Macquarie Dictionary


Slip into your budgie smugglers

We love a good swim, or flail, in the life-affirming waters that wash upon our fine Australian beaches. There are so many beaches to visist and so many costumes to choose from. The Macquarie Dictionary can help you with the latter because this week’s Word of the Week is budgie smugglers

Budgie smugglers is the pre-eminent name for speedos, a close-fitting, nylon, legless swimming costume designed for men. Donning budgie smugglers brings the risk of derision, as former Prime Minister Tony Abbott found it when he inspired Facebook groups demanding he ditch the speedos and cover up. 

The list of slang names for speedos is long and often crude. Some of the best alternatives to budgie smugglers common in New South Wales include ball huggers, boasters, budgie huggers and cluster busters. In Queensland, they go by ingenious names such as lolly bags and meat hangers

An old-fashioned term, little heard nowadays, was nylon disgusters. Surfies, who wear boardies, call them clubbies, referring to the preferences of surf lifesavers. And they also get called racers, as they are used for competitive swimming.

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.

Featured Articles