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Posted on 18 January 2021

Check out that Darwin-rig

Aussie Word of the Week

Fashion! It never goes out of style, that's why this week's Word of the Week is the Darwin rig, more commonly known as a Territory rig. The rig is the peculiar formal dress used in the Top End by men. Essentially, as it is so hot in the Top End, there is no need for a jacket. Territorians replace the tie and collared shirt with an open-necked shirt, and swap out long trousers for shorts and long white socks. Thongs, stubbies and T-shirts are not required. Classy.  This blog has featured Aussie fashion words many times over the years. We have even written about underwear. We just can't help ourselves. Fashion even makes up one of the fifteen categories in our Word of the Year competition. In 2020, the words on the fashion longlist were quite different from the Darwin rig. The list included adaptive clothing, a type of clothing which has been designed to facilitate dressing for someone with a physical or intellectual disability; French tuck: a style of dressing in which the front portion of a shirt, T-shirt, etc., is tucked into the waistband of a skirt or trousers with the rest of the top hanging loose, and period underwear: underpants designed to absorb menstrual blood and prevent leakage, comprising multiple layers which act to wick moisture away from the body, with an impermeable outer layer. With 2021 well under way, we look forward to seeing what's fashionable in Aussie wardrobes this year.  Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.  
Posted on 4 January 2021

Heading down to the bowlo

Aussie Word of the Week

This week we are closing up shop early on our suburban shopping strip and heading across the road to the bowlo for a few schooners and a game of lawn bowls. Chiefly an Eastern states word, bowlo is short for bowling club.  Aussies love pubs and clubs, and why not? You'll find just about everything you need at the local club: a feed, a drink, a meat raffle, and of course a ragtag cover band belting out 80s hits over a dodgy sound system. So what if the carpet is a bit sticky and has one of those patterns that is definitely hiding something, we still book our kid's birthday party at the RSL: the Returned and Services League club or rissole if you like. The RSL has a long history in Australia. First appearing in 1916 as the Returned Sailors' and Soldiers' Imperial League of Australia, the organisation grew out of the spirit of camaraderie and concern for the welfare of fellow servicemen during and after World War I. As with the RSL, many Aussie clubs are associated with societal groups, especially sports clubs. Leagues clubs are any of various clubs run by bodies associated within the Australian Rugby League competition, offering food, drinks, entertainment, and other services to members, such as funding junior teams. These are also a particularly fun place to be if your team has just won the Grand Final. Add to this a variety of clubs set up by the various immigrant communities who call Australia home, like the Polish Club in Sydney's inner west, and it's clear how much we love our clubs! Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.
Posted on 23 November 2020

Are you a couple of lamingtons short of a CWA meeting?

Aussie Word of the Week

Are you a couple of lamingtons short of a CWA meeting? We hope not, because this ingenious phrase means stupid, as in lacking a full complement of intelligence. It's also a little sad, because who wants to attend a meeting that lacks delicious lamingtons? The phrase is part of a long line of short of phrases that speakers of Australian English use to insult each other.  Since the 19th century people who are 'not all there' have been described by phrases comparing them metaphorically to some aggregate which is lacking its full complement. One of the earliest examples of this is the Australian phrase a shingle short (of a roof, that is). This dates back to the 1840s. An early British example of similar age is a button short (of a coat). A similar notion is found in not the full quid. Generally things are a 'few' or 'couple' short, as in few bricks short of a load or a couple of alps short of a range or a few sheep short of a paddock. For some reason, food metaphors are the most common, such as a few bites short of a bickie, or bangers short of a barbie, or sandwiches short of a picnic, or a few Tim Tams short of a packet. Or, in this case, your humble Macquarie blog writer might be a few sentences short of a blog. Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.