‘Treadleys’ (Pushbikes) in Australia.

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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.

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

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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.
derwombat

‘What Aussies call other Aussies.’

2011

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.

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.
derwombat

‘Booze’ comes from the Dutch word ‘buizen’.

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It was there in the first ever glossary of slang, the collection of criminal jargon published c.1532, and it’s still going strong.
Booze: Alcoholic drink, and as a verb, to drink.
It came from Dutch buizen, to drink to excess (and beyond that buise, a large drinking vessel) and the first examples were spelt bouse.
Over the centuries it spread its wings.

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We find the boozer (both pub and person), the booze artist, -gob, -head, -freak, -hound,-hoister, -rooster, -shunter and -stupe, all drunkards.
There are the pubs, saloons and bars – the booze barn, -bazaar, -casa, -crib, -joint, -mill, -parlour, -factory, -foundry and -emporium.
Across the mahogany (the bar counter) stands the booze clerk, -fencer or -pusher. If we hit the booze too heavily, we get a booze belly, and maybe a trip on the booze bus, Australia’s mobile breath-tester.
via BBC News – 10 slang phrases that perfectly sum up their era.

Dressing to the Nines.

tophats_0007Meaning: Dressed flamboyantly or smartly.
Origin
Nine is the most troublesome number in etymology. There are several phrases of uncertain parentage that include the word.
Examples are, cloud nine, nine days’ wonder and the infamous whole nine yards. We can add ‘dressed to the nines’ to that list.
Dressed to the nines
The most frequently heard attempts to explain the phrase’s derivation involve associating the number nine with clothing in some way.
One theory has it that tailors used nine yards of material to make a suit (or, according to some authors, a shirt).
The more material you had the more kudos you accrued, although nine yards seems generous even for a fop.
Another commonly repeated explanation comes from the exquisitely smart uniforms of the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot, which was raised in 1824.

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The problem with these explanations is that they come with no evidence to support them, apart from a reference to the number nine (or 99, which seems to be stretching the cloth rather thinly).
The regiment was in business in the early 19th century, which is at least the right sort of date for a phrase that became widely used in the middle of that century.
The first example of the use of the phrase that I can find in print is in Samuel Fallows’ The Progressive Dictionary of the English Language, 1835.
In his entry for the phrase ‘to the nines’ Fallows gives the example ‘dressed up to the nines’ and suggests that it “may perhaps” be derived from ‘to thine eynes’ – to the eyes.
Not bad as a hypothesis, but without any evidence (and I can find none) ‘may perhaps’ is as far as we can go with that.
What counts against the above explanations, and indeed against any of the supposed explanations that attempt to link the number nine to some property of clothing, is the prior use of the shorter phrase ‘to the nine’ or ‘to the nines’, which was used to indicate perfection, the highest standards.
Read more via Dressed to the nines.

‘He’s Built like a Brick S**thouse’.

Generic term generally used by blokes about blokes.

Term of admiration for those Aussie males who are muscular, well built, athletic and bronzed.
Examples: Most Australian Rules Footballers, Rugby League players and Pub bouncers are highly likely to be “built like brick shithouses.”
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However, there is a catch, most of the aforementioned blokes are regarded as “not the full quid” or a “six pack short of a slab (of beer).”
In other words “not too bright’ or a “moron” which can be very dangerous language to be using around “brick shithouses.”
It generally results in the slanderer saying, “I had the shit pounded out of me by a brick shithouse”
derwombat