BOONDOGGLING A WORD
Nope, the word boondocks has nothing to do with boon. It comes from the other side of the world as that origin! Commonly abbreviated the boonies, the boondocks (basically another colloquialism for "sticks" or "woods") seem like a common fixture to be associated with hillbillies, but it in fact derives from the Tagalog (Filipino) word bundok, which meant "mountain". To find out how this transition occurs, we turn to US imperial history. At the turn of the twentieth century, when the Philippines revolted from American rule, like half a platoon of US soldiers drowned in a river that was in a general area which locals called the boondocks. (Yellow) newspapers back home heavily reported on the incident, and boondocks wormed its way into American homes. Not long after, the word lost its stigma with dead soldiers and began to refer once more to nature-y areas, becoming ingrained in our culture through comic steips and songs alike. No further etymology could be found, but as a Central Philippine language, words in Tagalog tend to be of Proto-Philippine origin, and ultimately Austronesian.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.