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EDITOR'S BLOG

Australian Slang

See also our Australian Slang section
with over 700 words and phrases listed.

Blog – Australian Slang >>  Page 1   Page 2

What's a Specky?

Rosie wrote us, "I watch Doc Martin on the television (English comedy) and my question is about a word I heard used on this week's program. I think the word I heard is "specky" and the context it was used in was to say that a person is a little daft, not right, etc. but I can't find it in your slang dictionary."

Well Rosie, that's because Doc Martin is a British TV series filmed in the UK, not Australia. While Aussies may have some slang in common with the Brits, here in Australia the slang "specky" means something different.

Specky is slang for "spectacular mark" in Australian rules football. In a typical specky, a player jumps high up often on another player's back in order to catch (mark) the ball.

St Kilda and South Melbourne footballer Roy Cazaly was known for his high-flying specky.  AFL fans loved seeing a specky so much that they would shout "Up There Cazaly" at his games.

In 1979 the Two Man Band took that chant and created the song Up There Cazaly. The song sold over 250,000 records becoming the biggest selling Aussie single up to that time.

The song is still a favourite of sports fans and often heard at games and on TV especially during the AFL Grand Final.

Visitors to Freemantle, WA can see a statue capturing Australian rules footballers John Gerovich’s famous specky over Ray French in 1956. The statue is outside Freemantle Oval.

BYO and Corkage

Ross M. suggested we add 'BYO' and 'corkage' to our Aussie Slang area and we have.

If you want a heated discussion by the restaurant going public, ask them how they feel about corkage. Simply put, corkage is a fee charged by many BYO restaurants if you bring your own drink. Even if you open and pour your own wine, you will still be charged corkage.

There is no regulation and no standard on corkage charges. Clearly restaurants want you to buy your wine from them so some see it as a BYO deterrent. However, they also run the risk of losing a customer who feels the corkage is excessively high.

Not all restaurants charge corkage, but of those that do we've heard prices from $2 per person to a flat $20 per bottle and up.

So the next time you make a reservation at a restaurant and plan to BYO, make sure you ask about their corkage fee. It may not pay to BYO.

Did you know . . .
From 1887 to 1908 Australian meteorologist Clement Wragge was the first to officially name various weather systems including tropical cyclones. Names he chose varied, from mythological creatures to politicians who may have annoyed him.

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Military Banjos

Shane was nice enough to share this with us ...

"Just want to clear up under military slang you have for 'Banjos'. You are right, they are a bacon and egg roll/sandwich."

"The reason for calling them 'Banjos' is that when you eat them, the egg yolk or bread crumbs get on the front of your clothing (usually in the chest area). The normal reaction is to extend the arm out that is holding the bread and with the free hand flick the yolk and crumbs off of your chest and clothing. This makes it look like you are playing a Banjo."

Interesting the things you can learn here.

Rumours ~ Furphys

During the First World War quite a few slang words were coined. Some are no longer used while some still survive today.

For example, "furphys" are slang for rumours. Just as today people gossip on their coffee breaks, during the war rumours were passed around as mobile water tanks travelled through the troops.

The water tanks were manufactured by Joseph Furphy & Sons, hence slang for rumours became "furphys".

Military Goffa

Maurice L asked, "How come you do not have the term "Goffa" meaning soft drink or cordial in your Military Slang.

Actually we do. It's listed as "Goffer" but I've just added "Goffa" to it as well. The Aussie slang is thought to originally come from the name of the company (Goffe & Sons) that manufactured the drinks. With a living language, you'll always find variations over the years and generations.

More Military Slang

Mel wrote to say, "Thanks for your military slang section - very enjoyable (and accurate!). I thought of a couple more family friendly Army ones." Ernie also sent us some military slang as well.

• Drop Shorts – artillery soldier
• Emu Bob (Emu Parade) – line of soldiers
  walking almost shoulder to shoulder
  bobbing up and down picking up litter
• Nard Roll – toilet paper
• Two-dads – someone with a hyphenated
   surname (ie. John Smith-Jones)
• WOMBAT – Waste Of Military Budget
   And Time

Update Lots of requests for more Australian military slang, so I've added more and created a new ANZAC Slang section as well.

 A big "Ta" to all the guys who contributed to it.

 

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