Bludger
Posted: 12 October 2007 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Dictionary.com suggests that this word derives from “bludgeon” but offers no etymology for the latter.  Anything in the OED?

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Posted: 12 October 2007 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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From OED:

Bludgeon

[Not found before the 18th c.: origin unknown.
Blogon (with g = j) is quoted by Dr. Whitley Stokes from the Cornish drama Origo Mundi (? 14th c.), but its relation to the English is uncertain. Other Celtic etymologies sometimes proposed are on many grounds untenable. A Du. vb. bludsen to bruise, has also been compared; and it has been suggested that the word is of cant origin, connected with blood.]

[ Edited: 12 October 2007 04:21 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 12 October 2007 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Be careful. Dictionary.com has no entry for bludger. The info you are quoting is for bludge.

The OED has bludger, meaning a bludgeoner and more specifically a pimp, from 1856. The sense of a parasite or loafer is from 1939. This latter sense is Australian/New Zealand.

The OED has the verb bludge from 1919 in the sense of a acting the part of a parasite or shirker. The first cite is from Australian army slang. The sense of acting as a pimp is cited from 1937, but could be older albeit unattested. The noun sense meaning an easy task is attested to from 1945, again Australian.

Makes you wonder if J.K. Rowling was aware of all the negative connotations when she used the word.

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Posted: 12 October 2007 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I first came across it as “dole bludger”, which I thought, from the context, meant someone who is on the dole and working for cash, but it seems it just means someone who is idling in the dole.

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