Coincidence? I don’t think so. So what’s the big news?
Bogans have finally been recognised in the epitome of proper Englishness, the Oxford English Dictionary, no less. Now for those of you not privileged enough to have lived in Australia or New Zealand, you’ll be able to read for yourself the answer to the question:
What is a bogan?
According to the new listing in the Oxford English Dictionary:
Bogan – an Australian and New Zealand colloquial “depreciative term for unfashionable, uncouth, or unsophisticated person, esp. of low social status”.
Most of my generation first came across the word in the 1980s with The Comedy Company’s character – Kylie Mole – but since then there’s been a raft of bogans on the tele in Australia and New Zealand, in programmes such as Outrageous Fortune, Sylvania Waters, The Castle, and Kath and Kim. But of course as TV and film is only art imitating life, the humble bogan can be found everywhere Down Under.
But especially in West Auckland, and the wild West of Australia, and that place in the photo up there – Bogan Way – which is somewhere out in the dust of the Australian outback.
Recent reports have indicated that the influx of miners into Western Australia has meant that Qantas has had to revise its Qantas Club Frequent Flyers lounge dress rules. Mullets, work boots, mini skirts (for the ladies), and hi viz (with swannies or flannies as coveralls) will now be acceptable.
But that’s not to say that there isn’t a surfeit of bogans cruising the streets of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Wellington, in their Holden Commodores.
So how do you spot a bogan?
She’ll have dyed blonde hair with a deep crown of dirty brown roots, and will have her bazoombas on show at all times. She’s the kind of lady who favours leopard spots and black lace and underwear as outwear.Young bogan women tend to favour skin tight jeans, tramp stamps, and ugg boots. Though ugg boots have gone decidedly upmarket recently.
Mr Bogan is easily identifiable at a distance by his mullet. Yes, I know mullets went out with chest rugs, but the rules are a little different for bogans. Despite being singuarly unattractive and unable to hold a conversation for longer than the brief intervals between swigs of VB(Australia) or Lion Red (NZ) Mr Bogan has squired a small nation of offspring.
Not that he knows where they all are!
Typically dressed in a black singlet, topped off with a swandry (flannel) when it’s chilly Mr Bogan is one class act, who rarely works but has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things heavy metal, and can distinguish a f-cked carby in a Holden just by listening to it groan up the road. Eric Bana created one of his best loved characters in Poita in the hilarious show Fast Forward.
Recently bogans have become somewhat celebrated in Australia, with a flurry of new books out about ‘bogan culture’ and new websites popping up covering what bogans like. A new term has even been coined to explain a bogan who has cashed up – CUB – and one Australian columnist has even stated that bogans have recently gone from trash to flash in Australia.
Tory Shepherd was quoted in The Telegraph and in The Punch saying: “Bogans can be found not just on red carpets and setting trends in glossy magazines, but in Parliament and on television. They are Gods on the sporting fields, royalty on Twitter. Today, we celebrate bogans.”
And now we’re celebrating them in the OED!
Not that they’ll know of course. If they really wanted to celebrate bogans, maybe they should have put the announcement up on Big Brother Australia.
Not even an earthquake can get the attention of the bogans. What’s to bet somewhere out there in the Melbourne suburbs there’s a bogan bloke right now, pulling out of Shazza after creating a new little Ril-lee, hoicking up his jeans and muttering;
“Youse all see that? The earth moved – that’s what I’m talking about!’
Image: Flickr CC