18 March 2019

How bogan is Canberra?

| Glynis Quinlan
Start the conversation

Is Canberra a ‘bogan place’? That’s the name on a street sign in Kaleen. Photo: Glynis Quinlan.

Canberrans have the highest average incomes in Australia, tend to be the most educated people in the nation and have an impressive range of cultural institutions, hip cafes and trendy restaurants to visit.

Sounds sophisticated, one would think, but is there also a ‘bogan’ side to our carefully-planned city?

After all, we are also the home to a street named ‘Bogan Place’ (a bit of a giveaway) and one of our biggest annual events is Summernats – which this year reclaimed the title for the world’s largest simultaneous burnout (the ultimate bogan record).

So what is a ‘bogan’ anyway? ‘Bogan’ is an Australian and New Zealand slang word defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as referring to “an uncouth or unsophisticated person regarded as being of low social status”.

The term conjures up ideas of everything from mullet haircuts and ugg boots to hoon drivers and binge drinking.

However, in recent times it seems to have moved further away from how much is in your back pocket and more toward matters of taste – leaving Canberrans more at risk than ever.

For example, chances are there are several children in our city whose names have made it onto writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson’s pick of the top bogan baby names for last year. Check out the list by clicking here.


According to Sabrina Rogers-Anderson, the top four bogan baby names for 2018 were Bylan, Chavelle, Carridyn and Espirit.

A social media site named ‘Subtle Bogan Traits’ is rapidly growing in popularity as contributors offer their insights into some tell-tale bogan traits in this new world order.

While the words ‘subtle’ and ‘bogan’ seem like a contradiction in terms, the traits referred to on the site may give you some clues as to whether you’re living amongst a mob of bogans here in Canberra, or – hold onto your singlets – whether you may have some bogan traits yourself…

Below you will find a number of ‘subtle bogan traits’ which Region Media has selected from the Facebook site to aid you in your process of self-discovery. Check out whether you or your friends share these traits and draw your own conclusions or go to the site to check out the full range.

  • Gorging yourself sick at your hotel breakfast buffet so you’ll save money on lunch
  • Saying “wow that went up quick” to every building development
  • Giving your bbq tongs a few test clicks to ensure they’re working
  • Saying “all gone” to your dog after eating food
  • Writing a negative Google review as an act of revenge
  • Purchasing your cinema snacks at the supermarket next door
  • Walking past a fisherman and asking “any luck mate?”
  • Using “Legend” as a substitute for “thank you”
  • Giving your car a human name
  • Taste testing the grapes at Woolies before not buying them
  • Going to Boost Juice every time you go to Westfield
  • Calling the teacher mum and the whole class roasting you for it
  • Looking for Vegemite when travelling
  • Carrying around black garbage bags full of old clothes in the boot of your car for 8 months before going to the Salvos
  • Pressing the pedestrian crossing button repeatedly at traffic lights, even when it’s already been pressed and people are waiting
  • Calling a suburb or area “my old stomping ground”…
  • Eating uncooked 2-minute noodles for recess in primary school
  • Carrying all the groceries inside in one load
  • Putting “no time wasters” on gumtree ads
  • Beginning your order at the bar/restaurant with the words “just a”
  • Wearing a watch but always checking the time on your phone
  • Doing last minute listening to the band’s music prior to their concert
  • Referring to your family as “fam bam”
  • Holding your ticket up at the deli counter like you’ve won a prize when they call your number.

How did you go? Do you have any ‘subtle bogan traits’? And do you think Canberra is a bit bogan? Let us know in the comments below.

Original Article published by Glynis Quinlan on The RiotACT.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.