How bogan is Canberra?

Glynis Quinlan 18 March 2019 46

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.

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46 Responses to How bogan is Canberra?
Boris Davor Boris Davor 11:29 am 20 Mar 19

Not sure that someone named after a teenage witch should be judging names.

Wing Nut Wing Nut 8:18 pm 19 Mar 19

Yep, I’m a Bogan……but none of them ridiculous baby names, mullets and Summernats. Hand me a green can will ya ..

Jenny Morris Jenny Morris 6:45 pm 19 Mar 19

OMG....I'm a bogan...

Sarah Moon Sarah Moon 3:54 pm 19 Mar 19

Amy Warland... this is the street I was talking about!

John Powell John Powell 3:10 pm 19 Mar 19

To qualify as a real bogan you have to be born out there! In Parkes I grew up near Bogan Street, used to ride my bike out towards Bogan Gate, then married a girl from out on the Bogan Road who lived near the Bogan River!

Emma Weyers Emma Weyers 12:31 pm 19 Mar 19

Janet Butterworth Weyers Phillip Weyers hahaahaaa

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 9:17 am 19 Mar 19

Bogan Shire Council, Nyngan.

Kent Street Kent Street 9:12 am 19 Mar 19

well, if it’s open slather on Tuggeranong, let’s try this one . . .
Q. What is the first question at a Charnwood quiz night?
A. What are you lookin’ at.

M.J. Leonard M.J. Leonard 9:08 am 19 Mar 19

Everyone is someone else's bogan.

Caroline Parker Caroline Parker 8:36 am 19 Mar 19

I wear trackey dackies in Winter....does that count?? LOL

Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 8:27 am 19 Mar 19

Adeel Saleem what a joke

Nunkeri Bungledool Nunkeri Bungledool 5:16 am 19 Mar 19

I am a Vyegan from Nyngan NSW. It's a town on the Bogan River in the Bogan Shire

Danny Fox Danny Fox 12:31 am 19 Mar 19

Erin Rooney wondering if you're as subtly bogan as I am... I think you'll be stiff competition 😜

    Erin Rooney Erin Rooney 7:39 am 19 Mar 19

    Danny Fox oh man I ticked yes to almost all of these haha!!! The most bogan thing I've seen in Canberra is the day I got my P's, I drove 'Bumblebee' (😉) to Charnwood Macca's and there was a milk crate outside with a piece of paper stuck to it that said "Dine-in closed". I have Katrina Vesala and Peter Marshall as witnesses 😂

Liam Bourke Liam Bourke 11:10 pm 18 Mar 19

Bogan place is in a suburb named after rivers.

Mark Will Mark Will 11:06 pm 18 Mar 19

Canberrans are the worst kind of bogan... the cashed up version.

Pop Senior Pop Senior 10:54 pm 18 Mar 19

Now now, come on. After the recent Black Magic balloon fiasco I think i'm feeling a little a little offended by this, I am only one person but I do think we can get this changed and pulled down.....

Jenny McInnes Jenny McInnes 9:59 pm 18 Mar 19

Tuggeranong or should I say Thugeranong. It seems there are some who have little to do in their life so they graffitti or spend their time doing laps speeding or burnouts, especially if it is raining!

Dan Bamford Dan Bamford 9:44 pm 18 Mar 19

Wow - hard to believe anyone isn’t a bogan!

John Kirubaithilakan John Kirubaithilakan 9:37 pm 18 Mar 19

“Carrying around black garbage bags full of old clothes in the boot of your car for 8 months before going to the Salvos”: I’m currently doing this (way past 8 months now).

    John Kirubaithilakan John Kirubaithilakan 10:03 pm 18 Mar 19

    Haha you ARE one of those!

    Pip Swayn Pip Swayn 7:16 am 20 Mar 19

    John Kirubaithilakan I can take them off your hands! My mum volunteers at a charity op shop.

    Lyndal Buik Lyndal Buik 10:21 pm 20 Mar 19

    John Kirubaithilakan you are many things but not one of them is bogan. Not even subtle bogan.

    John Kirubaithilakan John Kirubaithilakan 10:28 pm 20 Mar 19

    Lyndal Buik but I’m on the list Lyndal! 😂😂

Tim Gee Tim Gee 8:50 pm 18 Mar 19

Yep subtle bogan az mate! Check it Scott Smith you’ll rate highly without doubt

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