Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"That's a ripper bonzer cobber!"

It's been a deadly, sick Australia Day today - lots of language, lefts and laughing. Over here, words like "deadly" and "sick" have two, opposite meanings - excellent and wonderful on one hand or fatal and unwell on the other, so tonight I'm celebrating our ever changing Aussie version of the English language.
My late grandfather grew up on a farm and used to call me his cobber. He was born over 100 years ago. I haven't heard Aussies using that term lately, but "mate" or "friend" is about the same.
Bonzer board image by Campbell Brothers
I like the bonzer surfboard idea - three or five fins with big single to double concaves. The Campbell Brothers have built some deadly sleds over the last 40 years. They look like they would rip. "Ripper" and "bonzer" both mean roughly the same as "excellent" over here.
Lately I have seen some Aussie slang books in the shops. Hopefully, they explain the correct use of phrases like these - most of which have fallen on hard times and unused as our language continues to morph:
1     Silly as a two bob watch or
       Falcon short of a car park
       Not much common sense or intelligence.
2     Mad as a meat axe
       Mad as a gum tree full of galahs or
       Bit of a crank
       Very mad, odd or eccentric
3     Crack a mental
       Lose one's temper
4     Flat out, like a lizard drinking
       Extremely busy
Hope you had a bonzer Aussie Day cobbers.

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