Budgie smugglers is a popular Australian slang expression for Speedo-type swimming briefs, that don’t cover the thighs.
The phrase refers to the bird Budgerigar, also known as Parakeet, native to Australia, implying that the bulging genitals in swimming briefs looks like the person wearing them is smuggling a Budgie.
Although the exact origin of the expression “Budgie smugglers” is not known, it started appearing in slang dictionaries such as the 2003 “Moon Handbook Australia” and “The Language Report” in 2003.
The phrase was also first defined on Urban Dictionary on March 30th, 2003, with several other entries following.
The humorous name for the humorous swimming briefs was rapidly adopted by the humorous Aussies, playing Knifey Spoony in between fighting kangaroos.
Due to its peculiar nature, the expression also gained moderate popularity in the United States, although more as a joke or a meme, rather than an actual slang trend.
“Budgie Smugglers” also inspired an Australian swimsuit business, “Budgy Smuggler”, that started in the 2000’s and have been providing speedos to men and women across the globe.