bludge was our Word of the Day on 05/14/2009. Hear the podcast!
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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.
Origin and Etymology of bludge
back-formation from British argot bludger pimp, probably contraction of bludgeoner one wielding a bludgeon, from bludgeon
First Known Use: 1899
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