‘Treadleys’ (Pushbikes) in Australia.


Pretty untidy lot we were.
Just put the old tredley (or “treadly“) anywhere along the kerb while we go in and watch some American B Grade Movie at the local cinema..
But we didn’t lock our bikes back then, did we?
We actually cared and looked out for each other.


And some Aussies depended on their pushbike to pursue a livelihood like shearing.


In Adelaide the Toffs had the opportunity to purchase a Three Speed Bike. Bloody Toffs.
These two pipe smoking chums admire the magnificent cycle.
But hang on is the bloke on the right attempting to urinate on his chum or his bike. We will never know.
Please Note; Everyone died  (eventually) after this ad was published.

A Nice Lad but “as thick as two short planks”.

I remember the days when either a letterpress printer or binder would stride up to me and ask the naive apprentice comp. “Could you set a few lines for us mate.”
I do because I was that naive apprentice who was “A Nice Lad who is as thick as two short planks.”
But my pommy tradesman in charge was quicker than most and I guess after some years down the track “a little bit bent.”
And, he never told me he got paid for it!
He would get me to design and set the type on the Ludlow typecaster by pissing in my pocket by saying “you are a master of design Rod”.
And I would do it, time and time again. I just didn’t think that my tradesman would lie to me.
There was one printer in particular who would wander into the comp. room speak to my boss and then I’d be setting wedding invites for the next hour or so.
He started up a small backyard print shop specialising in wedding stationery using hot metal supplied by me (unlawfully but innocently) and that operation turned into a fairly large printing office out on the Main North Eastern Road.
“Yep, I was as thick as two short planks.”

Old Guv: ‘Shitboy’.

The Cobbers Dictionary defines a “shitboy” as a boy of below average intelligence who worked at the Government Printing Office, South Australia from 1860 until the 1970s.
Unfortunately, the young man in the picture above (with the Top Hat) thought he was above the other Shitboys. Naturally, he got the worst of the shit jobs.
That’s what you would generally hear just before you were due to take the 2 oclock post out to the other Government departments.
“Can you pay this Bill?” “Can you get me a Meat Pie?” “I need an aspirin”.
Some would give you two shillings to run the errand. Sid Ball always gave FIVE shillings (a big amount in 1965).
Some of course gave nothing, but that didn’t matter.
At the end of the year they would go around with a Collection Tin. They usually collected 25 pounds at least.
Considering a “shitboy” only got around 5 pounds a week, it was a fortune.
Your first job in the morning was to sweep up the front path and steps.
You did this as quickly as possible just in case someone you knew who was walking past recognised you.
Then you filled up the Overseer, Superintendent and Government Printer’s wash bowls and their glass drinking water bottles.
Lunch Orders were next. At any time you may have to run some Mail to another Government Department.
There was a Bike for you to use, but most “shitboys” didn’t because it took longer to walk.
You also had to haul loads of metal across the bridge at any time.
Then it was Laundry to be taken down to the back of the Railways (near the Torrens River) and the two o’clock mail had to be taken all over the City. Parliament House, Government House, Industrial Court, Police Department, Education Dept. and so on….
In between doing “shitboy” work you would watch and listen to the Comps and pick up knowledge for your upcoming Apprenticeship in the following year.
Being a “Shitboy” was a Lot of Fun!

‘What Aussies call other Aussies.’


Aussies love to nosh up at a barbie, have a coldie and take a gander at some footy, and tell you that everything is bonza.
They also love their slang.
A little-known fact, however, is that Aussies even have lingo for each other…
It was inevitable that the first Pommies in Australia developed a new vocabulary to describe their alien surroundings, given that everything in Australia was so different from all they had known.
Prison slang crept into general use, indigenous language was incorporated, and new words coined – much to the alarm of our colonial establishment.
The upper class pommies looked down their noses at the convicts and Australian-born folk.
Originally, they called them ‘Cornstalks’, because the new generation of Aussies were taller than their forebears.
The name stuck for awhile, and so did the custom of giving regional names to our fellow Aussies.
‘Sandgropers’, or Western Australians, once used the term ‘Wise Men from the East’ in reference to visitors from the Eastern side – especially the ones who enjoyed telling us how good they were.
Victoria was called the Cabbage Patch because of its small size, hence ‘Cabbage Patchers’ hailed from the garden state. ‘
Gum Sucker’ was formerly applied to all colonials for their pastime of sucking the sweet gum from some species of wattle.
How it came to refer solely to Victorians is a mystery.
Tasmanians, too, suffered prejudice, and ‘Taswegian’ was once used almost derisively to describe the mob who in kinder moments were called ‘Apple Islanders’.
Those Taswegians were once also known as ‘Barracoutas’, after the creature that supported fishing families and was a staple during the starvation years.
The name is rarely heard now, and the ’couta, too, have almost vanished.
‘Crow-eaters’ for South Australians is still commonly used, and refers to the piping shrike (not a crow) on the South Australian coat of arms.
‘Top Enders’ for those from the Northern Territory is heard quite often and is a pretty good description.
‘Banana Benders’, referring to those from Queensland describes them perfectly and is simply not heard enough.
As for the residents of the Australian Capital Territory, anything goes seeing most of them are pollies or bloody bludging public servants.
via Slang: What Aussies call other Aussies – Australian Geographic.

Learning to Speak like an Aussie from Out an’ About.

What do you say if someone says “wanna come over Saturday arvo for a barbie?”
If you speak English you might not think you need a dictionary, but learn a few choice phrases and you’ll be ready for almost anything over here.
Okay, here are a few basic words worth knowing:
Owya goin = how are you?
Arvo = afternoon
Fair dinkum= true
Ripper = really great
Biccy = biscuit
Choccy biccy = chocolate biscuit
Chockers = very full
She’ll be right = everything will be alright
Understanding us should be easy as pie now. And you should be right to head out to that barbie.
Good on ya mate!
Article courtesy of the Wonderful blog about Australia, Out an’ About by Miriam, a very seasoned and insighttful explorer of our great country.
via Ten reasons to visit Australia – Out an’ About

A Great example of Aussie Slang: Frank Hardy’s “The Outcasts of Foolgarah.”

There can be few languages, or dialects, with a stronger history of slang than Australian English.
Australian slang really built up a head of steam in the late 19th Century.
This was partly down to the fact that the kind of people who came to Australia, tended to come from places with rich local linguistic traditions like Scotland, Ireland and the East End of London.
These people weren’t hampered by the upper-class cultures of Great Britain.
They were much more free to play with language, creating nicknames for local things, in a way that the buttoned-up Brits in those days couldn’t do.
Slang was strongly linked with very poor convicts and the British policy of setting up penal colonies in Australia.
There was a very strong connection with the so-called lower classes in the development of Australian Slang.
They were their own people and so developed their own slang terms that reflected their mateship and life.
One of the great exponents of the use of slang in literature was the boisterous storyteller Frank Hardy.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book so rich in Aussie terms than “The Outcasts of Foolgarah”.
An outrageous romp amongst the waste disposal (night soil) experts that roamed the backyards of Sydney many years ago.