The newspapers reported this week that Sydney’s Liam Warriner, 22, had mooned the Queen in Brisbane by displaying his bare bottom with an Australian flag wedged between his cheeks.
The comments sections of the various online newspapers were swamped, either by those who thought him wonderful and those who thought he needed public flogging. I particularly liked the comment sympathising with Her Maj for having another Anus Horribilis.
What was of interest in the comments section was the number of times Herr Warriner was described as a “bogan”.
The funny thing is that everyone knows what a bogan is, but no one knows how the term originated.
A bogan is a rude and coarse person, uneducated, from a lower class background, typified by speech, clothing and attitude.
Similar slang terms and concepts exist in other countries, including:
- chav, scally and pikey in England;
- ned in Scotland;
- scanger, scobe, knacker and spide in Ireland;
- zed in South Africa;
- tokkie in the Netherlands;
- proll in Germany;
- white trash or redneck in North America;
- ars in Israel;
- lumpen or lumpenproletariat in Russia.
Apparently the term also varies from state to state in Australia: chigger in Tasmania; booner or boon in Canberra; scozza in Victoria and bevan in Queensland.
Some believe that the term originated from the Bogan River and district out west, it being suggested that bogans were even more west than westies. This however confuses the terms. The term westie was in use before bogan became popular and whilst there is an overlap, they don’t mean the same thing.
Another suggestion is that it originates from Henry Lawson’s book of stories Pass Round The Hat, published in 1907, where One-Eyed Bogan "is a drunkard, a pub brawler,and a con artist who has deserted his wife and skipped on alimony payments.”
The term was popularised in the 1980’s when the character Kylie Mole in the Comedy Company used it extensively to refer to those whom she disliked, although she used it in the context of dag or westie.
Some comments about bogans from the Urban Dictionary (a site where readers post definitions and meanings) at:
The majority of the species are hideously repugnant and unintelligent, and yet they manage to breed in ever-increasing numbers and populate an area known as the outer west. It is quite common to find five or six offspring in each family group, often with a different father for each new baby. Their habitat consists of a weatherboard or brick-veneer dwelling and is characterised by an early-model Holden or Ford in the driveway surrounded by a group of males discussing why the carby is stuffed and the results of last night's footy (a primitive gladiator-like spectator sport enjoyed by most bogans). The female of the species, while smaller in stature, is far more loud and aggressive than the male. While the males tend to be very friendly and congregate with other males, the females spend most of their time in supermarkets and shopping malls, using a shrill high-pitched call to discipline their children and contact other females. Males and females rarely interact socially except during breeding season, which is otherwise known as Friday night. During this time, females are allowed to enter the male-dominated area known as "the pub" and display their impressive coloured plumage to a prospective mate.
A lower class inhabitant, usually of South-Eastern Australia. Generally 'dim-witted', bogans are well known for having poor and vulgar language and typically found in rural areas or outer, lower class, suburbs. A male bogan can often be seen wearing old attire typically a 'wife-beater' (singlet), Australian rules football jumper, or a flannel shirt. Hair cuts are typical of those seen in the 80's/90's with a common style being the 'mullet'. A male bogan's interests are in the Australian style 'ute' (utility vehicle), Australian rules football, and the consumption of beer. The female bogan typically wears tight pants and with attire typical of the 80's/90's. Often referred to as 'darl' and 'sheila' the female bogan often attracts the attention of fellow bogans by calling an abbreviation of their name in a high pitched shrill. The male bogan holds the position of authority in a bogan household that can often see as many as 5 or 7 children. The female bogan is called upon by the male bogan only for dinner, beer and intercourse.
Attire is usually black in colour, jeans being tight and torn across the knees and on the lower bum cheek. The foot wear is usually one of the following 4; DB's Desert Boots or "Rollers", Ugg Boots, Rossie Shearers boots or no shoes at all. Shirts are usually flannel in nature or promoting bands such as MetallicA, PanterA, AC/DC, Sepultura, Iron Maiden or Megadeth. Hair is usually grown long, cut into a mullet or worn in dreadlocks, sometimes shaved but this results in them being mistaken for skinheads. Language is none other than loud and foul; ie "TRAVIS GET THE FUCK OUT OF THAT FUCKIN' TREE YOU LITTLE SHIT!". The common bogan is usually found to be drinking VB or Bundy. Without these valuable liquids, a bogan would surely perish. As far as diet is concerned the bogan prefers meat, potatoes and cheese because it is in their belief that any other vegetables/foods are for pussies.A website named Things Bogans Like can be viewed at:
It is based on the American website and book Stuff White People Like and makes the observation that there has been a movement away from the stereotypical bogan to a more trendy, more cashed up bogan (often referred to as CUB’s).
Accordingly ugh boots, mullet cuts and the Bathurst 1000 may still typify bogans, but today so also do getting big at the gym, Contiki tours and Boost Juice bars.
According to a newspaper report about the site at:
Also on the list are popular emerging habits such as "misspelling kids' names", and naming babies after high-end brands such as Mercedes, Armani and Chanel. "The end result of all this creativity is that instead of five Adams in a class(room) attempting to distinguish themselves from each other, there are now Riley, Reilly, Rhylie, Rylee, Ryley and Rylie getting into stoushes over whose dad has the biggest flatscreen," it says.
The site claims there is also a marketing catch cry that draws a bogan like a moth to a light bulb -- "no deposit, no interest, no repayments for 18 months".
But some traditional bogan behaviour has remained on the list, such as refusing to read a book until the film has been released and the penchant for decorating the home with stolen bar mats and street signs.
The site also takes aim at families who decorate their homes with religious icons but don't follow the religion. "What better way to announce one's entry into the knowledge economy than by purchasing a Buddhism-themed figurine, statue or water feature from the garden section of Kmart," it says.
And the emergence of the female bogan is singled out. A tattoo on the small of a woman's back, also known as a "tramp stamp" or "slag tag", is listed as a known indicator.
To close, a couple of bogan riddles:
Q: How do you know if you're a bogan?
A: You let your 15-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
Q. What does a bogan use as protection during sex?
A. The bus shelter.
Q. What do you call a 30-year-old bogan girl?
Q. Why did the bogan cross the road?
A. To start a fight with a complete stranger for no reason whatsoever.
Q. What do you call a bogan girl in a white tracksuit?
A. The bride.
Q. What's the first question during a bogan quiz night?
A. What you looking at?
Q. Two bogans are in a car without any music, who is driving?
A. The policeman.