A Bunny Boiler is a pejorative term for an obsessive and sometimes dangerous individual, most commonly referring to a jilted lover who is stalking the person who has spurned her or him, with the intention of causing harm. The term is now applied to anyone (usually a woman) who will not let go a relationship, to include boyfriend, casual lover, father, stepfather, carer, etc, or who extols revenge for one reason or another. Usually in the form of criminal damage or a false allegation.
Clingy possesive overbearing psycho bitch - Julie Findlay May 26, 2003
woman who follows or observes her mark persistently, especially out of
obsession or derangement (stress derangement). A bunny boiler's mark is
a man that she has designs on, or had sex with maybe one time, usually this man is hard
working and strives to succeed profesionally and in life - hence a good
catch. A bunny
boiler's plan consists of plan A and plan B.
Origins in Detail
The phrase derives from a famous scene in the 1987 film Fatal Attraction where a scorned woman (played by Glenn Close), seeking revenge on her ex-lover (played by Michael Douglas), boils his daughter's pet rabbit in a pot.
From the 1987 film Fatal Attraction, written by James Dearden and Nicholas Meyer. The plot concerns a woman scorned, Alex Forrest - played by Glenn Close, who obsessively pursues her ex-lover, Dan Gallagher - played by Michael Douglas. The phrase comes from the plot device where Forrest boils Gallagher's daughter's pet rabbit.
Gallacher's suspicions should have become aroused at Forrest's line when trying to persuade him to meet her - "Bring the dog, I love animals... I'm a great cook."
The bunny boiler phrase, taking the lead from the film, was first used to refer to someone who is unable to remain rational at the end of a romantic relationship. Very quickly that became moderated and used, with some degree of irony, in much less extreme situations. Any needy, mildly possessive or even just annoying woman is now liable to be described as a 'bunny boiler'.
As this is a recent phrase with such a clear origin it is interesting to trace who coined it and how it has found its way into popular use. The epithet isn't used in the film itself, nor any of the advertising blurb used to promote it. As to who coined it, I don't know. The first use of it in print is from an interview for the US magazine the Ladies' Home Journal, by Close herself, reported in the Dallas Morning News, 6th December 1990:
Popular phrases that have emerged as street slang since 1981 have quickly become used in Internet discussion groups and tabloid newspapers. Bunny boiler isn't found in the very large archive of Usenet groups until 1994, nor does it appear more than once or twice in the archives of US or British newspapers until 1994.
The section of the public that have now adopted the term into their language are young adults - and not those who would normally be expected to read the Ladies' Home Journal. It is now a commonplace on TV reality shows and soap operas. For example, in an August 2004 piece by Danielle Lawler and Emma Cox about the UK TV show Big Brother, headed Big Brother: Bunny Boiler we have:
If the phrase were a commercial product then marketing people would say that it reached its target audience in 1994. It certainly saw a sudden and widespread use from then onwards and is now a commonly used phrase. The film was released in 1987, Close referred to the phrase in 1990, but the phrase only became widely used in 1994. Newly coined terms appear to spread in the community like viruses. When they reach a threshold of 'infection' of a large enough percentage of the population they spread rapidly. It appears that bunny boiler got to that point sometime in 1994.
Uses in popular culture
Big Brother (reality television series)
The term has been used regularly in both mainstream media and everyday discourse to describe particular contestants in recent series of the UK version of Big Brother.
The first was Michelle Bass, from the fifth series, who was labelled a 'bunny boiler' for the way she acted towards fellow contestant Stuart.
In the sixth series, Craig Coates attracted the label for the way he was perceived to act towards Anthony Hutton. In the seventh series, Lisa Huo was labelled a 'bunny boiler' in response to her relationship with Pete Bennett.
Germaine Greer was even given the title.
Atonement - Movie Poster
Gordon Staker works for the Child Protection Unit in Eastbourne, East Sussex. He is involved in the so-called Herstmonceux Bunny Boiler case heard in February 2008. We are following this case and other similar cases, and will report the news as soon as able.
Meantime, we hope this site will help other innocent victims come to terms with the accusations leveled against them. Many of our readers will know that hundreds of men each year (many teachers) suffer accusations from girls with a grudge, many of which turn out to be false and revenge motivated.
Many policemen are Masons. This can lead to corruption at high levels, where fellow Masons, members of the public, might obtain favours, charges dropped, or charges brought against someone, as examples. The law is quite often used incorrectly (illegally) to further the objectives of private causes. But who is there to investigate? Since many, if not most high ranking officers are Masons, in whichever force, even an outside force is unlikely to identify an officer who will make any effort to investigate a fellow officer. It's a club, for a favoured few.
A - Z of Sussex officer investigations
Dr Melanie Liebenberg
Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - Bunny Boiler
Allegation of Criminal Damage. This one was a bit unusual in that there were two separate charges amounting to just under £5000 each. The reason being that up to £5000 is summary only (i.e must be tried by magistrates) whereas £5001 and upwards is either-way and may be sent to the Crown Court.
The upshot was that, scorned and cast aside, she made her way to lover-boy's semi-detached abode where she attempted to speak to him.
He laid low, and was relieved when he heard her car start up and drive off. Two minutes later, car and driver returned, and rammed his car so hard that it finished up part way in to his kitchen.
The mobile battering ram was, surprisingly, still driveable, and the lady in the case drove away after taking time to hurl various bits of Volvo through her former lover's window.
The Magistrates accepted jurisdiction, ordered her to pay for the damage and the Crown's costs and gave her a Conditional Discharge for twelve months. Payment of compensation had all been paid six weeks previously. Receipts were in court.
Women who cry rape
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