Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#3389 - 06/09/00 06:16 PM Australian words  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
Today's M-W word-of-the-day is the Aussie gem 'wowser', an obtrusively puritanical person -- which it also gives as origin unknown. Any ideas from down under?


#3390 - 06/10/00 10:05 AM Re: Wowser  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 140
lusy Offline
member
lusy  Offline
member

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 140
Melbourne, Australia
The following is largely from The Oxford Companion To Australian Literature:

Defined by the Macquarie Dictionary as 'a prudish teetotaller' or 'a killjoy' and by C.J. Dennis (read him for heaps of Aussie culture and folklore) as an 'ineffably pious person who mistakes this world for a penitentiary and himself for a warder'.

A term of uncertain origin, popularly accepted to be an acronym coined by by John Norton, owner of the (bloody marvellous, now defunct newspaper Truth) signifying "We Only Want Social Evils Remedied—or Righted".

Another suggestion is from "rouser" a term for religious fanatics current in Victoria in the 1870s.

The wowser had his heyday from the 1880s to the end of WW1 and was frequently depicted in cartoons as bearded, wearing a small, flat hat or a gimlet, and carrying the universal symbol of a wowser, an umbrella.

Rgds, lusy


#3391 - 06/10/00 07:21 PM Re: Wowser  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 112
David108 Offline
member
David108  Offline
member

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 112
Auckland, New Zealand
Here it is, folks - the definitive (?) Australian slang site, with thanks to

http://www.Google.com

http://goaustralia.about.com/travel/goaustralia/library/weekly/blstrine.htm


#3392 - 06/10/00 07:54 PM Re: Australian words  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
here's one that's mystified me ever since I happened upon it -- how did the word bluey come to be the nickname for a redhead?!


#3393 - 06/10/00 10:04 PM avagoodweegend  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
Well spotted.
I would give a XXXX for that! It's a bit of a beut.
Yours
A pom


#3394 - 06/11/00 07:42 AM Re: avagoodweegend  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 112
David108 Offline
member
David108  Offline
member

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 112
Auckland, New Zealand
>>I would give a XXXX for that! <<

...thanks - will you come to New Zealand, or will it keep until I visit your part of the Planet?




#3395 - 06/11/00 04:59 PM Re: avagoodweegend  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky
Tell you what, David--
Jo and I will meet you at paulb's party.
She can bring her XXXX, I'll bring a slab ot two,
and you can introduce us to Adrian Quist!
AnnaS's Jack Daniels would be nice to meet, too,
if she can bring him.

Once again, Tsuwm--thanks for the neat site!


#3396 - 06/11/00 07:43 PM Re: avagoodweegend  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
Friday night we attended 'Eric Idle shamelessly exploits Monty Python'; of course, he reprised the Four Bruces sketch, which included the Philosopher's Song...
http://www.library.adelaide.edu.au/guide/hum/philosophy/philos_song.html


#3397 - 06/12/00 05:01 AM Re: Wowser  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,065
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Bingley  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,065
Jakarta
In reply to:

The wowser had his heyday from the 1880s to the end of WW1 and was frequently depicted in cartoons as bearded, wearing a small, flat hat or a gimlet, and carrying the universal symbol of a wowser, an umbrella.


How do you wear a gimlet? Is it the name of the type of hat? I thought a gimlet was a cobbler's tool for making holes in leather.



Bingley



Bingley
#3398 - 06/12/00 11:59 AM Re: Wowser  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
paulb Offline
addict
paulb  Offline
addict

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Bingley: SOED, in addition to the tool to which you are referring, also has 'piercing, penetrating' (as of eyes) and a 20th century cocktail (which sounds most unlikely in the circumstances!). Perhaps there's a link with umbrellas here (or screwdrivers -- in the drinks department). An Australian journalist, Keith Dunstan, wrote a book called 'Wowsers' a few years ago. If I can find a copy I'll let you know.


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,879
Posts224,225
Members9,033
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
Joyous, Amylzirklern, brork, santo, piostylist
9033 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (wofahulicodoc), 46 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 9,058
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.016s Queries: 13 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7248 MB (Peak: 2.8577 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-12-13 01:47:02 UTC