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/boh'gon/ [by analogy with proton/electron/neutron, but
doubtless reinforced after 1980 by the similarity to Douglas
Adams's "Vogons"] 1. The elementary particle of bogosity (see
quantum bogodynamics). For instance, "the Ethernet is
emitting bogons again" means that it is broken or acting in an
erratic or bogus fashion.
2. A query packet sent from a TCP/IP domain resolver to
a root server, having the reply bit set instead of the query
3. Any bogus or incorrectly formed packet sent on a network.
4. A person who is bogus or who says bogus things. This was
historically the original usage, but has been overtaken by its
derivative senses. See also bogosity; compare psyton,
The bogon has become the type case for a whole bestiary of
nonce particle names, including the "clutron" or "cluon"
(indivisible particle of cluefulness, obviously the
antiparticle of the bogon) and the futon (elementary particle
of randomness, or sometimes of lameness). These are not so
much live usages in themselves as examples of a live
meta-usage: that is, it has become a standard joke or
linguistic maneuver to "explain" otherwise mysterious
circumstances by inventing nonce particle names. And these
imply nonce particle theories, with all their dignity or lack
thereof (we might note parenthetically that this is a
generalisation from "(bogus particle) theories" to "bogus
(particle theories)"!). Perhaps such particles are the
modern-day equivalents of trolls and wood-nymphs as standard
starting-points around which to construct explanatory myths.
Of course, playing on an existing word (as in the "futon")
yields additional flavour.