Word of the day: Gluggy

This week I used the word GLUGGY in one of my facebook groups, only to be informed by one of my friends in the group that he didn’t know the word and had to look up its meaning. Upon further discussion it turned out gluggy is not a word used often in North America.

I confess this astonished me. It’s a word we use fairly often here. (No, not like once a day, or anything…) I never thought of it as being Australian, but a quick Google search of current common use online suggests that maybe it is.

In fact, Google substitutes “sticky” for just about every search for gluggy origins, etymology and first use I’ve tried.

Nonetheless, if you try really hard, you can find definitions for gluggy online:

According to Wiktionary, gluggy is the adjectival form of glug used to describe a substance (normally liquid, specifically viscous) which moves slowly or with some resistance.

(Glug, in case you were wondering, is the sound made when a liquid is poured out of a jug or bottle… and the amount of liquid issued from a jug or bottle when the “glug” sound is heard….) — Does anyone else think these definitions of gluggy and glug are inconsistent?

Urban Dictionary defines gluggy as a word to describe a soggy, uncooked piece of bread or dough — Um, Nooo.

Dictionary.com has no definition for gluggy. Nor does the Oxford dictionary online. Unfortunately the Macquarie Dictionary (Australian) requires me to login and I don’t appear to have a printed copy…

This does all seem to indicate it’s quite an unusual word outside of Australia. Which I find fascinating.

For the record, the context in which I used the word gluggy was to describe thick jam… and it’s frequently used here to describe cooked rice that has too much water in it and gets a bit sticky.

So now I’m interested in other thoughts about this word. Why not try using it in a sentence in the comments?

I’ll go first: Feet bare, I squelched through the warm, gluggy mud, smiling as it oozed between my toes.

Your turn.

11 thoughts on “Word of the day: Gluggy

  1. I’ve been in OZ for 11 years and I honestly can’t remember if I heard this word before I moved here. It seems a natural-sounding type word, and I feel like I must have, but maybe I’m just crazy.

    Here’s my sentence.

    Dawn broke too early, lousy stinking birds chirruping at the burgeoning light, and I hacked my way through another gluggy coughing fit and even as I gasped, the urge to light a smoke made my fingers twitch.


  2. I’m also surprised when I find words I commonly use are completely unknown outside of australia. The best example I had was “Ta”, which obviously means thankyou, especially when used in context, but I just get bewildered responses when I use it with people from other countries.

    And also on topic, I read this article today which talks about the same phenomenon between our states.

    Why would anyone call a potato cake a scallop?


    1. Yes, I’ve come across the whole potato scallop thing – it’s just plain weird! I don’t think I was aware of “Ta” being distinctly Australian, but it’s just the kind of abbreviation that would be.


  3. I used gluggy today in describing what my throat felt like… that swollen, feeling phlegm like but not, feeling as my cold develops. My boss and peer looked at me as if I has two heads. I live in Canada but grew up in Australia so maybe it was an Australian thing.

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s