Bogan Into Oxford Causes Quake

Filed in Archive, Blog by on July 20, 2013 0 Comments


Melbourne was shaken by an earthquake at 8.53pm on Tuesday 19 June. The quake qualified as a quake and not a tremor because it reached 5.3 on the Richter scale. The quake was centred in Moe, a town about 130 kilometres east of Melbourne, which boasts its own Wikipedia page.

There is a popular misconception that the earthquake was caused by the movement of tectonic plates. Geo-scientists made this theory sound plausible in the media during the following morning. But the real cause was disclosed to me by an outstanding former TAFE student who originally came from Moe (which he claimed stood for “Mocassins On Everyone”).

Let’s just call my former student Jaysen. In fact, this is the actual spelling of his first name. I only agreed to leave out his last name so he’s not assaulted next time he goes back to visit relatives. If you think this is an unusual spelling of Jason, then you need to understand that in bogan culture it was merciful he got away with Jaysen being spelt without the addition of a silent “k”.

Jaysen claimed that 8.53pm was simply the start of a massive party centred in Moe to celebrate the inclusion of the word  “bogan” into the Oxford Dictionary. The news that the elite committee at the Oxford Dictionary had finally conceded the legitimacy of “bogan” was first reported via radio and TV on the morning of Tuesday 19 June. (The above Tandberg cartoon is from The Age on Wednesday 20 June.)

I asked Jaysen about an after-shock that woke me in Melbourne at 4.49am Wednesday. He said this was the end of the party, the time when the residue of still-conscious bogans were told to go home. Nice to have that cleared up.

My main concern about the tardiness of the Oxford Dictionary in recognising a word that has had currency for more than two decades, is how long they will take to catch up with the concept of the new breed of cashed-up, aspirational bogan who has traded in VB for imported beer, flannel shirts for urban streetwear (see Ed Hardy), and mullets for braiding (male and female).

And since this new breed of bogan likes X’s as SXE accessories to things they purchase or text about, the critical question for the elite committee at the Oxford Dictionary will be exactly where to include a silent “x” in the word defining a twenty-first-century “bogan”.

Perhaps bogxan or boganx or boganxxx (plural)? Your suggestions are welcome.


(Originally published in May 2012, then reloaded in July 2013 to this website.)

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