What Does Boggles My Mind Mean?

Boggles My Mind Meaning

Definition: To shock or confuse someone.

This expression means you have a hard time wrapping your mind around something; you are confused and cannot figure out the meaning or purpose of something despite having thought about it and tried to rationalize it.

Typically, it is a person’s actions that can boggle your mind, though it could also be an event or a fact.

Origin of To Boggle Someone’s Mind

my mind boggles

The word boggle comes from Middle English bugge, which meant specter (or, more generally, something inducing fear and confusion). By the 1590s, it meant to start with fright, as a horse might do if startled by something ghost-like.

In a late 16th-century translation of Homer’s Iliad, we can read an example of horses being boggled:

  • They [steeds] should not with affright Boggle, nor snore.

Later, before it was the mind that was boggled, it was said that the imagination was boggled. An example of this can be found in P.G. Wodehouse’s 1910 Pillingshot, Detective:

  • To tax a prefect with having stolen a sovereign was a task at which Pillington’s imagination boggled.

From 1964, the phrase also created an adjective: mind-boggling.

Examples of To Boggle Someone’s Mind

it boggles the mindIn the modern day, people use this expression with anything that confuses them.

For example,

  • The amount of waste in the city boggles my mind.
  • It boggles his mind why some people walk so slowly down the street.

More Examples

  • “It has boggled my mind why we were clinging to these compounds, and now that they are gone I feel liberated,” said Rolf Haldn. –New York Times
  • “I was under the impression that Target sold clothes, so why people are so insulted over a photo of a mother sending her son off to school really just boggles my mind,” she wrote. –The Queensland Times


The phrase boggle someone’s mind means to confuse him or her with facts or events that don’t make sense. Despite all attempts at rationalization, the thing remains a mystery.