The word Bogan (pronounced ‘bow-ghin’, or Bogans in plural) is an Australian slang term that is widely used within Australia and New Zealand.
What is a Bogan?
One funny definition of a bogan, which I’ve sourced from Wikipedia, says a bogan is an ‘individual who is recognised to be from an unsophisticated background or someone whose limited education, speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour exemplifies a lack of manners and education’.
You might need this to pass an Australian Citizenship Test!
There isn’t quite an international equivalent for the Bogan, but other ones that come close are ‘chav‘ (British Slang from England) or the redneck from North America. Check out One Star People for an idea.
Bogans – Australia’s contribution to anti-culture!
One excellent and funny website that takes the piss out of Bogans is Things Bogans Like. I love this website. The reason I really like it is because it is so close to the truth. You can easily be fully versed on the bogan culture by just reading this website. The funniest part is the Bogan Baby names, which makes you think twice about whether human beings are the smartest organisms to ever inhabit the earth.
Television programs that have celebrated the bogan have included Kath and Kim (The Australian Version, not the American one) and the appallingly bad ‘reality’ television show called ‘The Shire’, which luckily wasn’t very popular. Watch them to get the general idea of what a bogan is.
I’ve actually explained the term ‘bogan’ to many people outside of Australia, and once they actually spot one, the most common response is ‘a bogan sounds like how it should look!’ Check out the Bogan Burger!
These days, with international travel now more accessible than at any time during the history of the planet, this has meant the migration of the bogan to other countries is more common, so you will most likely spot a bogan in almost any part of the world at any given time.
So here is my slightly shonky guide to identify the ubiquitous Australian Bogan on your travels.
How To Spot Aussie Bogans When Travelling
- Aussie Bogans like wearing Bin Tang (this is an Indonesian Beer) singlets around the world. They usually have more than one in case one wears out prematurely.
- Bogans will hunt out the establishment that have the cheapest alcoholic drinks in town – and proceed to try and drink the bar dry.
- Once drinking the place dry, the Bogan will probably end up sleeping in a gutter – or probably with a Ladyboy if they’re in Thailand.
- Bogans will try to seek out other bogans to hang out with instead of trying to immerse themselves into the culture of the place or intermingle with the locals.
- Bogans seem to like congregating in tourist traps like Bali and Thailand where the other bogans are – see point 4.
- Bogans will be in the internet cafe for hours looking for the cheapest possible fare on every single low cost airline to the next Bogan tourist trap.
- Once Bogans are on the low cost airline flight to the next Bogan tourist trap destination, they’ll proceed to drink away the savings they made and will more or less pay the same fare as a full service airline by the time they touch down.
- The preferred male costume of the Australian Bogan overseas is a singlet, shorts (in an Australian flag print), flip flops, and tattoos.
- The preferred female costume of the Australian Bogan overseas are short shorts, a bikini top (in an Australian flag print) and flip flops.
- And finally, the Australian Bogan will possess the Rootrat and Pisshead Travel Personalities – usually at the same time!
Believe me, you will know a Bogan when you see one! We even have a Big Bogan statue in Australia!
They’ll use a tonne of Australian Slang, including the term bogan!
More Bogan Stuff
What about you? Have you spotted bogan behaviour overseas? If so, feel free to leave a comment to share your experience if you’re game! Or maybe you’ve been living in Australia too long…