Clunge: The definitive guide

posted on November 5, 2009 in Stuff

Clunge was first brought to my serious attention in an email I received from a friend dated 22nd February 2007. It was a hilarious if fairly graphic read, but one element really got stuck in my mind. Clunge. What was this clunge, and how do I get stuck into it? Would I know what a clunge was if I tripped over it, or it hit me in the face? I didn’t know. I put this thought on ice for the remainder of my travels.

Clunge phone

When I returned home from The World little had changed except for the excessive clunge usage. Dave in particular had embraced clunge with such vigour that I knew, like a particularly aggressive virus, it would quickly spread to me. It didn’t help that Dave coupled each “clunge!” with a full blooded hand rub. Sometimes he would even grab you by the shoulders and shake the ‘clunge’ into you. Like Pavlov’s dog we were gradually, irreversibly conditioned to respond to Dave’s stimuli.

The Spread of Clunge

The earliest acknowledgement I can find for clunge is that on the Urban Dictionary. This is dated Jul 13th 2003; a clear 3 and a half years before I was really aware of it. Where had Sheena got her clunge from and what had clunge been up to the interim?

Clunge on Urban Dictionary

The next reference I can find is in Ricky Gervais’s book Flanimals, released in October 2004. Amongst the Munge Fuddler and Splunge you’ll find the Clunge Ambler, ‘an ape like Flaminal that hugs everything it sees’.

Clunge Ambler

I struggle with the mental imagery of getting hugged by a clunge, but I think it would be a tight spot.

Where was clunge through 2005 and 2006? It’s difficult to say, but there is one man who rode the clunge wave with his swinging member in the first half of 2007. That man is jogging champ Kriss Akabusi.

Kriss Akabusi

A series of short stories charting Kriss’s adventures with his mighty womb broom make particular reference to clunge.

“Akabusi slowly turned around and saw Katie Price in front of him – wearing nothing but a Juicy Couture camisole and the slightest glistening of her ample clunge.”

Charming. The recounting of Akabusi’s adventures are attributed to erotic writer ‘Rofl Lundgren’. Where did Rofl find the clunge?

As 2007 progressed it got to the stage where clunge was getting pounded so hard in our conversations (particularly with Dave), they were beginning to lose any meaning. Any message we were trying to convey simply got lost in the clunge.

Then in May 2008 clunge went mainstream. Thanks to E4 show The Inbetweeners, clunge was blown wide apart. When I stumbled across the show for the first time I couldn’t quite believe it. It seemed someone had stolen every conversation you’ve ever had with Dave and put it on telly. When the character Jay started waxing on about being “knee deep in clunge”, I realised I would need to sit Dave down in front of it so he could watch his alter ego in action. I did do this, and I think Dave thought it was a documentary.

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The ClungeLine:

On the Origins of Clunge

The true source? This is something I’ve yet to ascertain. Suspicions are that clunge originates from the North East and there may be allusions to it in sitcoms set up there. I’ll continue to have a deep root about in the clunge and see if I can pull out any solid conclusions.

Clunge juice

Facts and figures

A few months ago clunge was but the poor cousin to the likes of poon and even ham wallet. But, thanks mainly to The Inbetweeners, clunge has exploded.

Clunge over time graph

You can see from the graph that clunge has grown exponentially. Starting off a few months ago with just 22,300 Google hits, we’re now standing at 368,000. Clunge has grown by a staggering 1550%. Intergalactic.

The Future of Clunge

As a testament to its acceptance into mainstream clunge has now made it onto Wikipedia, albeit indirectly on the British slang page. The only higher accolade would be if it merited its own page. If you have a look at where the page would be, you can see by the history that each time someone tried to jam clunge onto Wikipedia, the clunge gets nailed.

Clunge on Wikipedia

So, what now as clunge truly heads for the main stream? Clunge is no longer the  niche, tight gap it once was. As early proponents of clunge I feel it would be wrong to abandon it as it finally hits maturity. I think we should continue to champion the cause and help lubricate clunge’s passage to greatness. But we don’t need to force clunge on anyone. Clunge can now look after itself.

Clunge T-Shirt




    Check the fourth line down. Surely this can’t be the true origin…

    Comment by MP — January 1, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  2. I would be very surprised. You have to remember that Wikipedia once had Kris down as the inventor of the Cheeky Vimto.

    Comment by Ciaran — January 4, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  3. so what does “Knee deep in clunge” mean? Does it mean you are having a lot of sex or that you are extremely happy?

    Comment by Edward — January 8, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  4. Well the only context I’ve really heard it being used in is as a selling point for visiting a certain location over others. For example, “Guys, I think we should go to the Roxy tonight, it’ll be knee deep in clunge!”

    More often than not however this was just a ruse to get us to go there for some other hidden reason. When you get to the Roxy you find you’re barely ankle or even calf deep.

    For the most part it’s up to the user how to apply the phrase and interpret it for their means.

    “Hey I’ve not seen you for a while, how have you been?”

    “Well, I’ve been knee deep in clunge!”


    Comment by Ciaran — January 9, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

  5. Incidentally, the Wikipedia entry for Joe Thomas that contained the reference to clunge has now been edited to remove it.

    Comment by Ciaran — January 9, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  6. I think clunge comes from Newport, south wales, the Goldie lookin chain started using it in 2003…….

    Comment by Jimbo — January 15, 2010 @ 2:27 am

  7. The expression clunge pre-dates all of these rather creative wannabe claims.

    My first encounter of it appears in 3rd series of the Reggie Perrin TV sitcom, where their scottish chef used it as an insult “up yer clunge”

    Comment by Edmondo — May 6, 2010 @ 3:10 am

  8. this was a 1970s sitcom by the way

    Comment by Edmondo — May 6, 2010 @ 3:11 am

  9. ‘Clunge’ was used in the TV series Reginald Perrin many, many years ago (1978).

    Comment by Clunge — July 16, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

  10. If you are going to post a link, then at least post one with the live action…..

    Here is Mcblane with the immortal words as described in May!

    Comment by Edmondo — July 21, 2010 @ 12:58 am

  11. I’m in agreement with Edmondo & Clunge as to the origins of the word. My first encounter was due to Mcblane in the wonderful Reggie Perrin sit-com in 1978 and I’ve been using it ever since. Perhaps the accolades should be given to David Nobbs for he was the writer of the series.

    Comment by Shadowrider — September 5, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  12. OK
    A friend and I believed (probably wrongly) that we invented the term in about 1981/2 in Brixton South East London England
    The term we actually used was clunge pipe.
    It’s very early by comparison and does make wonder if we really did invent it.

    Comment by John F — January 22, 2011 @ 1:33 am

  13. I actually heard thew word “clunge” on the BBC! I was watching the weather forecaset on BBC1 in or around November 2010, when the weatherman described a “clunge of snow sweeping through North Scotlad”. I couldn’t beleive it, but the next day the North coast of Scotland was in fact, knee deep in clunge snow! I thought It was a dream, but I have it recoreded through sky plus!

    Comment by Chris — February 11, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  14. I see your 1978 Perrin and raise you 1972 Muppets.

    At 3:07… “What the clunge?”

    Comment by Nic — August 2, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  15. If you search Clunge in google your site is now on the 1st page. :o)

    Comment by Clunge — January 4, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

  16. Just to join things up, I introduced “Clunge” to Roger’s Profanisaurus via Simon Donald in the early nineties. It did come from Reggie Perrin’s, and Simon gave it the modern definition of a lady’s rude components.

    Comment by Richard — July 18, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

  17. My flatmate and I invented the term clunge in this context in 1986 in Brixton. The term was actually Clunge Pipe and clunge is a contraction

    Comment by Jack — January 12, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

  18. The few comments above regarding the use of the phrase ‘up yer clunge’ in The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin BBC TV comedy series of the 70s are correct. But without referring to the DVDs, and trusting my own clear memories, what was actually said was slightly different, and places a different weight on the phrase. The scruffy Scotsman who I believe used to be a cleaner, and who had an almost impenetrable accent, was employed by Reggie as a cook. There were numerous complaints about the food, which Reggie was duty bound to confront the Scotsman about. But each time he tried, the man was always dealing with some food preparation which required the wielding of a very large knife. Once Reggie had made his attempt to make the community’s point about the awful food, the Scotsman held the knife in a very threatening position, making incomprehensible comments in a very aggressive manner, which always seemed to end up with the knife pointing directly at Reggie’s throat, and the words ‘Splud yer clunge’ – exit Reggie terrified and confused! It was never explained what the phrase meant, nor was it ever clear that there was any actual intended threat, or if it was just the Scotsman’s natural rough manner.

    Comment by Terry Platt — December 20, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

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