Origin of the Word "Boonies"

Boonies is a shortened form of boondocks, which comes from the Tagolog bandok, meaning "mountain".

Tagolog is the primary language in the Philippines, a rugged land with scenic tropical mountains. When World War II and Korean Conflict soldiers went on exercises, they used (and corrupted) the local word to describe their destination. The heavy, Government-Issue (hence the term "GI") boots were also called "boondockers".

The term might have died out were it not for the Vietnam War, when a whole new generation of GIs encountered the term, not only from the Filipinos (who were mildly amused at the Americans' poor pronunciation), but also from older soldiers, who had used it themselves when they had been young GIs 15-20 years before.




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