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COLLOQUIAL SAYINGS AND SLANGUAGES

Antipodean Lexicon

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U-Z

AS HARD AS A GOATS KNEES:

Meaning to be very tough and resilient, able to withstand and survive the difficulties & rigours life presents.

AS QUICK AS SHIT FROM A  SHANGHAI:

Some body or thing which moves at a really fast rate. In metropolis we had tarred roads, from the sides of which we could pick up small residue drops of pig iron to use as projectiles in our shanghais (otherwise known as “gonks”). Our country cousins  had to use the dried, and very hard, kangaroo, sheep, fox, and rabbit droppings for the same purpose, hence the expression.

AS THE CROW FLIES; 

The reckoned shortest distance from here to there, but may have little relevance to the actual travellable distance.

ASHTRAY ON A MOTORBIKE:

A typical expression to describe someone or something as being particularly useless.

AYE (or EH):

That peculiarly Queensland suffix to a sentence in speech.

BACK OF BEYOND:

That undefinable place which is even further away than the NEVER NEVER.

BAG (SOMEBODY OR THING):

To BAG someone or something is to give them/it a very lowly place in your estimation.

BAG O’ FRUIT:

A suit (of clothing for a man).

BAGS:

To lay 1st claim to something, as in, “Bags I lick the pudding bowl”.

BANANA BENDER:

A person from the state of Queensland, where bananas were originally grown in Oz.

BARBIE:

This has nothing to do with a child’s doll of yesteryear, but is what YOUSE may be invited to, where the men cook, burn, and bugger the various meat offerings and toss back a few TINNIES, whilst their women look on in despair, and toss the salad.

BARGE POLE;

That undefined length which one wishes to distance themself from another person or situation. In reality, a BARGE POLE (a pole for propelling a barge in shallow waters) was about 20 feet, or 6 metres long. 

BARKER’S EGGS:         

That which your dog leaves on your neighbour’s lawn.

BARNIE:         

A verbal altercation.

BEANIE:

A woollen (usually knitted) head covering, of plain or many-coloured pattern, worn in cold weather, which has now become a symbol for different groups, and about which festivals have grown, mainly in The Center.

BEE’S KNEES:

Aptly suitable. Quite fitting the occasion.

BEFORE YOU CAN SAY
“JACK ROBINSON”:

Refers to something  which is about to happen quite quickly or very soon.

BENDER:

Bending the elbow…a hard drinking session, but not as serious as a BLINDER.

BIGHT:

To put the Bight on somebody is to ask them for a “loan” of something which you don’t have, usually money, and there seems to be an understanding that the loan, or Bight, is not expected by either party to be repaid.

BILLABONG:

That magical place of a waterhole in arid surrounds, often encircled by gum and acacia trees, where one can find water most of the year, and is often the home and  watering place of the BUNYIP.

BILLY CART:

A home made down hill kids racer, usually made from a smallish wooden box set upon a timber frame, with two wheels at the back, and two steerable wheels (controlled by rope) at the front. Mine had no brakes, so the only way of stopping was to run off the road into the grass and dirt. This often led to much shredding of elbows and knees. 

BILLY LID:

A child….a kid

BLACK AS THE INSIDES OF A TARANAKI COW:

This is an expression I learned quite young, when trans Tasman communication was the best way to keep The Colony and The Dominion together. Taranaki cows (from my observations) were all black on the outside,  hence…..

BLACK AS THUNDER:

The look one portrays to others when they are extremely angry, but not saying so. It is a perceived attitude.

BLACK DOG FOR A WHITE MONKEY:

Usually constrained to a maritime environment, meaning a fair exchange with no cheatery

BLACK PAN: A basically maritime expression for when the 4 to 8 p.m. watchkeepers had their evening meal after their watch. The apprentices(always very hungry) were allowed to partake if they cleaned all the black pans & left the galley clean.

BLACK STUMP:

 That which marks the place beyond which is nothing but the Never Never. Beyond The Outback.

BLINDER:

A very serious drinking session, often occasioned by seamen when they were Paid-Off at the end of a voyage, or when a shearer or other outback worker received their pay cheque.  A blinder could often last for a couple of days.

BLOCK:

That which sits upon ya neck, and ya can “Do’, or “Lose”, in a moment of stress.

BLOKE:

 Any Australian male. This term has both endearing and derogatory applications, depending on the context of its use. It is now sometimes used to embrace all those present, in the plural, including females.

BLOODY:

An expletive to stress the importance of the next word or phrase. It is not considered offensive, except if used in the Most Proper of circumstances. It is said that it is a derivative of the old English expression, “By my Lady”, referring to the Queen at the time, Victoria.

BLOW YER STACK:

Lose your cool…rant and rave. Go TROPPO.

BLUDGE/BLUDGER:

To Bludge, is to expect somebody else to do your share of the work or duty/responsibility, and is a most lowly status amongst a work group. To be called a Bludger is a gross insult.

BLUE ORCHIDS:

A colloquial Services name appended to the RAAF flying corpse, because of their” perceived delicacy,” aloofness, and the light blue colour of their dress uniforms”.

BLUE/BLUEY;
                         

In this application the words refer to a person by name, other than their given name. (Seems to be a natural phenomena of antipodeanism). Howsomever, if a person (Usually of Celtic stock) has fair skin, red hair, freckles, and blue eyes, they are sure to be known at some time in their life as “Blue” or “Bluey”. The other Bluey is what the swaggies humped on their shoulder…their bed roll.

BLUE:

You can get into a Blue with ya Missus, Mates, ya boss, or at ya Local. Having a Blue is a good thing, cos it can be a sorting out , clear the air, before a Stoush ensues.

BOB’S Y’ UNCLE:

A term to define that the outcome will be acceptable.

BOBBY DAZZLER:

Same as BONZA, BEAUDY BOTTLER, etc.

BOG:

The toilet, usually used when one needs to sit to achieve the desired outcome whilst semi recumbent.

BOIL THE BILLY:

A Billy is the bushman’s equivalent of the suburban tea pot. To Boil The Billy can be an act to slake ones thirst, or an event to invite others to partake of a social occasion, and Yarn.

BOMB;

An automobile of very poor condition.

BONZA, OCKER:

 As for Bonza, but with particular attention to the other person, being, Ocker.

BONZA:

  Very good, excellent, just right, the Best.

BOTT:

To Bludge a cigarette from another person.

BOTTLER:

Things can be Bottlers, or even Beaudy Bottlers. In either case they are extremely pleasing to the beholder. For something to be a” Bloody Beaudy Bottler” puts it above all superiority.

BOYANG:           

  The lashing used to constrain the trouser leg (just below the knees) of a swaggy, or other outback person, to prevent the ingress of snakes, ferrets, grass seeds etc. up the trouser led, which could otherwise cause the person much bother. They also caught what fell through the holes in ya pockets.

BRASCO:

A typically male term for the toilet.

BRASS MONKEY:

A reference to how cold the weather is. Originally a maritime expression, as the Monkey was the three cornered lipped brass plate to hold cannon balls. When the weather became very cold the monkey would shrink and expel the cannon balls, hence, “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”.

BRICKFIELDER:

To those on the East & S.E coasts, and those on the West & S.W coasts a Brickfielder is the very hot dry wind which blows from the Dead Centre towards these coastal regions, as if it were coming from a brick kiln. These very high temperatures and dry airs are most often relieved by a Southerly buster (East Coast) and the Fremantle Doctor (west coast).

BUSH WEEK: That unfathomable piece of time where an idea or thought seems to be totally useless. A put-down, as in,”What do ya think this is, Bush Week?”

BUTCHER’S HOOK:

Feeling Crook. Or having a look (at something in particular).

BY CRIKERY:

An expression of exclamation/surprise. Seems to be a moderation of” By Christ”, to which “Those in Charge” in settlement days took offence, as they were charged with up holding Proper British values.

BY THE CROW;

The estimated direct distance ( if the crow flew it) between two places, which may have little relationship to the actual travellable distance.