Budgie Smugglers are making a BIG COMEBACK and they are even more brief than  ever! 

Re-emerging to be on trend, more men are stepping footloose onto the Aussie  beaches. 

Whether you like it or not, Australia’s iconic body-hugging swimwear is causing a stir  with more people accepting them as mainstream, especially on the Pacific Coast. 

For those that do they are enjoying wearing them there is still a lot of humour around  them! But is it ok or no way? 

1. Where did the term ‘Budgie Smugglers’ come from?

The ‘Budgie’ is the shortened name for a budgerigar, a small colourful parrot native  to Australia. These birds have been known to be illegally smuggled as exotic parrots.  So, to conceal a budgie in the front of a man’s swimming trunks, the term was born with the connotation that there are now a pair of budgies down there!  

The slang phrase ‘Budgie Smugglers’ now refers to a tight-fitting swimming costume  designed like underwear briefs that covers the groin and buttocks, but not the legs. 

The term has even been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

2. Are there other names for Budgie Smugglers?

The original name for this design of swimwear is ‘Speedos’. This design is regularly used by swimmers and athletes to hold everything in place, as well as for casual  beachwear. 

The term ‘Budgie Smugglers’ is known in Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of  Europe. Although the style can also be called the hoover, dick stickers, sluggos, banana hammocks, post it of the beach, or lollybags!  

Many Australians have grown up wearing them as part of their culture and if you are  not wearing one you may be the odd one out. 

Most people will understand that they need to brace themselves for an eye full if they  hear someone is going to put on Speedos. 

3. Were Budgie Smugglers scandalous at first?

In 1961 the Speedo design quickly attracted attention, particularly in Bondi where  Bondi Beach inspectors would carry around tape measures to check the modesty of  even women’s bikinis. It was reported that the beach inspector Aubrey Laidlaw upon  seeing the new Speedo design, summoned the police who arrested the wearers for  indecent exposure! 

The charges were later dismissed as the garments did not show any pubic hair. This  did not stop accusations of indecency from people who attempted to inflict puritanism  on Australian beaches. 

Still the Speedo suit was shockingly revealing considering the strait-laced times.  They were deemed as vulgar and gross so Aussies came up with the expressing the  ‘Budgie Smuggler’ in the idea that a fine figure of a man would wow the crowd if he  looked like they had a parrot in his pants! 

By the eve of the 70s, showing skin on the sand was no longer a question. Nowadays unshackled from their daggy undertone, Budgie Smugglers are now a  legitimate and desired fashion trend. 

4. Why do men wear Budgie Smugglers? 

Once strictly reserved for boys up to the age of 6 they were deemed as somehow  emasculating and uncool. Yet nowadays, unshackled from their daggy undertone, Budgie Smugglers are now a legitimate and desired fashion trend. The confident and  laid-back Australian with a ‘that’ll do’, ‘no worries’, ‘she’ll be right’ attitude would  embrace the dare to show off to other visiting nations who come to their beaches. Still some men shudder in horror of being caught in a tiny swimsuit!

As the acceptance of homosexuality has escalated, models wearing Budgie  Smugglers featured on the front of Australian magazines targeted at a gay audience,  attracting a new breed of swimwear brands. 

The tight-fitting swimwear minimised drag for swimmers and was the ideal choice for  lifesavers that also would not snag on boards or boats. Even Tony Abbot, leader of  the opposition 2009 to 2013 was regularly scrutinized when caught wearing Budgie  Smugglers 

Other images of former Prime Ministers, Scott Morrison Malcolm Turnbull and Bob  Hawke have all embraced the Budgie Smugglers. 

5. Where are the best places to be seen wearing Budgie Smugglers in  NSW?

Whether you want to see or be seen in Budgie Smugglers three popular locations  are: – 

• Manly Beach – seen as home of the Budgie Smuggler by some is a special  spot for wearing them. 

• Main Beach Byron Bay – the sun can be soaked up on this iconic stretch of  sand. 

• Avoca Beach – a beautiful stretch of beach for ‘budgieing’. 

• Cabarita – is a mecca for Budgie lovers. 

6. Is there such a thing as a Budgie Run?

In November each year since 2019, apart from the pandemic lockdowns, you will see in hundreds of people gather to run laps wearing their Budgie Smugglers in North Burleigh, Queensland. Blokes are helping blokes by running for Men’s Health Charity. Along the way they have a laugh and spread awareness for a worthy cause.

One of the co-founders Matty Palmer has described it as being vulnerable, stripping down and being outside your comfort zone with other people. Running up North Burleigh hill half naked is a test of one’s character, but it really highlights the power of people and how they can help someone get through those tough moments. 

The idea for this event is to remind people that when times are tough and you are vulnerable, we can get through it with the support of those around us. 

7. Why did many people go vote wearing their budgies in the elections last May?

As part of a campaign by the Aussie swimwear company ‘Budgy Smuggler’, they promised a free pair of budgies if people voted in their trunks in Bondi! It made headline news in the suggestion that this is how Aussies go to the poles!

These voters turned heads at the election day ballot boxes and set tongues wagging but luckily the beachside ballot boxes at Bondi surf club where near the beach!

The swimwear brand ‘Budgy Smuggler’ pride themselves by offering Australian made swimwear in different styles, fits and colours that will suit anyone’s personality.


8. Can Budgie Smugglers be worn as underwear?

Budgies can be worn as underwear, but this tight speedos type fabric might not be as breathable and sweat absorbing as normal underpants due to the fabric composition.  A smear of Vaseline in the right spot can help with any potential chafing. They dry fast so if you are in and out of the water all day wearing these skimpy briefs can work.

They also keep things in place and protected for some sporting activities is worn underneath looser sports shorts.

9. How far from the sand can I walk in Budgie Smugglers?

Once you could get arrested but now, they are more accepted but there is some etiquette involved.  Local police could judge it as indecent behaviour in a public place if you do anything silly! 

The rule is sort of the same for wandering down from the beach to the shops to get an ice-cold drink. If you can see the water or the beach all is well but walking into the local shopping mall is risky. 

For Australians travelling overseas, other countries might not be as accepting of the Budgie Smuggler, so best to behave appropriately and check out the laws and rules and respect them. 

10. Is there a Budgie Smugglers vs boardies debate? 

With all the quiet beach coastline in Australia where you could wear the skimpy swimwear in peace there are arguments for either side to wear the more revealing swimwear in busy public places. Some men believe in mystery as well as comfort and wear a short style or boardies. Yet they might also wear budgies underneath for added security.

Debate rages for the private person who just doesn’t wear them, to the brazen Aussie who confidently enjoys this freedom on the beach. The Budgie smugglers verses Boardies is also seen as a matter of comfort. There are those men who feel more comfortable in a pair of modest board shorts greatly contrasting with other men who feel more comfortable in briefs, as they are also more comfortable to swim in.

Whichever your personal preference it boils down to just how comfortable you feel in the swimwear you choose. But when putting on a pair of Budgie Smugglers you feel as if you are literally putting on a part of Australia! Go with the flow!