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Mullet wearers unite - bogans are real

Crank up the Cold Chisel in your Commodore and crack open a cold-one - the word 'bogan' has officially been recognised.

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Mullet wearers unite – the word "bogan" has officially been recognised by the Oxford English Dictionary.

The self-proclaimed definitive record of English language included the word this month as an Australian and New Zealand colloquial "depreciative term for unfashionable, uncouth, or unsophisticated person, especially of low social status".

But New Zealand native Dave Snell, known as Dr Bogan after acquiring a PHD in boganism, disagreed with Oxford Dictionary's definition.

"I wasn't terribly fond of that definition ... I find it a little problematic," he said.

"I wouldn't say [being a bogan] means you're of lower status; I prefer to talk about working class people."

He said that, while you were unlikely to find a bogan wandering through a museum or admiring fine art, it was unfair to refer to the word as a "depreciative term".


"I don't really like the idea of calling being a bogan uncultured or unsophisticated," he said.

"It's just a different culture.

"I like to say it's like taking aspects of Australian culture and concentrating it."

So what is a bogan?

A study by University of Auckland linguistic students last year looked at defining the term "bogan" through a range of public surveys.

The results showed that people under the age of 30 were more likely to consider being a bogan as a good thing, in comparison to the over 30 age bracket who saw the term with negative connotations.

Dr Snell, who describes himself as the quintessential bogan, confessed that he often sported an ACDC T-shirt under his collared work shirt.

He gave a more specific physical description of what a bogan was, offering a checklist of sorts.

He said bogans were known for wearing black jeans, steel cap boots, heavy metal T-shirts and apparently quite a lot of "flanno" (flannel).

"I've got a goatie but I can't remember how long ago I cut off my mullet," he said.

"It got too greasy and started to grow things in it."

Curtin University Professor of Cultural Studies Jon Stratton said he was not surprised to see bogans appear in the dictionary.

"My only surprise is that the word has taken so long to get in there," he said.

Other words to be added to the OED in June include "BitTorrent", "cybercast", "dance-off" and "paywall".