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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - April 9, 2017

Aussie Sayings

Most 'genuine' Aussie terms were imported. But let's look at some of the best that we shouldn't lose.

1 'Bobby Dazzler' is a common Aussie saying - originally Nth of England - but who was our real 'Bobby Dazzler'?
  Johnny Farnham sitcom 1971-1972
2 Most 'genuine' Aussie terms were imported but 'CACTUS' and 'GONE BUNG' meaning broken or useless' are genuine AUSSIE. Where do they originate??
  The prickly pear infestation and Aboriginal for 'dead'
3 A lot of our so called 'Aussie slang' was invented in the 1960s as a joke and caught on. Who 'invented it'?
  Barry Humphries

FAIR DINKUM - Some say the Chinese ‘ding kam’ means ‘real gold’ and comes from the gold rush BUT fair dinkum appears in British dialects earlier than that. In Lincolnshire and Derbyshire dinkum means ‘work; a fair share of work’. It occurs in Rolf Boldrewood’s Robbery Under Arms (1888): ‘It took us an hour’s hard dinkum to get near the peak’, that is, ‘an hour’s hard work’. A more recent Lincolnshire dictionary defines dinkum: ‘It means to give fair or deserved punishment to; the correct punishment, justice; to do what is fair and right.’6 The Essex dialect has dinkum meaning ‘above-board, honest’.7 More importantly, in the north Lincolnshire dialect there occurs the idiom fair dinkum meaning ‘fair play’, ‘fair dealing’, ‘that which is just and equitable’. In fact, the notion of ‘fairness’ has always been associated with dinkum. It is from this connotation of ‘fairness’ that the particularly Australian meaning ‘reliable, genuine, honest, true’ developed in the first decade of the twentieth century.

BOBBY DAZZLER - 'Bobby Dazzler' is still a common Aussie saying - originally Nth of England - no one knows who Bobby was but it means a person or thing that is REALLY GOOD - 'dazzling', an 'excellent example'. It was popular in Yorkshire & Australia.

DIGGER - common belief of that it comes from war - it's actually quite racist. WHITE miners DUG shafts   Chinese 'puddled and went over the earth removed from shafts. So a 'digger' was a white man, a 'MATE'. The Chinese were 'outsiders', foreign, lower class, not 'mates' and not wanted.

Colourful Aussie slang tends to be exaggeration tho our humour is understated. e.g. 'bullocky Bill' & 'it gave me a start I can tell you' are different to 'bogging in the bitumen' or 'looked as full of knowledge as a 30 acre college'


Will Carter

I was down in the Riverina, knockin round the towns a bit,
And occasionally resting with a schooner in me mitt.
And, on one of these occasions, when the bar was pretty full,
And the local blokes were arguin’ assorted kind of bull,
I heard a conversation, most peculiar in its way.
It’s only in Australia you would hear a joker say:
‘How ya bloody been, ya drongo? Haven’t seen ya fer a week.
And yer mate was lookin’ for ya when ya come in from the creek.
’E was lookin’ up at Ryan’s and around at bloody Joe’s,
And even at the Royal, where ’e bloody NEVER goes.’
And the other bloke says, ‘Seen ’im. Owed ’im half a bloody quid.
Forgot to give it back to him, but now I bloody did,
Could’ve used the thing me bloody self, been off the bloody booze,
Up at Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos.’

Now the bar was pretty quiet and everybody heard
The peculiar integration of this adjectival word.
But no-one there was laughing – and me – I wasn’t game.
So I just sat back and let them think I spoke the bloody same.
Then someone else was interested to know just what he got,
How many kanga-bloody-roos he went and bloody shot.
And the shooting bloke says, ‘Things are crook, the droughts too bloody tough.
I got forty-two by seven and that’s not good-e-bloody-nough.’
And, as this polite rejoinder seemed to satisfy the mob,
Everyone stopped listening and got on with the job,
Which was drinkin’ beer and arguin’, and talkin’ of the heat,
Of boggin’ in the bitumen in the middle of the street.
But as for me, I’m here to say the interesting news
Was ‘Tumba-bloody-rumba – shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos.’


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