Macquarie Dictionary Blog
We're not here to f*ck spiders (NSFW)
Jul 11, 2018
A couple of months ago I came across a phrase I hadn’t heard before. This isn’t unusual in itself but this was a phrase which is apparently in fairly common use in Australian slang and has been around for a number of years.
Crude Australian sarcasm at its bluntest, ‘... not here to fuck spiders’.
This grabbed my attention, unlike its more circumspect cousins ‘... not here to put socks (or shoes) on caterpillars’ , and ‘... not here to lick stamps’. All being used to generally meaning ‘well, I’m not here to waste time’.
I also heard it in the least expected place. I was happily settled in for the night watching the Graham Norton Show (UK) with a glass of wine. Margot Robbie was one of the guests which was an added bonus, and after a snake story (which had my feet off the floor and feeling sorry for her mum), out she rolled with this little purler.
Shock factor aside, with the added ludicrousness of anyone wanting to do anything with spiders, the phrase had me laughing my head off. As an editor at the dictionary it’s part of my job to investigate words and phrases regardless of their nature. I do have to admit, it’s much more interesting researching the usage of these types of lexical items than whether the scientific name of a certain plant species has changed.
If I was ever in doubt of the phrase’s currency, an Australian movie released in 2017 titled We’re Not Here to Fuck Spiders has clinched it.
I would have thought there were many more variations in the vein of the spider, caterpillar and stamp, but these appear to be it. We would be interested to hear of any others.
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