Where did UGG boots get their name? Is the name really short for “ugh?”

The unisex sheepskin and fleece footware called UGG boots, or simply uggs, gained popularity in the 1960s when competitive surfers began wearing them. They were the perfect remedy for cold, numb, wet feet.

Now, everyone seems to be sporting the boots, from Hollywood celebrities and their tween followers to suburban moms. Originally of simple design, uggs now sport glamorous embellishments such as brass grommets, fringe, and animal skin patterns.

The history of the term ― and the trademark — are highly disputed. Australia and New Zealand both claim to be the original home of uggs and in these countries the term “ugg” can be used to market any fleece and sheepskin boot. That is, it is considered a generic term. However, in more than 100 other countries, UGG is a registered trademark.

(People are fond of tucking their UGGs into jeans. Do you know what two places “denim” and “jeans” are named for? Find out here.)

So, what does the word mean?

Well, it doesn’t mean “ugh,” the commonly used interjection of disgust or dislike that was first recorded in 1837.

The word may have derived from fug boots that were worn by aviators in rural Australia during World War I. The term is believed to be a shortened version of “flying ugg boots.”

The owner of one company that has been making the boots since the late 1950s claims that he invented the name. He says that his inspiration came from his wife, who called the boots ugly.


US Fed News Service, Including US State News February 28, 2006 The University of Delaware issued the following news release:

Three members of UD’s physical therapy department have been honored with awards-including one named after the recipient himself. They are Tara Jo Manal, Joseph A. Lucca and Cathy Ciolek.

Manal, director of UD’s physical therapy clinic, has been awarded the James A. Gould Excellence in Teaching Orthopedic Physical Therapy Award from the orthopedic section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The international award, named for the founding co-editor of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, recognizes excellence in instructing orthopedic physical therapy principles and techniques. in our site physical therapy salary

The UD physical therapy clinic provides clinical education experience for UD physical therapy students, offers clinical research opportunities for faculty and students and provides service to patients in the University and local communities.

Manal has been treating patients at the clinic since 1993, and has a special interest in spine and knee rehabilitation. She has worked with dancers, gymnasts and figure skaters, including Olympic gold medalists Oksana Grischuk and Evgeny Platov.

Manal is completing her doctorate in biomechanics and movement sciences.

“We have known for years that Tara Jo has been an excellent instructor; now the entire orthopedic section of the APTA knows as well,” Stuart Binder-Macleod, chairperson of the physical therapy department said after the award presentation this month. go to web site physical therapy salary

Manal also received the Excellent Educators Award from the sports section of the APTA. Last month, UD’s physical therapy department presented her with the Alumni Award.

Lucca, associate professor of physical therapy, is the first recipient of the Joe Lucca Service Award. The Delaware Physical Therapy Association (DPTA) named the award in Lucca’s honor to recognize his years of distinguished service to the field of physical therapy and to the DPTA.

Lucca has served as the association’s president, vice president, treasurer, chief delegate, delegate and nominating committee member.

He also helped establish direct access to physical therapy service for Delaware patients and to limit ownership of physical therapy clinics to physical therapists.

Ciolek, associate director of UD’s Neurological and Older Adult Physical Therapy Clinic, received two awards from APTA’s geriatric section this month-the Excellence in Clinical Teacher Award and the President’s Award.

Ciolek, who is DPTA president, is a specialist in geriatric physical therapy with an emphasis on balance, falls prevention and osteoporosis.

The teaching award recognizes outstanding work as a clinic educator in a geriatric health care setting. The president’s award recognizes achievements in the geriatric physical therapy field and within the APTA’s geriatric section.


  1. Bernie -  October 13, 2016 - 1:52 am

    In the UK we call them U.G.G. and I think this is the proper name, not uggs as a word lol ;-)

  2. Jason -  January 5, 2015 - 3:18 pm

    I luv my uggs , yas I’m a boy of sum sort. Thay were originally ment 4 boys so I don’t c tha problem with guys wearing tham. If u like tham , want 2 wear tham go ahed.

    • Shannon Cowing -  October 23, 2015 - 5:26 pm

      You know there r men UGG boots, right? i mean if you are already wearing them, then this message doesn’t really concern you i guess…

    • Louis -  February 13, 2016 - 7:00 am

      Your grammar is very bad you need books not uggs.

    • Anna -  September 23, 2016 - 4:02 am

      “Yes I am a boy of some sort”

  3. SEO-Contest -  September 13, 2013 - 8:06 am

    “We Guarantee Top Rankings” It is impossible to guarantee top rankings when no one, including the programmers at Google or
    the other search engines, can assure you of where your website will appear.
    This is often important power behind outstanding growth of
    explore for engine optimization and different internet growth thoughts in trendy company community.

    (If you’re creating a new article, you can enter the SEO before you are ready to publish.

  4. Pivilio -  July 20, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    To everyone who is correcting other people’s grammar:

    This is a dictionary website and if you want to discuss and complain about others’ grammar, take it to Grammarly or something. Dictionary is about meaning and the meanings of the comments.

    Let them be.

  5. Holly -  May 22, 2013 - 2:11 am

    We don’t care ***
    And… I LOVE MY UGGIES.!! <3

  6. Holly -  May 22, 2013 - 2:10 am

    Pretty sure most Aussies are happy to wear uggies. They are warm and comfortable. As for fashion sense, who cares. If I’m comfy in my uggies I’m happy. They are a common thing in Australia and if you don’t like it, get over it.! Obviously we do and don’t care what anyone else thinks so keep your nasty degrading comments to yourselves. There’s no need for it.!!

  7. health insurance -  April 10, 2013 - 10:05 pm

    Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on.
    You have done a outstanding job!

  8. WHY? -  November 2, 2012 - 8:18 am

    I <3 my UGGS! :P

  9. WHY? -  November 2, 2012 - 8:16 am

    um, i have 2 pairs. and they are cute. the triple bailey buttons i wear all the time most people just hate becuz they cant afford!

  10. whocares?? -  October 21, 2012 - 10:56 am

    actually no one cares there comfy… the end.

  11. BUTTER -  January 15, 2011 - 10:57 pm

    @UGG lover! I’m very stylish…dnt wear my uggs outside…Only once I have…But I’m not lyke evry1 else…I’m a unique individual…And dnt do things lyke how yu kawl “NORMAL” ppl do! HAHAHAHA bcuz I dnt follow the crowd!!! I’m ma self at awl tymes! Plz dnt take this to offensive…
    & @PreciousMetal I agree with yu 100% on the guys wearin ugg’s!!! Lmao well imma go now… **DUECES**

  12. REPULSE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  January 11, 2011 - 10:41 am

    [...] — It’s more than paper or plastic or the choice between leather or fleece. — UGG? — The Mythology of what to live by is not in South Park where they “Kill Kenny”: [...]

  13. UGG lover! -  December 30, 2010 - 10:06 pm

    I -HEART- my UGGs soooo much! they’re some how adorable but in an ugly way! I don’t think I’ve left the house this winter without a pair on! They’re warm and totally cute! They’re still popular too, like THE winter shoes! I don’t think I’ve seen anyone (whose stylish) wearing anything but UGGs! My school is filled with them! They are perfect. For now at least. Anyway, they’re still the winter trend. Gorg!

  14. PreciousMetal -  December 30, 2010 - 3:21 am

    I think they are comfy and soft but I don’t wear them outside. Uggs with skinny jeans are cool cool coolio but UUURRRGGGHHH! Uggs on men! eeeew No! thats WRONG. I’m sorry if I am being sexist but just eeew!

  15. BUTTER -  December 23, 2010 - 7:23 am

    HEY HEY HEY I ♥ MY UGG’S THEY ARE GREAT TO WALK AROUND THE HOUSE IN!!!!!I use them as house slippeers bcuz thts wht they kinda look like!!!!!! well im leaving now….



  16. Pullbit -  December 22, 2010 - 5:35 am

    …unless you’re an Eskimo. Eskimos would look cool wearing UGGs.

  17. Pullbit -  December 22, 2010 - 5:29 am

    Li….then it would be wives’

  18. Pullbit -  December 22, 2010 - 5:23 am

    UGG = you gotta go

  19. Pullbit -  December 22, 2010 - 5:22 am

    Your husband does what to their ugly? Luck to owners of bulls for pets.

  20. Mr. D [A.K.A] Elysian -  December 16, 2010 - 11:09 am

    Also i agree with “gothicbaby”, i swear that ment fu**in ugly.

  21. QUESTcrewFAN -  December 16, 2010 - 11:01 am

    0.0 WOW. i don’t really care if that lady says she thinks they’re UGLAY. well from where I come from… THEY”RE POPULAR and COMFY~ >:)

  22. NJNJ -  December 15, 2010 - 1:25 am

    I thought it’s a generic local slang referring to the kind of boots made with sheep skin and fleece. And then some business men turned the word into a brand, especially so in countries outside Australia and NZ.

    As to the origin of the name, I believe the debate continues…

  23. paula -  December 13, 2010 - 2:14 pm

    Ugly or not, they are warm and comfy. I love my Uggs.

  24. Amy-lou -  December 13, 2010 - 9:37 am

    Does it really matter people??? I mean come on>>>>>>>

  25. I.D....k -  December 13, 2010 - 9:35 am

    in my opinion it could be short for “snugg”….n bing sufers they just had to cut it short….im not surprised that ppl think their ugly i mean after a guy designed dem….surprisingly women now think their not ugly and man do…ironic…:>

  26. Rich Durst -  December 13, 2010 - 8:55 am

    One thing I don’t get about the title: how would “UGG” be short for “ugh?” They’re the exact same number of letters, the exact same number of syllables — unless you pronounce “UGG” as an initialism, in which case it’s actually longer.

  27. your moma -  December 12, 2010 - 7:23 pm

    i like spelling wrong yayayyasyasyssysaysaysysyasysysyayasyaaaaasssysysyyayasaysaysaysysaysysyasyasyasyaysysysyaysyasyaysas its fun

  28. Romo -  December 12, 2010 - 5:13 pm

    What happened to my other comment?

  29. WALNUT -  December 12, 2010 - 4:07 pm


  30. li -  December 12, 2010 - 1:04 pm

    smartone, i think jooe15 didn’t mean the plural of wife, but rather, the possessive case.

  31. Madcom -  December 12, 2010 - 12:51 pm

    I agree with Jane about the derivation of Fug and Ugg. There is a widespread Australian slang term “fugly” which means f**king ugly. Which, without a doubt, would have been used in surfing slang. Perhaps this has something to do with it?

  32. person^.^ -  December 12, 2010 - 12:39 pm

    this article is funny to me :)

  33. Joanna Pillsburry -  December 12, 2010 - 12:34 pm

    yeah, 20 pairs. My boyfriend loves them too. even though my dog peed on his!

  34. Joanna Pillsburry -  December 12, 2010 - 12:33 pm

    I love my uggs, all of the 2o. <3333

  35. SMARTNOT -  December 12, 2010 - 12:10 pm

    smartone. It is also “wives” not “wive’s”.

  36. Editbabe -  December 12, 2010 - 12:08 pm

    This particular type of sheepskin boot has been manufactured in Australia and New Zealand for more than 200-years. Generations have grown up hearing and using the term “uggs” when referring to boots of any sort. When these boots began selling worldwide, the word became associated with them because the manufacturers could not come up with a flashy brand name. Now other countries, where these boots are sold, refer to them as Uggs; while on the other side of the world, it remains a euphemism for any kind of boot. While others use specific terms such as galoshes, Wellies (Wellington boots) riding boots, muck-abouts, etc., Australians call them all uggs.

  37. Zand -  December 12, 2010 - 11:36 am

    Here is my question: Can you confirm the pronunciation of Uggs? Because I have heard some folks who should know pronounce it “ooogs”. Is that the correct pronunciation? Thanks for the fascinating history!

  38. Jeanne Phipps -  December 12, 2010 - 11:35 am

    Different subject—about the word of the day, gallivant. My first thought, about derivation, before reading yours, was that it was related to whatever is the Latin word for rooster (gallo in Spanish, I think). It would have meant high stepping around to impress the ladies and also the other young cocks—or something like that. What do you think?

  39. KitKat98 -  December 12, 2010 - 11:25 am

    Roket Dogs are sooo much better than UGG’s!!!

  40. Gothicbaby -  December 12, 2010 - 11:06 am

    I always thought that “fug” stood for “fu**in’ ugly”.

  41. meohmy -  December 12, 2010 - 11:03 am

    I totally agree with the wife. The boots are “ugh” so “ugly” Hahaha.

  42. D / DM -  December 12, 2010 - 11:03 am


    I think you meant to say, “It’s ‘wives’ with a ‘v.’”

  43. b -  December 12, 2010 - 10:36 am

    hahaha…i like you smartone….nice!

  44. shinelle -  December 12, 2010 - 10:34 am

    Dear smartone,

    I noticed this too, but I did not feel the need to point this out. I’m sure it was a typo and that jooe15 knows the difference between wife’s and wive’s (and wifes’s for that matter, which is probably what he would have said if he couldn’t speak proper english).

    No need to Nitpick,
    Being anal only because you were first

  45. a -  December 12, 2010 - 10:29 am

    oh no! call the grammar police!

  46. Anna -  December 12, 2010 - 10:18 am

    My husband would agree with the wife. I love my UGGs. He could care less.

  47. JJ -  December 12, 2010 - 9:58 am

    Wow, interesting article. My mom wears Uggs all the time and I’m getting a men’s pair for the holidays. LOL, the name also might’ve come from “the time when” they were first invented and they were uncomfortable, so when that person fell down the stairs, he couldn’t stop saying ugh. JK

  48. Me -  December 12, 2010 - 9:56 am

    well Mr. Smartone, maybe that is why he is on dictionary.com!

  49. Don Paco -  December 12, 2010 - 9:42 am

    Who cares?

  50. owlish -  December 12, 2010 - 9:32 am

    I think the term UGG literally translates to “trendy boot styles in limited supply around the holidays.”

  51. Trollin? -  December 12, 2010 - 9:09 am

    I agree with the wife :P

  52. sunsetter23 -  December 12, 2010 - 8:40 am

    i agree with Jane!

  53. Michael -  December 12, 2010 - 8:28 am

    People are fond of tucking their UGGs into jeans.
    Are they? Most people I know tuck their jeans in their boots. But perhaps I missed something.

  54. ish -  December 12, 2010 - 7:46 am

    Dear smartone,

    ‘Wife’ is a word, not a term.

    Get your own facts straight before you go correcting other people.

  55. Storm-ed -  December 12, 2010 - 7:02 am

    Jane, just for your information, the “chicken and the egg problem” isn’t actually a problem, the egg must have come first, but some people just like to make things difficult from themselves. Two animals from different species made an egg which had a baby chicken (or chick) inside it.

    I understand about this “Ugg” problem, though. I guess it’s just a fad, but everyone keeps yelling, ‘look Storm! I got Uggs- aren’t they just ADOREABLE?’
    No -.-

  56. paola_linda -  December 12, 2010 - 6:55 am

    the boots are not ugly u ppl are all UGLY!!!!!!!

  57. Jen -  December 12, 2010 - 6:49 am

    Well they are ugly!!

  58. Karin -  December 12, 2010 - 6:39 am

    As to the boots themselves, I always thought they looked something akin to what the rebels in Star Wars wore on the planet Hoth.

  59. tatoe2 -  December 12, 2010 - 6:02 am

    Pretty interesting! I can’t help but think of all the people who I know that wear them, are ditsy teenage girls just trying to follow whatever fashion……. and are too dense to ever care about the orgin of anything.

  60. David -  December 12, 2010 - 5:55 am

    I have always thought that the name was derived by those of us who found these boots to be UGGGLY. However, the manufacturer found that he was unable to fit the last 3 letters on the boot’s label.

  61. Cutie pie -  December 12, 2010 - 5:53 am

    hey i did not read this there was no point i read about the first paragraph but thats it

  62. No-One77 -  December 12, 2010 - 4:50 am

    Dear “Smart One”
    You’ve used the word “term” incorrectly. “Wife” is a single word, not a term.

  63. cool gal -  December 12, 2010 - 4:44 am

    Where I live tons of women were UGGs. THEY ARE NOT UGGly! lol

  64. Romo -  December 12, 2010 - 3:38 am

    Tom Brady (New England Patriots QB) has a deal with UGG boots now… just a matter of time before ‘Bustin Jeiber’ is seen out sporting his new boots. Although considered unisex, not for this fella.

  65. Anjalena -  December 12, 2010 - 3:05 am

    Huh. Strangely enough, I thought the name was a reference to cavemen or “eskimos”. It sounded kinda tribal and/or primal to me. And the boots look like something that you might see on TV or in a movie being worn by that type of character. Anyway that was my idea of what the name meant. Guess I was wrong. Well, that’s never happened before. Heh. *innocent face*

  66. Alan Turner -  December 12, 2010 - 1:27 am

    I could perceive of tucking jeans into boots but just how you tuck boots into jeans escapes me

  67. Leekel -  December 12, 2010 - 12:52 am

    But you have to admit; the extra apostrophe, although it may not be necessary, is still pretty epic.

  68. mediocrity -  December 11, 2010 - 11:42 pm

    Dear jooe15- I’m sorry there are people online who have such little to do that they take that time to point out others’ grammatical blunders.

  69. anonymous -  December 11, 2010 - 11:21 pm

    sorry, does that bit in () say that people tuck their uggs into jeans? would it not be the other way around? or are people in fact shoving boots into their trouser legs?

  70. Jane -  December 11, 2010 - 11:07 pm

    I grew up believing that ugg was short for ‘ugly boots’.

  71. Don Keyhurley -  December 11, 2010 - 11:05 pm

    I’m a surfer for 40 yrs who wears Uggs. A tween emo chick tried to razz me the other day about them…. I had this old ragged pair before she was a swimmer in her daddys left testicle. Ugg! Classic styles always cycle back around kiddies. No more foot in mouth.

  72. Lind-Z -  December 11, 2010 - 11:05 pm

    Did anyone else catch the part about tucking UGGs into jeans? :P

  73. smartypants -  December 11, 2010 - 10:59 pm

    Dear smartone,

    Remember that the punctuation, such as the period, always goes before the end quotation mark. “Like in this example.”

    If you’re going to be a smartypants, make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

    (“V.” not “V”.)

  74. Dee -  December 11, 2010 - 10:15 pm

    I just wish I had a pair!

  75. Eyewitness -  December 11, 2010 - 9:31 pm

    I really always assumed there was Nordic derivation to the name UGGs. They always looked so — well — Scandinavian to me, a proper acoutrement to one’s shearling jacket.

  76. Jennifer1190 -  December 11, 2010 - 9:27 pm

    so,which one is true? lol~that’s funny,i like this

  77. Kola -  December 11, 2010 - 9:04 pm


  78. Kola -  December 11, 2010 - 9:03 pm

    I have some on now. My hubby things their ugly, but i like them, warm and comfy… love them… ok yeah they are a little ugly but like a pet bull…ugly cute ..lol

  79. Glerbert -  December 11, 2010 - 9:02 pm

    Pff! Ugg refers to the eponymous Ugg the Caveman who wore similar footwear romanced women with a club.

  80. Don -  December 11, 2010 - 8:54 pm

    I can’t stand the sight of uggs! Sorry, but they remind of dogs who slobber.

    They look stupid on the lads who sport them!

    Those who “bust” them and think they are hip, along with class…no chance! The young ladies who experience winters, do not even clean the salt, muck, and whatever else that’s on them; hence, when I say, “dogs that slobber”! When you want to talk dumb, there is no sense of style; oh, I don’t care if the people of notoriety wear sport them! Awefull when the girls wear them with athletic gear; may I say cheese!

    Also, I must mention that I notice that many have gait issues and have a bad case of ankle burn! Just like ice skating and the early steps of learning how to ice skate!

    For the gentlemen massive out there, this is my system of how I knock off girls for prospective dates; talking about the one’s I have a fancy for! I cannot stand uggs, puppet boots in my eyes, cannot stand the sight of them! In fasion terms, “too common; weak as in last week!”


  81. smartone -  December 11, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    Dear jooe15

    You’ve used the term wife incorrectly. It’s wives with a “V”.

  82. jooe15 -  December 11, 2010 - 7:55 pm


    “his wife, who called the boots ugly.”

    sounds like most wife’s :D

  83. bob -  December 11, 2010 - 7:42 pm

    thats interesting

  84. anjli patel -  December 11, 2010 - 7:38 pm

    i think sooo totallly

  85. anjli patel -  December 11, 2010 - 7:37 pm

    i tottlay think soooo!!!!

  86. Jane -  December 11, 2010 - 6:29 pm

    How can Ugg be derived from fug if fug is a shortened version of “flying ugg”?? Think we have a chicken and egg problem here.

  87. jacquie -  December 11, 2010 - 6:23 pm

    i agree with the wife.

  88. Shaneel -  December 11, 2010 - 5:47 pm

    Will we ever know the origin of Ugg?! ughhhh!! ;-)


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required):

Related articles

Back to Top