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Dole bludger is an Australian term for one who exploits unemployment benefits by avoiding gainful employment. The term in the current state seems to have been first used in a 1976 article in The Bulletin `A genuine dole bludger, a particularly literate young man ... explained that he wasn't bothering to look for work any more because he was sick and tired of being treated like a chattel'.

The word bludger is a form of the word bludgeoner, or a person who carried a bludgeon (a short stick or club). It was in use in the mid 1800's as slang for a low level criminal, specifically one who lives on the earnings of a prostitute. This meaning persisted up until the 1950s. Another common use for the word was one who didn't actually "earn" his pay, or any white collar, non manual laborer. The term was expanded to include anyone who made little effort or performed below standard.

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