The word was included this month as an Australian and New Zealand colloquial “depreciative term for unfashionable, uncouth, or unsophisticated person, especially of low social status.”
But far from being pejorative, some wear the name like a badge of honour, and if anyone knows, it’s Kiwi Dave Snell, who is otherwise known as Dr Bogan after acquiring a PHD in boganism.
Though recognising you are unlikely to bump into a bogan in a museum, he takes issue with ‘bogan’ being referenced as a “depreciative term”.
“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, and I don’t really like the idea of calling being a bogan uncultured or unsophisticated.
“It’s just a different culture. I like to say it’s like taking aspects of Australian culture and concentrating it.”
A study by linguistic students at Auckland University last year found that people under the age of 30 took far less offence at being labelled a bogan than those over 30, who felt it had negative connotations.
Snell, who relishes his boganism (he wears an ACDC T-shirt under his collared work shirt), offered a checklist of sorts.
It includes wearing attire such as black jeans, steel cap boots, heavy metal T-shirts and ‘flannos’ (flannelette shirts).
“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.”