July 02, 2003


Attention, American bludgers! The takeover of your culture has begun!

Americans have formally adopted the Australian arts of bludging and barbies, with the words included in the latest Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Their usage is defined as "chiefly Australia and New Zealand," but they are among 10,000 new terms in the Collegiate Dictionary's 11th edition which has 225,000 entries altogether.

Bludge is defined as "to avoid work or responsibility"; barbie as barbecue.

Bludgeblog (bludg-blog) n. An infrequently updated personal website. See Treacher, J.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 2, 2003 03:19 AM

Well, of course we Americans know what a barbie is. You can thank Paul Hogan for that. But I had no idea the word "bludger" meant anything except in the context of Quidditch. Does the new Merriam-Webster include terms like "muggle" and "apparate"? There can't be many Americans left who don't recognize these.

Posted by: Pat Berry at July 2, 2003 at 03:35 AM

Before I ever visited Australia I thought "bludger" was some kind of bird and a "barbie" was a small tropical fish. Actually the word "barbecue," which has a very specific meaning in the American South and Midwest, was often used in the Northeast of my youth to refer to a cookout (and sometimes to the grill used for that purpose) involving burgers, steaks, or chicken -- but never seafood (a cookout where fish or shellfish were served was called a clambake, whether or not clams were actually on the menu). So the evolution to "barbie" is quite natural, though I'm sure Paul Hogan did much to move it along.

Posted by: Zathras at July 2, 2003 at 03:52 AM

Wot? Bludgeoning a Barbie.

Isn't that assault on a sex kitten doll?

Posted by: Wallace at July 2, 2003 at 06:42 AM

"Bludging" means to avoid work or responsibility? I thought that was "blogging".

Posted by: BH at July 2, 2003 at 08:46 AM

And 'scrubs up' didn't make the list?

Posted by: Wind Rider at July 2, 2003 at 10:49 AM

Bludge also means to live off the earnings of a prostitute, like "pimp''. So you could bludge off a Barbie.

Posted by: slatts at July 2, 2003 at 12:01 PM

Cultural imperialism, if ever I saw it. Aussie slang is going to take over the world! Go you good thing!

Posted by: Razor at July 2, 2003 at 12:47 PM

So all those bloggers who get fired for blogging at work can be said to inhabit the "bludgeosphere"?

Posted by: Robert Speirs at July 2, 2003 at 12:47 PM

Treacher just sent a note. Subject line: "Blair: It's Australian for 'Douche'!"

Posted by: tim at July 2, 2003 at 01:20 PM

Hey Tim, I'd heard that 'barbie' was not really Aussie slang, just something Paul Hogan made up in his Australian Tourist Board ads, which were ubiquitous here in the States. True?

Posted by: Jabba the Nutt at July 2, 2003 at 02:08 PM

To be added next year:\
Bonza = great
Beauty = well done, not hard on the eyes
Feral = person with questionalable hygiene habits who likes to busk and hand out greenpeace leaflets.
Sod = a piece of earth; also a person who other people would like to grind into the earth.
Bloody = backs up other expressions with more emphasis ie " Bloody feral, what a sod! "

Any other suggestion with which to advance the Pax Australis empire?

Posted by: Jake D at July 2, 2003 at 02:29 PM

Kinoath = a testament to veracity

Posted by: BruceT at July 2, 2003 at 04:20 PM

In 'Eat the Rich', PJ O'Rourke writes about the 1997 British handover of Hong Kong to China - and calls the British 'the Poms'! If only he and other US journos would use it more, 'pom' could have a real future in America.

Jabba - 'barbie' is a real Australianism. It's Steve Irwin ('The Crocodile Hunter') that no-one in Australia had ever heard of.

Posted by: David Morgan at July 2, 2003 at 04:42 PM

Eh. "Jacko" "chunder" and "shiela" never caught on after their respective two weeks' of fame.

Oh, and "yahoo serious" never panned out, either.


Posted by: Cameron at July 3, 2003 at 02:50 AM