bunged up: battered/bruised (euphemism for f* up?)

susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi there,

I came across several conflicting explanations for "bunged up." Here they are:
When you have a cold or flu, you are bunged up.
Bunged up meaning messed up or fucked up.
Constipated, unable to take a shit. A bunghole is your asshole.
(all from the Urban Dictionary)
and
battered or bruised (http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/bunged+up)

So which one is it? I can see why the meaning about the flu can be similar to feeling battered.

I found it in David Nicholls's novel One day, with reference to a character who was sick with stomach flu (and definitely not constipated):
'I reckon it's gastic flu . . . . So -- bunged up! I can't go to work like this.'

Thanks!
 
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  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hi Susanna. I've never heard of bunged up meaning anything other than 'blocked; having a blocked nose':)
     
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    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I think it's somewhat more specific, referring to the blockage of the nasal passages that usually accompanies the other symptoms of the flu. A "bung" is a stopper.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi cyberpedant, so you agree with ewie that it means congested. I thought maybe the variety of meanings I found online had to do with some difference between AmE and BrE, since the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs is the source that gives the "battered or bruised" meaning.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    I've heard 'bunged up' used as an extremely localised slang term for beaten up, similar to but slightly rarer than 'mashed up'. 'Banged up' means sent to prison or impregnated, not beaten up.

    And for the record, a euphemism is something that disguises the blunt truth:

    euphemism->truth->swear words

    'f*ed up' is a more emphatic version of 'beaten up', but it's not a euphemism because it's the plain truth.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi Copperknickers, thanks for your thoughts on "banged up." As for euphemisms, I think they work in many ways. In this case, I was asking if "bunged up" was a euphemism for a swear word, which, by its nature, can be considered offensive.
    Thanks!
     
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