Boughten

Boughten is an archaic participial inflection of the verb to buy. It was once a fairly common colloquial form—it was used to describe something bought instead of homemade—and it still appears occasionally, but it is widely seen as incorrect and might be considered out of place in formal writing. This does not mean that those who use it in their speech are ignorant or poorly informed.

For instance, the word appears in these old works of literature:

But I interrupted him by telling him truly that no hired tears would fall on his beloved face if I outlived him, and no boughten groans would be hearn. [Around the World with Josiah Allen's Wife by Marietta Holley]
He relied / On Henriot’s aid–the Commune’s villain friendship, / And Henriot’s boughten succours. [The Fall of Robespierre by Samuel Taylor Coleridge]
The tip is strong enough, if it hasn’t rotted, and she handles almost as good as a boughten rod. [The Young Alaskans On the Missouri by Emerson Hough]

Although boughten lives on through certain dialects and the occasional slip of the tongue (when the speaker forms boughten by analogy with participles like broken, frozen, and given), it has now become rare and does not often appear in formal writing or in edited publications. Bought is widely used for the past-tense, past-perfect, and past-participial forms of buy—for example:

Mr. Shahzad bought the vehicle from a Connecticut woman. [NY Times]

Overseas investors have bought 303.1 billion rupees of Indian equities this year. [Business Week]

Want better flavor without losing the convenience of your favorite store-bought meals and sauces? [Philly Burbs]

About Grammarist
Contact | Privacy policy | Home
© Copyright 2009-2014 Grammarist
%d bloggers like this: