Glossary – Budgie Smuggler

Photo taken last month of an advertising campaign for the Sydney swimwear company. Photo courtesy of Susan Walford

Originally an Australian slang term for a pair of tightly-fitted briefly-cut Speedo-style men’s swimwear that highlight the male bulge – likening it to what a smuggled budgie might look like. The term appeared shortly after the turn of the millennium – the earliest references in print appear c. 2003.

The term became popular when Tony Abbot, Australian PM (2013 – 2015), was photographed wearing a pair. It was around this time that Adam Linforth founded his Sydney-based swimwear company Budgy Smuggler.  The term Budgie Smuggler was inducted into the Oxford dictionary in 2016.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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