Origin of bunger

perhaps bung3 + -er1


adjective Australian.
  1. out of order; broken; unusable.
  2. bankrupt.
  3. Slang. dead.

Origin of bung

1840–50; perhaps < Waga (Australian Aboriginal language spoken around Kingaroy, S Queensland) bongī dead
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bunger

Historical Examples of bunger

  • "No, he's not such a bunger," and dashed off towards the paddock.

    The Green Carnation

    Robert Smythe Hichens

  • He was a remarkably powerful man, and was known by the name of Old Bunger.

    Cornish Characters

    S. Baring-Gould

British Dictionary definitions for bunger


  1. Australian slang a firework


  1. a stopper, esp of cork or rubber, for a cask, piece of laboratory glassware, etc
  2. short for bunghole
verb (tr)
  1. (often foll by up) to close or seal with or as with a bungthe car's exhaust was bunged up with mud
  2. British and Australian slang to throw; sling

Word Origin for bung

C15: from Middle Dutch bonghe, from Late Latin puncta puncture


  1. a gratuity; tip
  2. a bribe
  1. bung it on (tr) to behave in a pretentious manner

Word Origin for bung

C16 (originally in the sense: a purse): perhaps from Old English pung, changed over time through the influence of bung 1


adjective Australian and NZ informal
  1. useless
  2. go bung
    1. to fail or collapse
    2. to die

Word Origin for bung

C19: from a native Australian language
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bunger



mid-15c., "large stopper for a cask," from Middle Dutch bonge "stopper;" or perhaps from French bonde "bung, bunghole" (15c.), which may be of Germanic origin (or the Germanic words may be borrowed from Romanic), or it may be from Gaulish *bunda (cf. Old Irish bonn, Gaelic bonn, Welsh bon "base, sole of the foot"). It is possible that either or both of these sources is ultimately from Latin puncta in the sense of "hole." Transferred to the cask-mouth itself (also bung-hole) from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper