As a subculture, surfing has its own unique lexicon – if you start talking about pig-dogs, grommets, shoreys and slabs at a BBQ then there’s a good chance the non-surfers will tune out.      

However, sometimes surfers create jargon, which is adopted by the mainstream.

Wordsmith David Astle writes a regular column titled ‘Wordplay’ for Fairfax publications, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. In a recent column he discussed the term ‘bogan’ and suggested its first usage may have been in Tracks. (See the excerpt from his column below)         

"To preserve the mystery, bogan’s roots are equally iffy. Banjo Paterson spoke of Bogan showers in 1904 – “three raindrops and some dust.” The phrase salutes the Bogan shire surrounding Nyngan in NSW’s central west, where the Bogan River flows. Yet the district and the social tag aren’t related.

The Australian National Dictionary dated the first citation of the latter-day bogan at 1985. The source was a fashion taunt in surfing mag Tracks: "So what if I have a Mohawk and wear Dr. Martens (boots for all you uninformed bogans)?" "

We did a little digging and found that ‘bogan’ was used by a Dave (not David Astle) from Phillip Island in the letters section of the September 1985 issue. (See the last par' from the attached photo)

Excerpt from the letters page of Tracks, Sep, 1985

We’d love to know if anyone has an inkling who Dave might be.

This is perhaps also a good opportunity to rattle off some of your own favourite surfing terms – the more obscure the better.      

My personal favourite – The Rip-Bowl. Nothing beats a good Rip-Bowl.