Bodgery: Bungling, botched work. Probably related to botch.
The OED calls bodgery “obsolete,” and gives only one citation for the word, from the playwright Thomas Nashe, who used it in the late 16th century. (“Doe you know your owne misbegotten bodgery?”) But I encountered it just last week in the January 2014 issue of The Atlantic, in an article by James Parker titled “TV’s Post-Recession Obsession with Stuff.” (Subtitle: “What to make of all these reality programs about pawn stores, storage lockers, and hoarders?”) Here’s the relevant sentence, along with a little context:
They’re none of them very “good,” these pawn and storage shows. Which is appropriate. Quality would be the wrong thing here. I do enjoy the drowsy Cajun vibe of Swamp Pawn, with its Barry Hannah–esque cast of loopy fishermen selling each other trucks and turtle shells, but the rest of the programs smell familiarly of contrivance, bodgery, rip-off—slapdash narratives and prodded-by-the-producer freak-outs.
Some 16th-century poets and playwrights seem almost to have coined words for a living. Nashe was second only to Shakespeare in the number of words whose first recorded use is found in his writing – nearly 800 – and several did become a permanent part of the language, such as conundrum, grandiloquent, multifarious and balderdash. Nashe also coined a word which would one day receive new life in science fiction: earthling.
But most coined words don’t survive, Crystal observes:
The list of words that never made it has a surreal quality. From Philip Sidney we have disinvite, hangworthy, rageful and triflingness. From Edmund Spenser, disadventurous, jolliment, schoolery and adviceful. From John Marston, cockall (‘perfection’), bespirtle (‘to spot with vice’), fubbery (‘cheating’) and glibbery (‘slippery’) – creations Lewis Carroll would have been proud of. Sometimes it’s impossible to say why one word stayed and another didn’t. Why did Spenser’s tuneful catch on but his gazeful did not?
However, you can never tell what will happen. Musicry was coined by John Marston, and nobody used it after him – until 1961, when a writer revived it for a book on the arts. Nashe’s chatmate is currently the only instance of its use in the Oxford English Dictionary. But that will soon change, for in the world of chatrooms, social networking and internet dating, what do we find? Chatmates. There’s hope for bodgery yet.
Bonus link: Tinplate Studios: Steampunk Wonders and Bodgery, an Etsy shop specializing in steampunk “ray guns, respirators, odd gadgets, and masks as well as disturbing cryptozoological anomalies under glass.”