging has been going on since the 1940s. The two suspect geezers, however, could not provide any written evidence to back up this claim. Next, poor freezing Roland (the programme must have been recorded in winter as there was snow on the ground) was seen sat beside a strange old woman who claimed to have been dogging since 1985 and had indeed written her own book about the subject called “The Sex Maniac’s Diary” and sure enough produced a copy from under her hippy chick coat. The publishers date stated 1986. The woman then suggested that she and Roland go for a spot of dogging, which he naturally declined!

It gladenned my heart to see that it’s not only us gay blokes that can be blamed for cruising for sex in lonely woods and car parks, it’s there now, in black and white, those “dirty heterosexuals” have been doing it themselves for the past 20 years or so. We can’t have nothing can we!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 5 July, 2007 6:25 AM


    Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!


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