THEY have been around for decades, wearing a mullet, black jeans and listening to heavy metal, and now the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) officially recognises bogans.
The word bogan has been included in the dictionary’s list of new word entries for June, sandwiched between bling and bustler.
The OED, which calls itself the definitive record of the English language, defines a bogan as a New Zealand and Australian colloquial “depreciative term for unfashionable, uncouth, or unsophisticated person, esp. of low social status”.
The origin of the word is unclear, but it may have originated in Australia.
The Australian National University says the term became widespread after it was used in the late 1980s by the fictitious schoolgirl Kylie Mole in the television series The Comedy Company.
Last year the University of Auckland linguistic students had a light-hearted look at what defined a bogan.
They found New Zealanders and Australians under the age of 30 were more likely to consider being a bogan a good thing compared with those over 30, who thought of bogans in a more negative light.
Younger respondents had a very clear and distinct image of bogans – mullet hair and black singlets for the men, boots and miniskirts for the women. They were also seen as petrolheads driving Holden Commodores.
New Zealand in fact has its very own “Professor Bogan”.
Waikato University’s Dave Snell graduated after completing his thesis entitled The Everyday Life of Bogans: Identity and Community Among Heavy Metal Fans.
He attended heavy metal concerts to study bogans in a social setting and interviewed them to see how belonging to the group affected other aspects of their lives. – AAP
IMAGE: Bogan Bingo @ The Underdog in Clapham Common, London