Part of the fun (and stress!) of moving to another country, even If they speak English and you are supposed to know this language, is to learn the local slang. In Australia people eat “capsicum” (and not peppers), they wear thongs on their feet and not somewhere else (as the word here means “flip flops”) and smile “heaps” (a lot / lots). And so on.
Every day could be an occasion to learn new terms.
And so it was when my colleague at work started to talk about a certain category of people I should apparently be careful of within Ballarat… the HOONS! And the BOGANS as well.
The whaaat?? My face said it all: never heard of it
So, who are these mysterious people he was talking about?
The HOONS are normally young people (mainly guys) who like to show off driving a car in a very anti-social way, too fast, too noisy, too dangerously. Things like screeching tires and burnouts are
typical of the “hooning” way. Apparently this phenomenon is very common here in Australia, so much that “anti-hoon laws” have been created (people hoon with boats as well, apparently!).
Now at least I know what’s going on in the evening when I hear outside my window in the distance loud sounds of screeching tires …
The BOGANS are a recognised subculture and they are the Aussie version of the English “CHAVS”.
So, If you have never heard of them before, here are the characteristics that define a stereotypical Bogan:
- Lower working class background
- Normally doesn’t work, but live off government help
- A typical “bougette” has several children, from different men (each child = money from the government)
- Normally lives in the suburbs
- Has bad teeth and home-made tattoo
- Smokes a lot, drinks a lot, and uses drugs
- Drives Commodore or Ford Falcon and likes to “hoon”
- Swearing and yelling is the way to go (poorly educated and vulgar)
These are just general characteristics and the list is actually longer but it gets better. Someone has created a website called “Things that Bogans like” with more than 250 articles about things that Bogans are claimed to like (examples are Donald Trump, “50 Shades of grey” , “cougars” and “self help books”). It is quite hilarious and there is even a Facebook page! If you want to have a look (and a laugh!) and learn more about these characters, here’s the link https://thingsboganslike.com/.
The funniest thing I have found on that website is the quite extensive list of baby-bogans names. Apparently, Bogans really try hard to give their babies unique names, and in order to achieve that they are ready for everything such as:
- Taking a normal name and misspelling it
- Adding hyphen and dashes here and there
- Using names from brands or famous movie characters
- Inventing a completely new name
… All in the desperate attempt to create something original, unusual, different that somehow give them a tone.
Are you ready to cringe? Here’s some examples:
Courtknee, Kkyylliiee (for Kylie), Craigette (from the parents Craig and Annette), A-A (pronounced AdashA), Klamydia (yep, like the disease!), Blaec (instead of the -oh too normal- Blake), Chanel, Chardonnay, Kahlua, Diamonique (a mix of diamond and Monique) and the very modern “Khaleesi”, from the popular Game of Thrones (made even more unique by writing it Caleesie!!). Never mind that it’s actually a title and not a name in the series… everything to give a poor baby the ultimate great cool name. They all made me cringe.
Last but not least about the Bogan world… there is even an APP!! Yes, an app called “The Bogan test” that apparently, thanks to 100 questions, is able to tell whether you are in reality a bogan or not. It is indeed quite hilarious. You can read more about it in this article: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/youre-a-bogan-too-just-take-this-test/story-fnet0he2-1226629950573
And remember one important difference I have been told by my colleague: almost all Bogans are Hoons but not all Hoons are Bogans…all clear? 🙂
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