Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Language Specific Shopping Acronyms

I am not much of a shopper, but as I passsed a store advertising a sale today it struck me how much the acronym for "BUY ONE, GET ONE" has truly become a standard part of the lingo of shopping in the United States. As I read the sign (similar to the one pictured below)...

I immediately read aloud to myself, "bogo" (phonetically, /bogo/). By the way, it is not uncommon to overhear people discussing which store is currently having a bogo. In fact, it has become so common that some stores advertise as follows:

This, of course, got my language-loving brain thinking about other languages and their shopping acronyms.

If English language speakers have "BOGO"...are the following acronyms used by native language speakers in their respective countries?

AUOU (acheter un obtenir un) in France

CUyLU (compre uno y llévese uno) in Spain

KSEAM (Kaufen Sie eine ankommen man) in Germany

OYSY (ostaa yhden saat yhden ) in Finland

VEKE (vesz egy kap egy) in Hungary

KEFE (Kaupa einn fá einn) in Iceland

CACCAF (ceann a cheannach ceann a fháil) in Ireland

PUPD (paghi uno prendi due) in Italy


Amelia said...

I live in Australia, and I've never heard the acronym BOGO in my life, so I'm not sure that it is safe to assume that all English-language speakers use BOGO at all. It is very strange for me.

In fact, it's more common to hear a "two for one" sale happening than a buy one get one free.

That's kind of interesting, though. I wonder if the "BOGO" (still strange!) is a common phenomenon in other cultures.

Melinda said...

I like the Italian acronym best, PUPD. That is usually what my husband does to his pants (pooped) when I shop a "BOGO" sale and bring home the receipt.

Licia said...

PUPD is not used in Italy. As an Italian speaker, I would find PUPD very ambiguous because of the different meanings of the two Ps; also, we tend to prefer acronyms that can be read as if they were actual Italian words.
Incidentally, a more common shopping formula in Italy is tre per due, abbreviated as 3 x 2 (buy two, get one free).

Laura Payne said...

Amelia - "Two for One" used to be more common but "BOGO" has definitely taken over. I think it is because it is fun to say. Good question about its use in other cultures; I would love to hear from readers about this.

Melinda - Thanks for the comment and the laugh.

Licia - Good point and "BOGO" does sound like the English words "logo" and "pogo".

Rachel said...

Here in England we use the more accurate acronym (!) 'BOGOF' as in, bog off (go away).

Hannah said...

Just to be specific about it: IPA for RP-pronounced BOGOF is /'bɒgɒf/, not the final /v/ you might expect :)

Sirsiggi said...

The german acronym you've posted definitely does not exist. Also the translation is kind of weird, not to say plainly wrong.

BOGO is not very common in Germany and I don't know if there's an acrynom for that here. But I don't think so, we would rather use the english acronym, than creating a german one. The german language isn't as nifty as the english one when it comes to advertising.

Romanovich said...

BOGO sale is very rare in France, and it shouldn't be "acheter un obtenir un". It doesn't sound French (achetez-en un, obtenez-en un would be okay). And finally AUOU would be unpronouncable

Some signs say "Deux achetés, un gratuit" (litt.: buy two, get one of them free). Even if I'm pretty sure there's no acronym for it, it could be pronounced DAUG [dɒg] (or maybe a more open vowel).

Virtual Linguist said...

I can confirm what Rachel says. BOGOF is quite common in the UK and is, in fact, in the OED (first citation 1985).

This was the first paragraph in a piece in the Independent a couple of days ago just after David Cameron had become prime minister:
"When David Cameron opened his front door early yesterday he could have been forgiven for forgetting that British politics has entered what supermarket marketing men might call its BOGOF era: buy one ruling party, get one free".

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