Definition of Buggins' turn in English:

Buggins' turn


  • A system by which appointments or awards are made in rotation rather than by merit.

    • ‘They are neither elected nor appointed, but persuaded to accept office by their predecessors, rather like what the English call “Buggins' Turn.” Meetings are held twice or three times a year in the home of the kaicho, whose wife is expected to provide snacks and sometimes drinks.’
    • ‘I can't imagine anyone of my age - 24 - wanting to wait for Buggins' turn as a backbencher under a cabinet system.’
    • ‘The same situation is true of the attempt to keep the position of vice-president, because it will be far too easy, even subconsciously, to slip back into the old habit of Buggins' turn, if the post of VP is retained.’
    • ‘Strangely enough the Fairer Ipswich Policy does not specifically mention the post of Mayor, however I think most people would agree that choosing the Mayor on the basis of purely of length of service, on the Buggins-turn principle if you will, is the exact antithesis of fairness’
    • ‘Instead of waiting for Buggins' turn, when our business case comes to the top of the pile, we would be able, as a foundation trust, to borrow to get on with it.’


Early 20th century: from Buggins, used to represent a typical surname.


Buggins' turn

/ˈbʌɡɪnz ˌtəːn/