The Bogan Commentaries
|Date:||Saturday, May 27, 2000, 7:34|
The following is a commentary on the Harry/Bogan thread on this list I
forwarded to my philatelist friend who I suspect is Bogan by osmosis or
adoption or something. He's rather a unique person. Here is an editing
of his replies.
If you can find where you came in, or who wrote what of these, then you
are doing better than I am!
>and while i'm rambling about connotations about names here, what is (if
>any) your equivalents of something or somebody "harry"? (how i pity the
>original harry!) a harry person: fat hair, wearing jeans or leather or
>mix, furry dice and wunderbaum in the tweaked car (uses it to attract
>the car-stereo, which probably cost more than the car, is churning out
>something to woo (also harry) girls with, or some old country (oh sorry
>named "roots" here now) or other unspeakably bad music, with a volume
>enough to pierce your ear-drums. Bad booze (read: moonshine), worse
>low income, low status (most places), no future. A harry thing is
>harry person does or has or would (presumably) enjoy.
Harry is an ordinary name with few connotations, short
for both "Harold" and "Henry" (the latter is also sometimes
shortened to "Hank", but usually indicates American usage).
But with what you say, I doubt that anyone would dare to
call the King of Norway, Harald, "Harry" to his face!
Our word for such people is "bogan"; ten years ago it
>Hmmm... are rednecks like that?
The word "redneck" has distinct, and very negative,
connotations in New Zealand, as one who displays
extreme racial hatred.
>Around here, the guys who alter their cars here are often called Rice
>(used mostly by Asians to describe other Asians who do this to their
I have heard the word "rice burner" applied to Japanese sports
vehicles, both of the two-wheeled and of the four-wheeled
>The cars that these Rice Boys
>create are often called Rice Rockets
Sounds a lot like the local (NZ / Aust) use of "rice burner".
>These Rice Boys however, are usually middle
>class, and arent low income, but often have spent more time thinking
>their cars than their futures,
There is in New Zealand (and probably elsewhere) an interest
in getting the loudest car stereo possible - these people tend
to be more audio buffs than car buffs (although are looked down
on by "real" audio buffs - snobbery, I suspect). There are
competitions for such vehicles... a prominent New Zealand
sporting personality has installed a vastly expensive sound
system into a car and enters it into these sort of events.
The sound system is valued at many times the worth of the
>Rednecks generally are generally from rural areas, and tend to love
>trucks, beer, and wimmin (women ;)).
In NZ the spelling "wimmin" has connotations of feminism,
although mostly perpetrated by people poking fun at feminism.
[I think it is a tonal thing - there is only a minimum amount of
difference in the way I usually say "women" (Neutral tone) and "wimmin!"
> Often, they have rusted cars that
>they cannibalize for parts, and these often decorate their lawns (along
>with furniture, or large appliances), which are often surrounded by a
>up chain link fence, and a very unkempt yard. Many of these fine
>are to be spotted in tank-top shirts (or undershirts), whith grimy
>boots, and the classic mullet (short on top, and long on bottom, the
>haircut with a split personality). OFten they wear beat up baseball
>and some even have gun racks in their trucks (fer shootin' game)
>they are called White trash, or trailer trash, depending on their
Bogans. Cf. Ewen Gilmour (a stand-up comedian who takes on
the character of a West Auckland bogan, or "Westie"), or Ginette
Macdonald, whose character "Lynn of Tawa", while predating by
several years the use of the word "bogan", is the prototypical female
bogan). Incidentally, Macdonald is (or was - it is hard to tell with
Famous Personalities) married to David McGill, whose "Dictionary
of New Zealand Slang" I have just picked up from the annual
24-hour second hand book sale in Dunedin, where an entire theatre
is filled up with second hand books and the slavering masses let loose
on the poor innocent publications from 12pm on Friday to 12pm
[At the same high holy day of the Zen Bukkhists I picked up a copy I
picked up a copy of _French Phonology and Morphology_ and _Introduction
a l'Ancien Francais_, both of which have led at least two people to
falsely exclaim the illegitimacy of my birth so far.]
>(Note, these are the very negative generalizations. The American
>Jeff Foxworthy Jokes about Rednecks and has a routine where he says
>know you're a redneck if....." (I think that's the line). Anyway, i
>some people who pride themselves on being rednecks, and even had a
>Rican aquaintence who, since he lived in South Carolina, considered
>himself a redneck (strange as that may sound).
Again, the word has extreme negative connotations in New
Zealand, redolent more of the Ku Klux Klan than of the
[I regret to say that a lot of redneck sentiment that goes on in NZ
originates from respectable people.]
[Partridge's Dictionary of Historical Slang has this entry:
Rooinek. A British immigrant (1897); in Boer War, a British soldier:
Boers' nickname: late C.19-early 20. In South African Dutch, lit.
red-neck. The name replaced _rooibatje, red coat.]
>...and on the subject of tasteless car customization, there was a guy
>here a year or two ago who plastered his red Vauxhall Cavalier with
>fluorescent green stickers bearing such sage legends as "Bangladeshi
>Womaniser". Bear in mind that I live in deeply rural (and almost
>white-monocultural) North Dorset. Puzzling.
Sounds like a smartarse allusion to the car's model name...
I don't know what sort of suburb of London Vauxhall is,
but in Dunedin, NZ, a "Vauxhall cavalier" could conceivably
be applied to a young, well-to-do womaniser from an
expensive, sunny (if rather windy) suburb. However it is
most doubtful that anyone would ever actually use such an
epithet as the last Vauxhalls sold as such in New Zealand
were the Chevettes in the late 1970s. The dreadful
Vauxhall Viva basically killed the brand for the NZ
motorist - small GM cars from then were normally
sold as Holdens.
>In Russian, a similar series includes three frequent surnames:
>Ivanov, Petrov, Sidorov. Used only when no actual Petrovs/Ivanovs/
>Sidorovs can be concerned. Female equivalents rare (feminine forms
>of the same surnames: Ivanova, etc.).
I assume the English Tom, Dick and Harry have already been
mentioned. (Harry in the English sense not the Norwegian!)
In Samoan it is: Pai [and] Lafai, Tui [and] Seve.
No idea of others though.
The generic street in New Zealand is Main Street, Anytown.
(It can't be Notown as there actually is a place in New Zealand
town" - a gold mining village on the Wet Coast).
There are so many Main Roads about the place that one part
of New Zealand suffixes them with the name of the town they
pass through e.g. Main Road Stoke, Main Road Riwaka (both
near Nelson, at the top of the South Island).
Andrew Smith, Intheologus email@example.com