it’s only words

 #1: “Neu -words”.

Everyone seems to invent new words and terms, but mainly they are useless. So, in the spirit of,  and with apologies to, “The Birdmen”:

“There’s gonna be a new word

Kids are gonna start it up

We’re all gonna mutate

Kids are saying yeah hup”

Friday 29th November 2019
Tradio: The radio station that the tradies doing your house listen to. Not able to be found on non tradie radios of any description (thankfully).

Friday 22nd December 2017
Abspiration: An aspiration that has been abandoned. As might be evidenced by exercise machinery left at the curb-side for hard rubbish collection.

Friday 15th December 2017
FlustratedNot exactly a “new” nue word, invented by Muddy Waters when talking about playing on the same bill as Memphis Minnie. Being flustered as a result of frustration. (Minnie regularly outplayed many of the big guns of the blues , including Waters, in their public competitions.)

Friday 16th June 2017
Wirk: when you are employed but you don’t enjoy what you are doing, only applicable to written form. As in: “What have you been up to?” “Wirking, it’s not very interesting.”

Friday 8th June
Untellectual: what it looks like, the opposite of intellectual, but affectionately so. Maybe like Cliff Clavin, the postman character in the TV series “Cheers”, who had a theory and / or (most often very complicated) explanation for just about everything, but either the theory  just didn’t make any sense or was plainly wrong. As in: “Is he smart? Well, you know what an intellectual is? Well he’s more like an untellectual!”

Friday 7th April 2017
Unclude: To deliberately leave someone out. As in “Misha? After last night she is uncluded until further notice!”

Friday 24th February 2017
Vertigone: Post vertigo. As in “Do you still have vertigo?” “No, I’m over it. It’s vertigone.”

27th January 2017
Rides a bike , does not wear lycra.

6th January 2017
Expectism: A moral, economic, and political philosophy that supposes that what you want to happen will happen, just because you want it to. Off branch of the now defunct “entitlement ” school of thought, but mostly for rich people.

23rd December 2016
: As in “Everyone in my street is putting red bows around their street trees for Christmas.  But I’m not. I’m having a bowcott!”

Friday 16th December 2016
Anticappointment: As in: I was so looking forward to seeing “The Strypes” and travelled to Melbourne specifically to do so, and they weren’t that good.”

Friday 9th December 2016
Faux-tro: As in: All those new bikes that are around at the moment, mostly pastel coloured and designed to look vintage

An ongoing list.

#2: “Words-worth (saving)”.

I was pretty inspired, recently, when the Hon. Jack Snelling (Minister for “It’s an honour to be set such a challenge / Please pass me the temazapan”) got well a nd truly fired up  in a live radio interview about the possible court case over the RAH. He called the persons who might bring on such a case a bunch of “spivs” (even went so far as to add “from Sydney”, I think). Which reminded me of a whole bunch of words worth saving so I’m kicking off a permanent “words-worth (saving)” list and in deference of the “Honourable Jack”, I’ll start with 

Friday 9th December 2016

  • spiv

A flashy, slick operator who makes a living more from speculation or profiteering than from actual work. The kind of guy who wears a shiny medallion, goes bankrupt from a dodgy swampland development scheme, but still has a big house in his wife’s name. “This real estate boom is a spiv’s paradise.”*

(*Most definitions are / will be taken from the Urban Dictionary: and given the state government’s current series of imbroglios, including “Gillman” (in particular) this definition from Urban Dictionary could hardly be more apposite!)

Friday 16th December 2016

  • nong

In Australian slang, nong is used as a pretty mild and/or endearing insult. a bit of a twit, or idiot. nothing too mean or horrid is meant by calling someone a nong. “Hey mate, you put your trackie-daks on inside-out, ya silly nong!”

23rd December 2016

  • plonker

Dope, idiot, moron, wally, pillock, dunderhead, dimwit; “You are such a plonker, Rodney.”

Friday 30th December

  • togs

Swimming outfit, “I cant go for a swim, I haven’t got my togs.”

Friday 6th January 2017

  • blue

A disagreement, not always physical. “I just had a blue with my boss”

Friday 13th January 2017

  • pork chop

This is a colloquial phrase in Australia to “carry on like a pork chop”, meaning that someone is behaving in a silly or stupid way. This expression is a truncated version of the longer and more widespread phrase to be “like a pork chop in a synagogue”; this has been around since the 1950s. Since pork is forbidden food for Jewish people, to describe something as being like a pork chop in a synagogue means that it is highly inappropriate, embarrassingly out of place, and quite unwelcome. The Australian expression carry on like a pork chop has now shifted the focus from inappropriateness to foolishness. (Often happens with truncated expressions — they kind of go their merry way!)
“Mate, calm down, you’re carrying on like a pork chop”.

MFriday 27th January 2017

  • bung

1.out of order; broken; unusable.
3.Slang. dead.
Origin Expand: 1840-50; perhaps < Waga (Australian Aboriginal language spoken around Kingaroy, S Queensland) bongī dead
As in: “My TV is bung.”
“bung it on”
Make a show of something.
As in: “He really bunged it on when she told him it was over.”

Friday 3rd February 2017

  • tonk

To hit, hard. As in “She tonked that over the fence for six.”

Friday 10th February 2017

  • yakka

Work, often hard work, there-by “hard yakka”, and often involving some major physical effort. As in “Yeah the pay was good but it was hard yakka!”

Friday 17th February 2017

  • five finger discount

Stealing, particularly of the shoplifting variety. As in: “How much was that?” “Nothing, I got it for a five finger discount.

Friday 24th February 2017

  • laughing gear

Mouth. As in: “You wanted a burger, well there you go, wrap your laughing gear round that”

Friday 3rd March 2017

  • clocked

Notice, see, observed. As in: “I’d been there for a while before I clocked him at the bar.”


Hit, punch , bash. As in: “I didn’t like the look of him so I clocked him one.”

Friday 24th March

  • motza

a large sum of money earnt/won/stolen. Usually used as “to make a motza”. Origin unknown; possibly from mozzarella associated with the term “big cheese”.

Friday 31st March

  • drongo

Dumbass, idiot (Aussie slang). ”It doesn’t go in the shed, ya drongo!”

Friday 14th April

  • As busy as a one armed (wall)paper hanger”.

No explanation required. As in “Have I been busy? I’ve been as busy as a one armed paper hanger!”

Friday 2nd June

  • bushed

Two meanings;

1.Tired. As in “I’m off to bed, I’m bushed.”

2. Confused / lost. As in “I followed the directions, but now I’m completely bushed!”

Friday 28th July 2017

  • squizz

To look at, especially in an investigative manner. As in:”Here, let me have a squizz at that.”

Friday 29th September 2017

  • crook, multiple meanings and usages all with negative or perjorative inferences.

Unwell. As in: “I don’t think I’ll go fishing, I’m feeling a crook.”

Angry. As in: “I got in really late, and did mum go crook!”

Of ill repute. As in: “I wouldn’t buy it from him. He’s a crook.”

Harshly treated or hard done by. As in: “I ended up being fined, which I still think was a bit crook.”

Wrong. As in: “Keep the river on your right and you can’t go crook.”

Friday October 6th 2017

  • donk

Engine or motor, especially a mechanical engine / motor, as for a car or boat etc, rather than an electrical engine. As in: “Yeah the body looks straight but what’s the donk like?”

Friday 13th October 2017

  • carked it: “died” or “became inoperative”

died: as in “Did you hear that Fred carked it?”

became in-operative, as in: “I  had to get a new donk. The old one carked it.”

Friday October 20th 2017

  • stink

Can be used variously, commonly as a noun  or as an adjective when “-ing” is added

noun, row or argument. As in: “He was not happy and he caused a real stink.”

adjective, very. As in: “It was stinking hot!” Note: it is not automatically a replacement for “very”, it wouldn’t be in character to refer to a person as “stinking pretty”. “Stinking rich”? Yes.

Friday 27th October 2017

  • clocked

Two possible interpretations.

One: to recognise or register the appearance of. As in: “I clocked him as soon as I walked into the bar.”

Two: to hit almost always on the face or head. As in: “I snuck up behind him and clocked him one.”

Friday 4th November 2017

  • cracker

Very good. As in: “Is it any good? It’s a cracker!”

Friday 1st December 2017
With the recent interest in Don Burke’s past the word “grub” resurfaced. I haven’t heard it used in the current (“Burkesian”?) context for a long time, and for a while I had trouble accurately defining it (even though I knew exactlt what was meant by it) because it’s a bit of a “slippery” word with a number of meanings. “Grubby” means a bit unclean: when a child plays (“outdoors”, remember “outdoors”?) they can get “a bit grubby”. And the word “grub” can be used with affection, often in relation to a small child, such as “Come here you little grub”. But in the context of an adult the word is anything but affectionate or honourable.

  • grub

Uncouth to the point of being dishonourable. As in: “No, I would go out with him. He’s nothing but a grub.”

Friday 15th December 2017

  • yonks

A long time. As in: “Dave? I haven’t seen him for yonks.”

Friday 12th January 2018

  • too right

Now frequently replaced by the less interesting “absolutely”, meaning: emphatically “yes”.
As in: “Are you going to the races on Tuesday?”
“Too right!” (Note exclamation mark.)
Often bifurcated with adjectival “bloody” and followed by “I am”.
As in: “Well, are you going to report him to the ‘wallopers’*?”
“Too bloody right, I am!”

Friday 26th February 2017

  • palaver

Fuss/bother. As in “Oh, what a palaver!”

Friday 2nd February 2017

  • Yarn / yarning (though more properly “yarnin’”).

A story /  telling stories. As in “Bob just told me a yarn about when he went fishing with his son in law” / “I’ve been yarnin’ with Bob.”

As distinct from “yack” / “yacking” (also more properly “yackin’”), which refers to talk / talking. As in “Sorry I’m late. I was over at Bob’s. Man can he yack!” / “I was yackin’ with Bob.” etc

Friday 9th February 2018

  • “…. in a show bag.”

Means of disparaging / ridiculing someone’s skills / qualifications. As in: “I think the bus driver I had today must have gotten his license in a show bag.” Explanation? Originally “show bags” (for which one now pays an arm and a leg) contained small samples of merchandise and were given away free. Therefore, originally, likely to have been “….. in a sample bag.” Therefore, something one got for nothing or for no / or without effort, but without intending to give the impression that they are “natural”.

Friday 23rd February 2018

  • chocka / chockas

Filled to capacity. As in: “I went to see GTStringer at Hades Hula House.” “Many people?” “It was chockas!” (Probably from “chock full”. A “chock” being an instrument, frequently a block of wood, used to prevent a wheel from rotating, therefore no room for movement?)


  • full as a goog

“Goog” being egg, therefore as “full as an egg”.

Friday 23rd March 2018

  • going off like a frog in a sock

Indicating anger accompanied by agitation (often, physical) as in : “When he saw he had a bluey* he went off like a frog in a sock.” No idea as to the origin, though it is a killer image.
*In NSW, where I came from, parking tickets were printed on pale blue paper and were, therefore, known as “blueys”, NSW is rather more “literal” than “literary”. (As it happens pale blue is the state colour for NSW, though the state representative rugby league team is known as “The sky blues”, not “The pale blues”.) The issuing authority for a parking infringement was, most often, a parking inspector and parking inspectors wore a green / brown uniform. They were, universally, known as “Brown Bombers”. Always! Though colourful adjectives and nouns where often added to the “title” in order to more adequately describe their relative position in the order of things and / or  the recipients appreciation or opinion.
In a similar fashion defect notifications, indicating that a vehicle is deemed unroadworthy,  (only issued by police officers) were printed on yellow paper, and were known as “canaries”, which is ever so slightly more “literary”. Not sure if that remains the case; “blueys” and “canaries” not “literal” and “literary”, which do remain the case.

Friday 30th March 2018

  • pie face

An insult but, somewhat surprisingly, not necessarily implying ugliness. Rather similar to describing someone as “a mug”. Gormless maybe, certainly inferior.  As in: (At the bar, in an hotel, one patron says to another, in a derisory tone ) “What are you lookin’ at, pie face?”

Saturday 28th April 2018

  • fanged it

Meaning, to go fast, often (but not always) in a car. As in: “I realised we’d run out of beer so I fanged it down to the local.”

Often said to be derived from the surname of legendary ‘50s Argentinian race car driver Juan Manual  FANGio. Doesn’t seem too likely.

Friday 11th May 2018

  • “nuggety cove”

Surprisingly, not a geographical identifier. In two parts:

  • “nuggety”, chunky or stocky
  • “cove”, a male, a “fellow”, maybe slightly dubious of character

As in: “If you are looking for the guilty for the bloke who did it, you might want to catch up with that nuggety cove who is always holding up the bar down at “The Union’ (Hotel).”

Friday 13th July 2018

  • “mug lair”, a show off, but / and one without substance.

 As in: “He’s nothing but a mug lair.”

and also

  • “lairising”, showing off.

 As in: “What are you doing lairising around the place?”

Friday 1st March 2019

  • Struth

Exclamation, in order to emphasise or to denote shock / surprise. Thought, by some,  to be a contraction of “(God’)s truth”. As in:
“Struth, it’s hot!”

Friday 1st March 2019

  • Squib

Lacking in intestinal fortitude. As in:
Cliff: “Did Bill jump into the blue?”
Rex: “Nah, Bill’s a bit of a squib like that.”


  • Squibbed

To be a “no show”, to decline an invitation, to “back away from”. As in:
Vladimir:  “Did you finally meet him?”
Estragon: “No, he squibbed. Again!”

Friday 15th March 2019

  • shot through / shoot through

Leave, depart (quickly or hurriedly). As  in: “When the cops arrived, I shot through!”

Friday 7th June 2019

  • bottler / (little) bottler

Meaning very good. Not sure of the derivation, perhaps the implication is that someone / thing is so good they are / it is worth putting in a bottle, perhaps to save for later / preserve.Optional “little”, meant not as an indication of size but as an affectionate and admiring diminutive.

As in: “That Eddie Betts? He’s a little bottler.”

Friday 14th June 2019

  • twerp

Characteristic of a, usually male, person: gormless, annoying and somewhat inept. Also prone to whingeing and not being able to “get on with it”, whatever the given “it” of the moment might be.

As in: “Nah, if Geoff is going I’m not. He gets on my nerves.  He’s such a twerp.

An on-going list.