Macquarie Dictionary


Things are crook in Tallarook, and Muswellbrook, and Coolongolook…

Things have been crook in Tallarook since at least the 1960s in Australia. It comes from Tallarook, a town in central northern Victoria; one of a number of humorous rhyming expressions based on placenames dating from the early 1930s and widespread among soldiers during World War II.

Other examples of rhyming expressions such as this are  there’s no work in Bourkethings are weak at Julia Creek and everything’s wrong in Wollongong, all pretty self explanatory.

While Tallarook is in Victoria, in NSW, the town is interchanged with Coolongolook or Muswellbrook, for variety.

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.

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