sponger, sponging, sponge off


sponger, sponging, sponge off


  • someone who scrounges from others
  • a person who abuses your generosity and goodwill
  • a parasite or leech living off someone else’s expense
  • take advantage of someone continually
  • sponge off means – to unethically grab something
  • a person who applies decoration to pottery with a sponge

Example Sentences

  1. Josh has turned up at my house three times this week just as I’m cooking dinner. What a sponger!
  2. Not everyone who gets social welfare is a sponger or a non-contributor.
  3. Mick is always sponging cigarettes and money off me. It’s really annoying.
  4. I get angry when I see people who are perfectly able to work, sponging benefits and lounging around all day.
  5. My older sister is always sponging money off our elderly parents to pay her rent. She’s such an idiot.
  6. He’s always hanging around the café at lunchtime, hoping to sponge a meal off one of us.
  7. She decided to sponge off other people when she was young.
  8. Through a new app, users can make sure unauthorized devices never sponge off their Wi-Fi.
  9. Jone lived a luxurious life with a huge house and a circle of people sponging off of him.


This comes from the Latin word ‘spongia‘ and in the 1500s referred to a form of marine animal. We now know that a sponge is something that is able to absorb vast quantities of liquid. The term ‘sponger’ was used from 1670 to describe a person living a parasitic lifestyle by ‘sponging’ from others more fortunate, probably because they had no job or money in that historical period.

It is now a slang word for someone who is a scrounger in any sense, whether that be taking advantage of government benefits or the kindness and generosity of people they know.

As you can see above, the word can also be used as a verb (to sponge).

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