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#44549 - 10/14/01 11:20 AM Have A Go
stales Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
I don't even know how to spell the word in question, but where does the slang term "burl" come from when it is used instead of go or turn.


"Stales, it's your turn to make a post"

(replies) "Righto, I'll give it a burl"


#44550 - 10/14/01 11:48 AM Re: Have A Go
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
) "Righto, I'll give it a burl"
definately some sort of ozzie slang.. Here in US, we'd
Give it a whirl if we wanted to take a turn or try at something.

my other obsession

#44551 - 10/14/01 12:01 PM Re: Have A Go
Keiva Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
Agreed, Helen. Never heard of "give it a burl" (stales, are you pulling our collective legs?), but "give it a whirl" is well known. (pop song from the 60's, "C'on, baby let's give it a whirl / I wanna know if you'll be my girl." Title was "Hey, baby" [such wonderful writing, no?]; can't recall the singer.)

#44552 - 10/14/01 02:19 PM Re: Have A Go
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
And there's "give it a go" for a difficult task.

But "burl?" What's going on down there at the top of the world? Blood rushing to your head?

Later Ah-HA! Tried burl in OED and it gave reference to birl and birl means a spin, a twist, a whirl, a try, an attempt esp in writing!
Another entry gave it as "a knot" so that ties in with a dificult task.


#44553 - 10/14/01 03:25 PM Re: Have A Go
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Yep, I could have given you this one had I checked the Board earlier, Stales. And no, it's not a leg-pull you doubting Thomases and Thomasinas. It's the straight poop.

The idiot also known as Capfka ...

#44554 - 10/14/01 06:49 PM Re: Have A Go
wofahulicodoc Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 6929
Loc: Worcester, MA

Subject: birl

I've always thought of birling as what lumberjacks do on a log -- they have "birling contests" at which two of them stand at opposite ends of the same log and each tries to get each other to lose his balance (hopelessly chauvinistic and out of date, but then I don't know of too many in-the-water lumberjills) (neologism but it seems like the right appellation) by spinning the log aggressively. Yes? Are there other uses?

#44555 - 10/14/01 07:19 PM Re: Have A Go
stales Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
WOW WOW (again)

Now that the fanfare has ceased ringing around the halls....

Thanks for that - at least we now have the spelling down pat. However, was there any reference to whether birl was slang, OzEnglish or whatever? Anything else on the etymology? It's a strange word.

I gotta start doing a few more serious posts....too many aren't taking me seriously.


#44556 - 10/14/01 10:11 PM Birling
Bobyoungbalt Offline

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
The lumberjacks' birling contests are no more outre or antiquated than those Scottish contests where big hefty guys heave telephone poles around (I believe they call them cabers or something like that); moreover, they do it while wearing a skirt!

#44557 - 10/14/01 10:17 PM Re: Have A Go
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
stales, a long time ago I bookmarked an Aussie slang dictionary, and it's in there as burl.


#44558 - 10/15/01 12:03 AM Re: Have A Go
stales Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 866
Loc: Perth, Western Australia

So what you're saying is that we're back where we started? Anybody else got any ideas? (pleading emoticon) I'm tempted by the Canadian application however. Do lumberpeople say that they are going to have a birl? If so, I think we've got a strong contender for the word's etymology.

BTW - thoroughly enjoyed the OzSpeak site - some of the phrases are beauties....."as flash as a rat with a gold tooth". Hehehehehe

The probable misspelling of "birl" (as "burl") reminds me of "burd" - which, I believe is the correct spelling of a word for "young woman". The slang of the 70's taught us all that it is spelt "bird".


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