In modern, English, Earthman parlance, a vogon is an officious, callous bureaucrat who insists on following the rules regardless of whether they are directly applicable or make any sense at all. Whether they do this because they are cruel and sadistic, or because they don't have two brain cells to rub together is immaterial and often impossible to discern.
Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Asgoths of Crea. During a recitation by their poetmaster Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging and the president of the mid-galactic Arts Knobbling Council survived only by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his 12-book epic entitled "My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles" when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save humanity, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain. The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator, Paul Neil Milne Johnstone of Redbridge, in the destruction of the planet Earth. Vogon poetry is mild by comparison.
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits
On a lurgid bee.
Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes
And hooptiously drangle me
with crinkly bindlewurdles,
Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon
See if I don't.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of books, television shows and radio plays.
Vogons are reknowned for their bad poetry, dislike of hitchhikers, bad temper and tendency to blow up mostly harmless planets.
Most Vogons tend to become bureaucrats for the galactic government, a profession ideally suited to their unpleasent natures.
A prime example of a Vogon is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, captain of the Vogon constructor fleet that demolished the planet Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass.