Macquarie Dictionary


Were you a widgie or a bodgie in the 1950s or 60s?

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.

This week, our word is widgie. This is slang from the 1950s and 1960s in Australia. A widgie is a teenage female delinquent; the counterpart of the male, bodgie. Widgies were especially noted for wild behaviour and free sexuality, and for dressing in tight, revealing skirts and sweaters, and having short, duck-tailed haircuts.

The origin of the term is a bit of a mystery. One theory is that it is a blend of the words women and bodgie, but this doesn’t have the ring of truth about it. Another more charming solution is that it referred to the hairstyle which had a vee or wedge at the back; it is but a small step from wedgie to widgie.

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