Recently I was cleaning out my wardrobe at my parents' place. It’s a terrifying cavern that displays my hoarding tendencies and is filled - FILLED - with ancient artefacts like my diaries from when I was seven, and, apparently, mouldy netball uniforms.
The uniforms needed to go, but as I was bagging them for the bin I noticed a pair of aggressively nylon, large underpants. My scungies. The uncomfortable underwear you wore... over your actual underwear... for sport.
I suppose the purpose of scungies was to cover up children underwear, so it was less problematic if our skirts flew up? Maybe it was to make us feel more comfortable about wearing short skirts as we ran around a netball court. As a side note, I would have been more comfortable in, you know, shorts like the boys got to wear. But that’s a whole other thing.
Watch: Hey 90s kids, remember these? Post continues below.
The reality was you ended up wearing two pairs of underpants while you ran around a court for an hour, underpants that dug into your legs and restricted your movements so everything was a bit of a waddle.
We just never questioned why it was necessary to wear them OVER underpants, instead of, you know, giving us uniform-toned knickers instead.
The only time I cherished my scungies was during my period - the perfect way to cover those Libra pad flaps.
I posted this musing to Instagram, just to discuss how bizarre the concept was. What I didn’t realise? Apparently, every state had a different name for these over-undies.
Scungies, NSW & ACT.
This has to be the weirdest term for sports underwear simply from a "where the hell did this come from" perspective. So I investigated. According to the Macquarie Dictionary, scungies is slang for men’s swimming briefs - yep, budgie smugglers.
One contributor said the word is "a cross between the words cungie (a sponge type sea creature) and speedos or swimmers". Do with that what you will.
No information on how this nickname made its way down to girl’s netball uniforms - I guess because they essentially look the same?