The Secret Origins of ‘nerd, geek and dork.’

Image: Scene from “Revenge of the Nerds” (1984). Nerd The word nerd was first used in the 1950 Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo, in which a nerd was one one of the many oddly named creatures in the titular zoo. According to Ben Zimmer of, a 1951 Newsweek article mentioned it […]

Dyslexia or Word Blindness.

Photographic Image: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a very famous person with Dyslexia. Dyslexia defined by Google search is a: “Developmental reading disorder is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols.” Wow, that is so clinical and precise. Dyslexia is much more than a learning […]

The ‘Fair Dinkum’ Aussie Accent.

Nino Culotta (Walter Chiari) gets a lesson in the language of drinking from a friendly Australian (Jack Allen) at the Marble Bar, a legendary Sydney watering hole. The barmaid (Anne Haddy) looks bemused. From the Australian  film “They’re a Wierd Mob”. (1966) by Alyce Taylor How did “G’day mate” become the sound of home for […]

‘What’s having a Barbie mean?’

Above: A very fine example of a hardworking Aussie BBQ, somewhere in the donga I would suspect. The word “barbecue” comes from the Caribbean word “barbacoa.” Originally, a barbacoa wasn’t a way of cooking food, but the name of a wooden structure used by Taino Indians to smoke their food. It’s likely that the first […]

Learn the Aussie Lingo: ‘gday Mate!’

For Overseas visitors preparing to come to Oz, here are some Aussie expressions that you can learn  and use to impress your friends with. Strine is an abbreviation of Stralian, which is the shortened form of Australian. And now some Strine words for you to learn: “Mate” – Friend, cobber. Can be used anywhere in […]

Georg Trakl, Poet and Addict, 1887-1914.

Georg Trakl, poet in 1910. He doesn’t know whether his behaviour was unusual, he didn’t drink but took large amounts of cocaine. This remark is taken from the medical file of Georg Trakl and is part of a brief account of the poet’s movements and behaviour in the month or so preceding his committal for […]

‘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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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

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. […]