Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bung adj.2

[Abor. bong, dead]

(Aus.) impoverished; bankrupt.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 20/1: ‘Look ’ere, we’re both bung; money we must ’ave, and money I means to get. While you’ve bin gassin’, I’ve bin thinkin’, and I’ve ’it on a fust-rate dodge.’.

In phrases

go bung (v.) (Aus./ N.Z.)

1. (also go bong) to die.

[J.D. Lang Cooksland 430: A place called Umpie bung, or the dead houses [It is now a suburb of Brisbane, Humpy-bong]].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 2 Oct. 9/2: Back ‘Member of Parliament,’ or else ‘ Our Willie.’ ‘B . . . e’ is scratched, and ‘Fitz-sparagus,’ ‘Merryfeather,’ and ‘ Macspavin’ have gone bung!
[Aus]A.J. Boyd Old Colonials 73: But just before you hands ’im [i.e. a horse] over and gets the money, he goes bong on you.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 May 13/2: We know this is feeble appreciation, and we turn with pleasure to the farewell address delivered at Gunnedah to the local brewer, Mr. N. O. Funnell – may he never go bung!
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 11 Feb. 1/7: Queensland Deposit Bank has gone bung as every unborn fool might have known it would.
[Aus]Age (Melbourne) 21 Dec. 13/6: ‘Suppose you go bong,’ pursued Ning reflectively, ‘then you go to Heaven.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Aug. 14/1: Because you kill whitefellow, God says you go bung.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 4 Aug. 5/7: [heading] A Boom That Went Bung.
[US]L. Pound ‘Amer. Euphemisms for Dying’ in AS XI:3 198: Went bung.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 233/2: go bung – die; go bankrupt.

2. to become bankrupt.

[Aus]S. Bourke & Mornington Jrnl (Richmond, Vic.) 9 June 1s/6: ‘He’s gone bung,’ remarked the butcher; / Flat broke.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Here’s Luck!’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 258: The world might wobble round the sun, an’ all the banks go bung.
[Aus]‘Miles Franklin’ My Brilliant Career 207: The recent ‘going bung’ of a building society.
[Aus]L. Stone Jonah 146: Not likely either, when the firm’s gone bung.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 14 Sept. 25/4: He has gone financially bung seven times.
[Aus]J. Doone Timely Tips For New Australians 22: TO ‘GO BUNG.’—To collapse financially as in the case of a bank.
[Aus]Sydney Morn. Herald 25 July 13/6: ‘To go bung’ [is] derived from an aborginal word for ‘dead’.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 352: What’s wrong with ’er? The bank gone bung?
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 23/1: bung ruined or bankrupt, often in phr. to go bung.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

3. to collapse, to break down, to fail.

[US]J.H. Nicholson ‘Bunkum in Parvo’ in Opal Fever 100: The great Clan-Alpine had gone bung!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Jan. 4/1: Freethought has gone carefully ‘bung.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 July 8/1: [He] deposed that he remembered the land boom before it went bung. Couldn’t say for certain why it went bung, but thought the banks were responsible.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Jun. 11/3: Poor little Turner tried to finish his speech, but his eloquence had gone bung.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 3 Jan. 2/5: The timekeeper had to use a bell, the electric gong having gone bung.
[Aus]Sun (Sydney) 26 Feb. 6/5: Vimy seemed, to ’ang in the tapes. Somethin’ was bung in the pressure valve— so I ’eard her rider say.
[Aus]T. Wood Cobbers 25: What with newspapers a week old and wool going bung you’d be stung for conversation nowadays.
[Aus]D. Stivens Courtship of Uncle Henry 109: The radio’s gone bung again and I’m just fixing it.
[Aus]D. Niland Big Smoke 114: What’s the time? My ticker’s gone bung.
[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 283: With all the numbers connected to the pills, I felt like an adding-machine gone bung.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 9: I should never, ever have come to Hollywood. Everything had gone bung since the day I first got here.
[Aus]Penguin Bk of More Aus. Jokes 112: He gets to the crest of the bridge across the island when, snap, bang, kerplunk, the car goes bung.