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Being a bogan


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#1 Mummy_Em

Posted 25 May 2019 - 03:58 PM

So I was chatting with a mate in the US. He grew up a Perth boy in the 70s and 80s. I grew up in Perth in the 80s and 90s. I keep misusing the term bogan and confusing him.

I realized that I’ve started to use the term bogan to refer to someone with very working class mores. The first place I heard it used that way was here on EB, followed by Aussie tv. That makes me wonder if the meaning has changed over time or if it depends on the social background of the person you are talking to. When I was growing up bogan just referred to your music taste and how you dress and your social “tribe” I guess. Bogans listen to Rock, they wore skinny jeans and boots of some form and usually some flanno. Mullets were more of a thing, I feel, in the early 90s.

But I definitely grew up thoroughly working class, no one in my family before me even finished high school, and unexpected bills as a cause of night-sweats was our norm. My grandad had an actual breakdown the first time he bought a house, took to his bed and my then teenaged uncle had to do the shift. Removalists are not a thing for working class people, you have a mate with a ute or a trailer. If you can’t reverse a trailer, then you unhitch it and push it up the driveway and reverse the car up to it. (My life as a kid of a single mum lol)

Anyway, I digress. Has the meaning of bogan changed or was the meaning always dependent on class?

#2 Riotproof

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:02 PM

From what I can work out, bogan is what you call any practice/fashion/music taste that you don’t like and feel you can look down on.

#3 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:07 PM

i’m not sure.

i only came across the word bogan (relatively) recently - possibly around 12-15 years ago...and the sources who introduced  it into my vernacular were from QLD.

growing up we said “westie” - which referred to the western suburbs of sydney - so it was a class thing, sure. as you say they wore flannos, had mullets (this was 70s and 80s), hotted up cars, smoked winnie blues.

i’m not entirely sure that bogan and westie are interchangeable, although i pretty much only hear bogan now, not westie. but it’s a subtle difference. bogan seems to imply something different - cashed up bogan maybe? kath and kim style? not sure.


#4 Octopodes

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:13 PM

Kath and Kim were bogans. I grew up in Melbourne, if you did anything Kath or Kim would do you were a bogan.

I am pretty sure the term originated in Melbourne. In Sydney the term is 'westie' in relation to being from the western suburbs.

edit: hmmm... apparently K&K isn't as old as I member it being. I distinctly remember using the term as a child in the 90s, so it must have come before Kath and Kim.

Edited by Octopodes, 25 May 2019 - 04:18 PM.


#5 Renovators delight

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:16 PM

Growing up in WA in the 80s and 90s, a bogan:
  • wore skin tight black Lee jeans
  • wore AC/DC singlets
  • wore black or tan desert boots (DBs)
  • had a packet of Winnie Blues
  • drank Emu Export or Johnny Walker Red
  • drove a Falcon ute or FT
In 21st century EB parlance, see my profile pic for a list of items commonly deemed bogan:
  • COFFEE TABLES (most bogan)
  • Sultanas (only bogans feed these to their children)
  • Yoghurt (bogan food)
  • Non-soshal cheese
  • Jo-jo bows
  • Camilla caftans.

Bogan is also either pejorative, or a concept one self-identifies with pride. And as RP says above, its a great way of labelling something as being below one's station in life, even when on the surface it might seem like its desirable (eg the cashed-up bogan).

Edited by Renovators delight, 25 May 2019 - 04:19 PM.


#6 ~J_WTF~

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:18 PM

It’s more often than not used as a derogatory term (especially on EB), so you can act like you are better than someone. The Aussie term for trailer trash pretty much. Often used to put someone back in their place.

Cashed up bogan is like a step up, they are still lower class but have more cash. I notice this term is often used about miners. So they still know they are in the lower classes of society even though they have more disposable income.

Edited by ~J_WTF~, 25 May 2019 - 04:21 PM.


#7 Sweet.Pea

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:23 PM

View Post~J_WTF~, on 25 May 2019 - 04:18 PM, said:

It’s more often than not used as a derogatory term, so you can act like you are better than someone. The Aussie term for trailer trash pretty much. Often used to put someone back in their place.

Cashed up bogan is like a step up, they are still lower class but have more cash. I notice this term is often used about miners. So they still know they are in the lower classes of society even thought they have most cash.

Yep! Same definition except I never really hear of a cashed up bogan...must not know anyone with money.

#8 Lesley225

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:23 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 25 May 2019 - 04:07 PM, said:

i’m not sure.

i only came across the word bogan (relatively) recently - possibly around 12-15 years ago...and the sources who introduced  it into my vernacular were from QLD.

growing up we said “westie” - which referred to the western suburbs of sydney - so it was a class thing, sure. as you say they wore flannos, had mullets (this was 70s and 80s), hotted up cars, smoked winnie blues.

i’m not entirely sure that bogan and westie are interchangeable, although i pretty much only hear bogan now, not westie. but it’s a subtle difference. bogan seems to imply something different - cashed up bogan maybe? kath and kim style? not sure.

Growing up in Sydney in the 70s we used Westie which i never hear anymore.

Westie was probably more affectionate daggish whereas Bogan doesn't seem to rely on class more lack of it.  To denote those with no taste.

I think i may have heard it first on Comedy Company which was Melbourne based.

#9 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:26 PM

lol - the EB list. guess I’m a bogan..

if we can take the snark out of it, it really is quite an interesting subject. i’d love someone (a social scientist maybe?, or a linguist maybe?) to do a study in it.

to be sure - “westie” was a pejorative term, growing up i would not have liked to have been called a westie, but given  i lived in Epping i was fighting a losing battle i guess! north west? where’s Priv when you need her!

“bogan” is a pejorative term too.....but i’m convinced the terms have subtle differences. and of course - both tribes take (or took - in the case of westies - who have largely been replaced by bogans) pride in their attributes and liberally splash the term around to each other (kind of like “wog” in the greek community that i know).

bogans are more aspirational, relatively well off (effluent!) and wouldn’t necessarily vote labor - and could easily swing hard wright. the westies i knew were strictly ALP, working class, not at all aspirational. maybe this all changed with howard? howard’s battlers? I’d love to read more on it.


#10 Coffeegirl

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:32 PM

View Post~J_WTF~, on 25 May 2019 - 04:18 PM, said:

It’s more often than not used as a derogatory term (especially on EB), so you can act like you are better than someone. The Aussie term for trailer trash pretty much. Often used to put someone back in their place.

Cashed up bogan is like a step up, they are still lower class but have more cash. I notice this term is often used about miners. So they still know they are in the lower classes of society even though they have more disposable income.

I came to Australia in 1991 and this is pretty much how I would explain the term bogan to someone else.


Cashed up bogan is the guy in a million dollar home, yet still has three hotted up cars sitting on his lawn in various state of repair.   Probs driving a Subbie



#11 ~J_WTF~

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:34 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 25 May 2019 - 04:26 PM, said:

lol - the EB list. guess I’m a bogan..

if we can take the snark out of it, it really is quite an interesting subject. i’d love someone (a social scientist maybe?, or a linguist maybe?) to do a study in it.

to be sure - “westie” was a pejorative term, growing up i would not have liked to have been called a westie, but given  i lived in Epping i was fighting a losing battle i guess! north west? where’s Priv when you need her!

“bogan” is a pejorative term too.....but i’m convinced the terms have subtle differences. and of course - both tribes take (or took - in the case of westies - who have largely been replaced by bogans) pride in their attributes and liberally splash the term around to each other (kind of like “wog” in the greek community that i know).

bogans are more aspirational, relatively well off (effluent!) and wouldn’t necessarily vote labor - and could easily swing hard wright. the westies i knew were strictly ALP, working class, not at all aspirational. maybe this all changed with howard? howard’s battlers? I’d love to read more on it.

Interesting.. I would say that is more the definition for the CUBs, not so much a your standard bogan.

Your standard bogan imo fits more in the westie definition you have given.

But I had never heard of a westie until EB though, it was always bogan. From what I have read here I would say westie and bogan are the same, just named differently due to regions. Kind of like potato cake vs patoto scallop.

#12 Octopodes

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:34 PM

Bogan was always about the class divide. Not all working class people were bogans, but all bogans were working class. CUBs were a step below bogans. It was better to a poor bogan than a 'rich' one pretending to be middle class. At least you were being true to yourself.

That is what I remember anyway.

The term is used in a very different way these days.

#13 Mmmcheese

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:40 PM

View PostCoffeegirl, on 25 May 2019 - 04:32 PM, said:



I came to Australia in 1991 and this is pretty much how I would explain the term bogan to someone else.


Cashed up bogan is the guy in a million dollar home, yet still has three hotted up cars sitting on his lawn in various state of repair.   Probs driving a Subbie

Shane Warne is always who I think of when the term 'cashed up bogan' is floated around.

#14 ~J_WTF~

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:43 PM

View PostOctopodes, on 25 May 2019 - 04:34 PM, said:

Bogan was always about the class divide. Not all working class people were bogans, but all bogans were working class. CUBs were a step below bogans. It was better to a poor bogan than a 'rich' one pretending to be middle class. At least you were being true to yourself.

That is what I remember anyway.

The term is used in a very different way these days.

In my experience it was always better to be a CUB than a standard bogan, fake it until you make it kind of thing...

CUBs are like the family on Upper Middle Bogan (funny show if you havent watched).. The live in a McMansion. They drive hotted up cars, usually falcons or commondores. They holiday in Bali and act all classy because they leave the country.

Who knew this would be the topic to procrastinate over on this Saturday arvo :lol:

Edited by ~J_WTF~, 25 May 2019 - 04:44 PM.


#15 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:44 PM

View PostMmmcheese, on 25 May 2019 - 04:40 PM, said:



Shane Warne is always who I think of when the term 'cashed up bogan' is floated around.

yep - Warnie.

anyone on those Real Housewives of Sydney shows.


#16 JustBeige

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:45 PM

Quote

The Aussie term for trailer trash pretty much
That was the way I always used it. Its also the way I use the term when describing The Morons latest F-buddy.

I do think that the term has evolved over the years with many people happily taking ownership of that term and proudly applying it to themselves.

I think at its heart its still meant to mean gauche or imply lack of good manners/ class distinction.

#17 Dianalynch

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:46 PM

I grew up as a westie in Sydney, there was kind of a pride in being working class...whereas bogan seems to refer to the same working class people who don't want to be working class...it's aspirational...to have more money, bigger houses, nicer cars...I think it came in with Howard.

Bogan is used as a negative by the middle classes to put the working class 'back in their place' as in 'sure, you might have money now, but you're a tasteless bogan - I can tell by your coffee table, big suburban house, Kardashian style and overtly designer fashion with too much make up ways'

#18 Renovators delight

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:51 PM

View Post~J_WTF~, on 25 May 2019 - 04:43 PM, said:

In my experience it was always better to be a CUB than a standard bogan, fake it until you make it kind of thing...

CUBs are like the family on Upper Middle Bogan (funny show if you havent watched).. The live in a McMansion. They drive hotted up cars, usually falcons or commondores. They holiday in Bali and act all classy because they leave the country.

Who knew this would be the topic to procrastinate over on this Saturday arvo :lol:

I reckon the original or perhaps the canon CUB family was the Donaher family on Sylvania Waters.

#19 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:54 PM

interestingly...as i said, the term only really came into my vernacular around 12 years ago....coincided with the birth of my older son. one of the mums in my mother’s group used it quite a lot ....we weren’t friends per se....however our boys growing up developed a bit of a friendship so we had a bit to do with each other although i’m not sure i would necessarily seek out her company, on its own. she punched down a bit i thought with some of her ridicule, anyway - to her soooo many things were bogan. i mentioned we were going to Hamilton island for a holiday - that was “full of bogans - check out the tatts...”, the local public school was undesirable because of “bogans”, “did i think the royal easter show was worth going to - was it full of bogans?”.

the thing is, i quietly kind of thought she was a bit of a bogan! of the cashed up variety.


#20 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 25 May 2019 - 04:56 PM

View PostRenovators delight, on 25 May 2019 - 04:51 PM, said:



I reckon the original or perhaps the canon CUB family was the Donaher family on Sylvania Waters.

yep....and a Shire Bogan at that. a special breed.

do we think ScoMo is a bogan?


#21 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 25 May 2019 - 05:07 PM

He's the king of fashion in his neighbourhood
With his ripped blue jeans and a flannelette shirt
A well kept mullet and a packet of smokes
His mates will all tell ya he's a real top bloke

His real name is Barry, but his mates call him Bazza
And his girlfriend's name is Sharon, but ya just call her Shazza
Real top sheila, real top sort
She'll even change your stubby while you're watching sport
But don't victimise him for his way of life
He's sick and tired of hearing people say...

Nobody likes, nobody likes, nobody likes a bogan

He drives a VK Commodore with alloy wheels
With a home made spoiler made of crappy steel
Pair of fluffy dice and all the other toys
But his 'No Fear' sticker is his pride and joy
Saturday night the boys hit town
Yeah they're cruising the streets with their windows down
Put on some Barnsey and they're on their way
You'll hear the car com'n from a mile away

Edited by IShallWearMidnight, 25 May 2019 - 05:10 PM.


#22 Octopodes

Posted 25 May 2019 - 05:15 PM

View Post~J_WTF~, on 25 May 2019 - 04:43 PM, said:

In my experience it was always better to be a CUB than a standard bogan, fake it until you make it kind of thing...

CUBs are like the family on Upper Middle Bogan (funny show if you havent watched).. The live in a McMansion. They drive hotted up cars, usually falcons or commondores. They holiday in Bali and act all classy because they leave the country.

Who knew this would be the topic to procrastinate over on this Saturday arvo Posted Image
The CUB was looked down upon because they had money and didn't seem to know what to do with it. Whereas a regular bogan had no money (or class) so their bogan ways were understandable.

These days, bogans holiday in Bali or take pacific cruises. The CUBs are D grade celebrities (often professional sports stars, bloggers, influencers, reality tv stars and the like). Neither group is true working class.

#23 Renovators delight

Posted 25 May 2019 - 05:17 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 25 May 2019 - 04:56 PM, said:

yep....and a Shire Bogan at that. a special breed.

do we think ScoMo is a bogan?

No, although I think we all have a little bit of bogan inside of us. Be it a love of Bali, a preference for Ford or Holden, I mean, even Paul Keating was a Collingwood supporter.

#24 Hands Up

Posted 25 May 2019 - 05:21 PM

Slightly off topic but what is one meant to use (According to EB) instead of a coffee table?

#25 ~J_WTF~

Posted 25 May 2019 - 05:29 PM

View PostOctopodes, on 25 May 2019 - 05:15 PM, said:

The CUB was looked down upon because they had money and didn't seem to know what to do with it. Whereas a regular bogan had no money (or class) so their bogan ways were understandable.

These days, bogans holiday in Bali or take pacific cruises. The CUBs are D grade celebrities (often professional sports stars, bloggers, influencers, reality tv stars and the like). Neither group is true working class.

See this is very different from my lived experience of what a bogan and CUB is.

None of the CUBs I know are D grade celebrities and none of the people I know who would call themselves bogans could ever afford to holiday in Bali or go on a cruise.

It is interesting that we all bring our own baggage from how we grew up to the discussion though.




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