Bogus refers to something that is fake, fraudulent, or not genuine.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Counterfeit, false, fake, phony, spurious, fraudulent, sham, imitation.


Genuine, authentic, real, valid.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb None
Adjective bogus
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • He was caught selling bogus tickets to the concert.

  • The company was fined for selling bogus weight loss supplements.

  • The painting was revealed to be a bogus Picasso.

  • The politician’s promises turned out to be nothing more than bogus campaign rhetoric.


The word “bogus” is believed to have originated from the word “bogusman,” which was a term used in the 19th century to describe a counterfeiter or swindler. It is commonly used today to describe something that is fake, fraudulent, or not genuine.

The prefix “bo-” in “bogus” is thought to have originated from the slang term “booby,” which means “fool” or “dupe.” The suffix “-gus” is believed to be a variation of the word “ghost,” which implies the idea of something being insubstantial or unreal.

The use of “bogus” can be seen in a variety of contexts, including in consumer products, art, and politics. In consumer products, bogus items may be sold as “knockoffs” of more expensive products, or as fraudulent items designed to deceive customers. In art, bogus works may be sold as authentic pieces, deceiving buyers and collectors. In politics, bogus claims or promises may be made in order to deceive voters or gain political advantage.

In terms of usage, “bogus” is often used in a negative context, and may be associated with deception or fraud. However, it can also be used in a more light-hearted or informal context to describe something that is simply fake or inauthentic. It is important to note that the word “bogus” is commonly used in everyday conversation, and may not be considered overly formal or literary.