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spare at the spigot and spill at the bung
To be frugal with trivial matters and reckless with more significant ones. The phrase describes the incongruity of turning off water at the spigot but leaving the bung, or stopper, off the reservoir. A: "Dad never lets us turn the heat up in the winter because it's too expensive, yet he ignores any problem around the house until it becomes a major repair." B: "I know, he always spares at the spigot and spills at the bung." I know you like to spare at the spigot and spill at the bung, but you would save so much money in the long run if you got a new car, instead of repairing all these nagging issues.
To force something into a place or thing. A noun can be used between "bung" and "in" or after "in." Don't just bung in the key—you might break the lock!
To injure or damage someone or something. A noun can be used between "bung" and "up." That car accident really bunged my back up. My car is still bunged up from the accident—I really need to take it to the mechanic.
Injured or damaged. My back is still bunged up from that car accident a few months ago My car is all bunged up from the accident—I really need to take it to the mechanic.
1. To die. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. If people start to go bung, then we've got a real health crisis on our hands.
2. To fall apart or fail, especially financially. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. Our business will go bung if we don't make some big sales this quarter.
bung something in
to cram or bang something into something. He bunged the cork into the barrel. With a heavy blow, he bunged in the cork.
bung something up
to damage someone or something by blows. Don't let the watermelon roll around in the trunk of your car. You don't want to bung it up. Last time I put up the storm windows, I really bunged up my hands.
battered or bruised. It used to be a nice table, but it got all bunged up. What happened to Jane? Her face was bunged up.
go bung1 die. 2 fail or go bankrupt. Australian & New Zealand informal
In this sense bung comes from Yagara, an extinct Aboriginal language.
2 1951 J. Devanny Travel in North Queensland ‘The stations would go bung without the Abos’, one of the missionaries told me.