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noun [countable/uncountable]

buy one get one later: an offer of a free product to be collected later if you buy a product of the same type

'Widely reported in the past 24 hours, Tesco is to replace its perishable BOGOFs with BOGOLs : buy one, get one later (apparently you get a coupon so you can 'GOF' when it suits you).'

Brand Republic 19th October 2009

Have you ever wandered around the supermarket and been lured into excessive consumerism by a range of tempting BOGOF (buy one get one free) deals, only to arrive home and have no idea how exactly you're going to fit that extra bag of oven chips in the freezer or consume those twelve pears before they turn to mush? If so, then the new concept of BOGOL could be very good news.

BOGOL is being pushed by supermarkets as part of a wider environmental message which encourages consumers to become greener in their shopping habits

BOGOL is an acronym of buy one get one later, the idea being that if you buy a product of a particular type, you get an extra one free but, unlike with BOGOF, you don't have to take it away with you immediately; you can return to the supermarket in a specified time frame to collect it later. BOGOL offers apply mainly to perishable food items such as fruit and vegetables, things that must be eaten within a particular period of time before they go bad. So you can buy a bag of clementines one week, eat them at your leisure, and return for the second bag a week or so later.

The BOGOL idea is a response to a criticism that BOGOFs often encourage waste since, unable to resist something for free, people tend to take the extra products and then end up throwing them away because they can't eat them in time. Following in the footsteps of reduced packaging, cutting prices of eco-friendly products, and an amnesty on the ubiquitous carrier bag, BOGOL is being pushed by supermarkets as part of a wider environmental message which encourages consumers to become greener in their shopping habits. The move has however been accused of containing an element of greenwashing. BOGOL offers are likely to operate on a voucher system, which has its own environmental overhead, and, given the fact that coupon redemption is never likely to be 100%, there are hidden benefits for the retailer. That said, consumer reaction to the BOGOL concept seems be predominantly positive. The trick will be to return to the supermarket to collect your freebie without falling into the trap of buying something you wouldn't have bought had you not gone on a second visit.

Background – from BOGOF to BOGOL

The BOGOL concept was launched by supermaket chain Tesco in October 2009, who first described it as a buy one get one free – later deal, or BOGOFL. This quickly became adapted to BOGOL, presumably for ease of pronunciation since, by analogy with its predecessor BOGOF, it was likely to be used as an acronym (an abbreviation pronounced as a word).

BOGOF first hit the scene in the late nineties, initially also sometimes appearing without the F as BOGO (buy one get one). However the latter variation never really stood a chance against the appeal of BOGOF as a catchy homophone of the informal expression bog off! (= go away). This helped to embed the acronym in public consciousness and it quickly became decapitalised, now regularly appearing as lower case bogof.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

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This article was first published on 9th March 2010.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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