Macquarie Dictionary


Farnarkling our way through April

Slow day at the office? Is that report taking three times longer than it should because you keep flicking between Instagram and your spreadsheet? Making that easy, five-minute job look like a marathon effort? If so, you are farnarkling.

To farnarkle is to indulge in an activity which creates an appearance of productivity but which has no substance to it. Also written as farnarkeling, the name was coined by Australian comedian John Clarke for a fictitious team sport for which he acted as sports commentator in the 1980s television series The Gillies Report. 

Let’s face it, the whole economy is built on farnarkling. In a way, fanarkling is bludging but for the workplace. To bludge is to evade responsibilities or waste time when you should be doing something. Perhaps bludge is more open ended than farnarkling since it is also defined both as being idle and living at someone else’s expense. We’ve written about bludging on the blog before, which, if anything, proves we are definitely not farnarkling. 

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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