bludged; bludging

intransitive verb

chiefly Australia and New Zealand : to avoid work or responsibility
chiefly Australia and New Zealand : sponge sense 2

transitive verb

chiefly Australia and New Zealand : sponge sense 3
bludger noun chiefly Australia and New Zealand

Did you know?

Though they can be annoying, people who bludge—bludgers—are relatively harmless. On the other hand, a bully armed with a bludgeon—a "bludgeoner"—can cause serious harm. In the 19th century, bludgeoner was shortened to bludger and used as a slang word for "pimp." That bludger was certainly a kind of bully, one apparently willing to wield a bludgeon now and then to insure his livelihood. In the early 20th century, bludge became the verb for what a bludger does. By then, a somewhat softened bludger had appeared in Australia and New Zealand: the pimping and the bullying were eliminated, and the parasitical tendencies reduced to mere cadging or sponging.

Word History


back-formation from British argot bludger pimp, probably contraction of bludgeoner one wielding a bludgeon, from bludgeon

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bludge was in 1899


Dictionary Entries Near bludge

Cite this Entry

“Bludge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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