We be slang-chuckin’ yokels

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 04:42 am

Via J.F. Beck, this puzzling Guardian piece—by sports writer Kevin Mitchell, who claims to have grown up in Australia—on Australian slang:

Cockneys who imagine theirs is the only rhyming slang will be disabused of that notion soon enough. It flourishes in Australia. You can go ‘jungle-jimming’ at Bondi Beach, avoiding the ‘afters’ (after darks – sharks), then step out in your ‘bag of fruit’, and you might get a bit ‘Adrians’ (Adrian Quist, a famous tennis player). Gambling is the national sport so if you fancy a bet, look for a ‘billy’ (billy goat – Tote), and you will find one in the bar of nearly any ‘bib’ (bib’n’bub – pub).

There are some local cuties that are almost impossible to fathom unless you’re a native. A Blundstone is a utility truck or ute, coming from Blundstone boot, which is workmen’s footwear of choice.

If you’re going to leg it from some embarrassing situation, you can ‘Harold’, or bolt. Harold Holt was an Australian Prime Minister who disappeared after going for a swim.

I’ve lived here for nearly 42 years and haven’t heard any of these terms, apart from the archaic (and British-sourced) “bag of fruit”. Mitchell is talking out of his lemonade and sars.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/20/2006 at 07:57 AM
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