Some people, especially in the far west of NSW, don‘t like the word bogan.
They think it belittles them, despite it being the name of a river and other places in western NSW.
Some of them think of B. Cownam writing in Legolingo in 1987 “bogans are not popular and tend to inhabit Queanbeyan”.
I don’t know who B. Cownam is. He was mentioned in the Australian National Dictionary, now two volumes replacing the one-volume book that I gained many years ago from Oxford. I gained it for Christmas, but I wondered what he had against Queanbeyan.
Bogan, according to the same dictionary, is “a boorish and uncouth person”.
It has only a brief career in this sense. The earliest I could find was in 1985.
In September of that year, Tracks said: “So what if I have a mohawk and wear Dr Martens boots for all you uninformed bogans.” Tracks was a surfing magazine.
Teenagers used it to mean someone who was a bit of a dag, or a hooligan.
My big dictionary says “occasionally synonymous with dag”.
Bruce Moore, writing in What’s Their Story, was one of many who saw a connection with Kylie Mole from The Comedy Company. Kylie defined a bogan as ”a person you just don’t bother with; someone who wears their socks the wrong way or has the same number of holes in their stockings; a complete loser”.
A similar item was contained in Dolly magazine in October 1988.
Bogan is usually male, although bogan chick is a female bogan, not that I have ever heard a female referred to as a bogan chick.
Susan Butler, writing in The Dinkum Dictionary, says the widespread use of bogan became popular after Kylie Mole began using it. She says it is a homegrown word.
My big dictionary tried to describe bevans and bogans, by quoting the Brisbane Courier Mail of July 6, 1988 as saying “this group is characterised by their common dress – tight T-shirts with a logo relating to the brand of car they drive or detest, old blue jeans, jeans, thongs in summer and the obligatory packet of cigarettes shoved up one T-shirt sleeve)”.
It went on to quote the Courier Mail as saying female bogans wore tight jeans, high-heeled shoes and skimpy camisole tops. It then went on to say bevans and bogans ate at McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks the Taco Den or Kentucky Fried Chicken.
That description fits me and most of my friends.
I throw out all my old jeans, but shops are selling them for a high price. I think I’m missing out on something there.
Bogan has some interesting expressions.
For instance, there is the bogan flea (which is a plant), the bogan gate, which is a makeshift gate, bogan shower (a dust storm), bogan chick (a female bogan mentioned earlier).
Then there is boganhood, the quality of being a bogan. Not everybody can be a bogan. What about bogaism or boganic. How about bogan ic or boganland, or boganness?
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