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    Aussies Are Explaining The Differences Between Bogans And Rednecks To Americans, And It's Fascinating

    "Bogans aren't necessarily trailer park–living, wildlife-hunting yokels."

    If there's one thing Australia is known for, it's our never-ending list of slang words. And included in every Australian's vernacular is the term "bogan", which — depending on the context — can be used to represent several different groups of people and behaviours.

    Kath and Kim; Kim is smoking a cigarette and holding a cracker to her mouth while Kath is holding up a glass of white wine

    When you label someone or something as "bogan", Australians know exactly what you mean, but it can be an incredibly tricky word for foreigners to understand and contextualise to their own culture.

    A street sign saying Bogan Street

    Over on Reddit, u/LockedOutOfElfland asked, "Is Australia's 'bogan' subculture genuinely comparable to the stereotype of American rednecks, or are there major differences?"

    Now, I don't know where old mate got his information, as that's certainly not the case. Likewise, Aussie redditors were quick to point out the differences between bogans and rednecks. Here's some of what they said!

    1. "I associate rednecks with being slightly right-leaning (despite the term originally referring to unionists). Bogans are more apolitical. They might vote LNP (Liberal National Party), they might vote Labor, they might think all pollies are shit cunts and pretend they had a flat tire every Election Day. It's a mixed bag."

    "They're also less concentrated in rural areas. No shortage of urban or suburban bogans, though it does seem like the most absolutely spectacular bogans are either inner city or super rural."


    2. "I don't think there is much Jesus stuff going on with Aussie bogans."


    3. "Usually no guns."


    A redneck holding a gun with a big red cross drawn on top of him

    4. "'Redneck' — at least as far as I understand it — implies white, conservative-leaning, poverty, rural South US, bigotry, and gun culture. Bogan identity is more about a lack of sophistication or aesthetic and exaggerated Aussie-ness. They can belong to any wealth or class bracket, political opinion, and location (though mostly urban) and aren't necessarily white, though most are."


    "Plus, you can have CUBs, or 'cashed-up bogans', who've come into sudden wealth but bring their lack of culture/dress sense with them."


    5. "I was a teen in Melbourne in the 1980s when the term 'bogan' emerged. At least then, it had nothing to do with living rural in a trailer or a shack, or hunting. A bogan was simply a general term for someone whose speech and ideas around fashion and grooming seemed loose. So a guy with a mullet, extra-tight Faberge stretch jeans teamed with a football jumper, and a broad Aussie accent might be called a bogan. A girl with a huge perm that went frizzy due to lack of proper styling, a makeup routine that involves application of heavy lines of black eyeliner and nothing else, and extra-tight stretch jeans worn with moccasins who says, 'I never saw you at that party' might be called a bogan. That's it. Loose ideas about speech, education, and fashion."

    "I feel like with the fashion, it was a bit like someone buying items of the latest trends, but wearing them in a kind of un-styled way."


    6. "I've lived decades in both Australia and the US, and rednecks and bogans are definitely different because the countries are different. There isn't a direct equivalent of either type of person in the other country."


    7. "Bogans are much less racist than rednecks. Lots of non-Anglo bogans around too."


    8. "'Bogan' is more a mind frame, and we're pretty friggin' lovely. We'll roll you a dart, give you a bar, and lend you a flanno when it gets cold. Don't lump the nasty, shitty, racist wankers with us. They give bogans a bad name."


    9. "Bogans tend to be associated with lower class and are free-spirited, but that's where the stereotype similarity ends. In my mind, rednecks are more rural, right-wing types. Bogans are more of a suburban thing. They wear tracksuit pants and flannelette shirts, drink beer, and like hotted cars, sports, and fishing (not hunting). They have trashy haircuts and shop exclusively on Facebook marketplace and Kmart/Big W (think of Walmart)."


    10. "Bogans originated in the suburbs of Australia. They’re working-class to middle-class people with not a lot of sophistication. Bogans aren’t hillbillies or rednecks, although there may be some crossover there. Basically, the term has gone from meaning 'young people from the outer suburbs into cars and metal music' in the '80s to anyone who isn’t worldly or sophisticated in their style or outlook."


    11. "Bogan is definitely a class thing. Sure, you can have wealthy bogans, but not upper-class bogans. Upper-class teens may copy/mimic bogan language/attitude/fashion, but that's just rebellious, supercilious (usually ironic) slumming. For example, it's popular among some Scots and Cranbrook boys [elite private schools in Sydney] to have mullets now, but they are definitely not bogans."


    12. "Watch Kath & Kim for an excellent example of bogans. Bogans aren't necessarily trailer park–living, wildlife-hunting yokels."


    "Kath and Kim are great examples of Australian bogans. I would think a TV show that shows American bogans would be Malcolm in the Middle, that middle-class suburban family who are a little rough around the edges." 


    "Holy fuck, that's actually very on point. I'd like to submit the Simpsons as contenders for American boganhood."


    13. "Bogan isn't confined to the bush, and you can see plenty of them in the western suburbs of Sydney. I would say they are closer to white trash rather than rednecks, as rednecks tend to be bigots, but bogans are just yobbos."


    14. "Bogans have now transformed into eshays, which is a subculture of young people who think skanky mullet haircuts, rayon tracksuit pants, rattails, smoking, and generally looking as grimy as possible is cool. Oh, and apparently they like to say 'Sheeeesh' and 'Eshay, brah', according to my teenage daughters. They just look like mini bogans to me."


    15. "Bogan is less connected to socioeconomics. It often is, but also isn't. It's more of a state of mind. Think of it more as exaggerating all Aussie things out of proportion."


    16. And lastly, "(Sir David Attenborough voice:) While the natural habitat of the Australian bogan is indeed the low-socioeconomic outer suburbs, they've diversified and can now be found in small enclaves in both rural and middle-class areas. One can tell one has entered into bogan territory by the heady aroma of stale rum, burnt tyre rubber, and Winfield Blue cigarettes. When approaching the domicile of the Australian bogan, one can determine the age of the bogans nesting within by the sounds coming from within. If Cold Chisel is playing, you're approaching an elder bogan, while generic 'doof doof' techno is a strong indicator of a middle-aged bogan. If one is to attempt speaking with a bogan, one should observe the manufacturer of the car parked in their driveway or front lawn, it being either a Holden or a Ford. To quickly earn the good graces of the bogan, one should make disparaging remarks about the type of car not found on their premises."


    Poida from Full Frontal; he is pouting and doing a thumbs up sign

    Australians, how else would you describe bogans to our international friends? And for the non-Aussies reading this, how confused are you on a scale of 1–10? Let us know in the comments!

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.