Mudcat Café message #1555709 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84315   Message #1555709
Posted By: freda underhill
03-Sep-05 - 08:25 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Missing from online Aussie dictionary:
Subject: RE: Folklore: Missing from online Aussie dictionar
bodgie
There are two senses of the word bodgie in Australian English, both probably deriving from an earlier (now obsolete) word bodger.

The obsolete bodger probably derives from British dialect bodge 'to work clumsily'. In Australian English in the 1940s and 1950s it meant: 'Something (or occasionally someone) which is fake, false, or worthless'. The noun was also used adjectivally. Typical uses:

1950 F. Hardy, Power without Glory: This entailed the addition of as many more 'bodger' votes as possible.

1954 Coast to Coast 1953-54: Well, we stuck together all through the war - we was in under bodger names.

1966 S. Baker, The Australian Language: An earlier underworld and Army use of bodger for something faked, worthless or shoddy. For example, a faked receipt or false name.. is a bodger; so is a shoddy piece of material sold by a door-to-door hawker.

The word bodger was altered to bodgie, and this is now the standard form:

1975 Latch & Hitchings, Mr X: To avoid any suspicions in case they were picked up by the Transport Regulation Board, it was decided.. to take a 'bodgy' receipt for the tyres with them.

1978 O. White, Silent Reach: This heap is hot - else why did they give it a one-coat spray job over the original white duco and fix it with bodgie number plates?

1984 Canberra Times 27 August: Allegations.. of branch-stacking and the use of hundreds of 'bodgie' members in the electorate.

In the 1950s another sense of bodgie arose. The word was used to describe a male youth, distinguished by his conformity to certain fashions of dress and larrikin behaviour; analogous to the British 'teddy boy':

1950 Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) 7 May: The bizarre uniform of the 'bodgey' - belted velvet cord jacket, bright blue sports coat without a tie, brown trousers narrowed at the ankle, shaggy Cornel Wilde haircut.

1951 Sydney Morning Herald 1 February: What with 'bodgies' growing their hair long and getting around in satin shirts, and 'weegies' [see widgie] cutting their hair short and wearing jeans, confusion seems to be be arising about the sex of some Australian adolescents.

This sense of bodgie seems to be an abbreviation of the word bodger with the addition of the -Y suffix. One explanation for the development of the teenage larrikin sense was offered in The Age (Melbourne) in 1983:

Mr Hewett says his research indicates that the term 'bodgie' arose around the Darlinghurst area in Sydney. It was just after the end of World War II and rationing had caused a flourishing black market in American-made cloth. 'People used to try and pass off inferior cloth as American-made when in fact it was not: so it was called 'bodgie',' he says. 'When some of the young guys started talking with American accents to big-note themselves they were called 'bodgies'.'

This sense of bodgie belongs to the 1950s, but bodgie in the sense 'fake, false, inferior, worthless' is alive and flourishing in Australian English.

taken from the Australian National Dictionary Centre, Linnaeus Cottage (#96), Australian National University, ACT 0200.

from http://www.anu.edu.au/andc/res/aewords/aewords_ab.php