The Fairfax press this week carries a great piece by Lawrence Money lamenting the loss of good old Aussie slang:
What about all those gems from the Aussie lexicon of yore? The days when, if you missed work because of illness, you were “off crook” – and if you got worse you could eventually “cark it”. When a bloke, fancying a sheila, would try to “crack on to her” – and if he failed miserably he “wouldn’t come within coo-ee”. When, if you tried your hardest regardless of success, you “gave it a burl”. Or when a dog dug a hole in the vegie patch and his master threatened to “introduce him to the Julius Marlow”.
The sass, the wit, the irreverence. That was the Aussie trademark. Is it all vanishing into the global melting pot?
Here’s the thing: like, yeah, totally.
Gert has written her own paean to slang and cliché in One in a Million which includes sayings that are dinky-di Aussie, as far as we know: as miserable as a bandicoot, as flash as a rat with a gold tooth, as mad as a cut snake, all mouth and no trousers, better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick, like a rat up a drainpipe.
And what about a booze bus, to bludge, to get a guernsey, to see a man about a dog…
Are these used anywhere else in the world? If not they should be. But you know what? We’ve got Buckley’s.