Tag Archives: Bogans

Ethereal Bogan

Even though I’ve lived outside New Zealand for several years now, there are still times when I unwittingly fall into a crack in the common language. How could “chuffed” be gibberish outside of the Antipodes? Why do Americans refuse the services of a great word like “bludge”? And why can’t a green pepper be a “capsicum” always? It’s mystifying, really.

Hence: Necessary informational preface, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The term bogan (pronounced /ˈboʊgən/, rhyming with slogan) is Australian and New Zealand English slang, usually pejorative, for a person who is, or is perceived to be, of a lower-class background. According to the stereotype, the speech and mannerisms of “bogans” indicate, poor education, cheap clothing and uncultured upbringing. ‘Bogans’ usually reside in economically disadvantaged suburbs (often outer metropolitan) or rural areas[1].

The term is a close regional equivalent to the English term Chav or Pikey, Scottish term Ned, Irish term Scanger and the North American term White Trash. However the term ‘bogan’ is occasionally used with some affection in Australia/NZ, whereas those corresponding terms are not. (Emphasis added.)

For example:

“Cricketer Shane Warne receives regular ribbings from the Australian media for his bogan persona. His struggles with weight loss and cigarettes, the unsophisticated dietary habits, are all fodder for commentators who recoil at his uncouth habits. But Warney is the ultimate Aussie bloke: all brawn and few brains when it comes to controlling his appetites, plus a blinding addiction to blondes who are typically clones of his attractive wife.” (Emma-Kate Symons, “Spinning out of control,” The Weekend Australian (2-3 July 2005), p 19

Inspirational runway collage for a show. The clothes were plaid, the music was the kind of Courtney Love I used to scowl angrily along to in fifth form, and there were leather jackets in every second look. In fitting with the moto cross theme, half of the models wore knee pads or head gear. We were hard rock listening, Holden-fiddling, beer-drinking, stubbie-wearing, singleted boganettes and I for one had a pretty rad time at it.

Not a message you really need to give to a room of models, but hey. I tried my best to walk strong-but-not-angry, as if I were on my way to my fave drag racing spot to catch the weekend action. Or something.

(Runway photos from Zimbio.com)

In my revisionist dream closet, I bought that Eisenhower jacket I said I was going to a year ago already.

In related wardrobe plotting: I’ve decided I want this dress. I love the plaid on the bodice — it reminds me of a bush shirt — and, let’s face it, the one advantage of having a microscopically endowed chest is that you can wear low-cut scoop-necks and not look cheap. Dresses like these are practically my birth right. Or at least the reward of years of teenage curve envy. I’ll use this post as a memory jogger for next April, when the frock should be available.