Each week we bring you a new, unique Aussie word.


dinkum

1. genuine. As in, Are you dinkum about that? or She was a dinkum Queenslander all right. It appears earliest in the phrase fair dinkum (1890 in Australia, but 1881 in Britain), and not as a separate word until 1905. Comes from the British dialects of Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, where it meant `work', or `a due share of work'. So if you did your fair dinkum, it meant you did your fair share of the work. The claim that the word was brought to Australia by Chinese miners in the gold rush era (from Cantonese din kum `real gold') cannot be true, unless there was a secret population of Chinese goldminers in the south of England that no-one knows about. Seems a bit unlikely. Altered variously to dink, dinks and dinky-di.

2. used as an adverb, really, genuinely. As in, He's me mate, dinkum he is!