Bung

From Academic Kids

For the manufacturer of video game accessoires, see Bung Enterprises Ltd

A bung is an apparatus used to seal a container, such as a bottle, tube or barrel. Unlike a lid which encloses a container from the outside without displacing the inner volume, a bung is partially inserted inside the container to act as a seal.

The most common every-day example of a bung is the cork of a wine bottle. Other bungs, particularly those used in chemical barrels, may be made of metal and are screwed into place via threading.

In chemistry, bungs are usually made of hardened rubber. Some chemistry bungs may also include one or more holes so a glass tube or laboratory funnel may be inserted through the bung and into the container or another piece of apparatus. The rubber bung may be used to seal a flask because the user may require the contents to be mixed via shaking the flask or may require that the contents be kept inside the flask and prevented from leaking out. In all cases, the bung keeps the experimentation environment completely sealed so as liquids or gases cannot escape.

A translation of Dante's Inferno to English from the original Italian uses the term "bung" when describing the grotesque appearance of a particular sinner who has been split from head to crotch, with his bowels (a "shriveled sac") trailing behind him. This punishment is seen in the area of Hell where the Sowers of Discord, a mangled, mutilated mess of souls, are corralled, indicating its roots date all the way to the 13th century.

The word is the root of the insult "bunghole", which is commonly used by Beavis of the animated television show Beavis and Butt-head, which appeared on MTV during the 1990s.

In British slang, a bung is slang term for a bribe and is infrequently used as a slang term for a cat.

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