Evolving from the term of abuse bugger, meaning a sodomite or irritating person. To play 'silly buggers' is to generally act the fool, lark about, waste time or generally mess things up. As illustrated by English band The Bus Station Loonies song "Playing Silly Buggers" (1995).
2. Employed in business sector to evoke questions of intellectual capacity, integrity and competence.
3. Smart-alec behavior in any meeting format deemed useless.
The Minister of Health was giving a press briefing but it turned out to just be a game of silly bugger while dodging the press questions.
The telemarketer phoned at dinner so I played silly bugger by giving them your information. Hope you don't mind.