‘the Emmaville Express’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1976—nickname of Australian sprinter Debbie Wells (born 1961), who is from Emmaville, in New South Wales—alludes jocularly to ‘express (train)’, denoting a train that stops at few stations and travels quickly

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history of ‘Emma Chisit’ and ‘Strine’

Australia, 1964—‘Emma Chisit’: ‘how much is it?’ (allegedly coined by English author Monica Dickens, who reportedly misunderstood the question posed by an Australian)—‘Strine’: Australian pronunciation of ‘Australian’ (coined by Australian author Alistair Morrison)

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‘coconut (black)’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1981—used by some Aborigines of those who are considered to have betrayed their Aboriginal identity in order to be accepted into the white Australian society—the image is that (like the coconut, dark on the outside, but white on the inside) those Aboriginal ‘betrayers’ are outwardly black, but inwardly white

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‘nanny state’: meanings and origins

the government or its policies viewed as overprotective or as interfering unduly with personal choice; a state characterised as having such a government—first coined in 1952 by U.S. journalist Dorothy Thompson—recoined in 1965 by British politician Iain Macleod

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‘jump up whitefellow’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1830—refers to the Aboriginal belief that light-skinned persons are reincarnations of dead Aborigines—extended forms: ‘jump up white fellow, plenty of sixpence’ and ‘go down blackfellow and jump up whitefellow’

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‘things are crook in Tallarook’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1941—used of any adverse situation—based on the rhyme between ‘crook’ (meaning ‘bad’, ‘unpleasant’, ‘unsatisfactory’) and ‘Tallarook’, the name of a town in Victoria—sometimes followed by ‘there’s no work in Bourke’

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‘underground mutton’: meanings and origin

Australia, 1900: rabbit meat—later also: rabbits—‘mutton’, denoting a choice meat, was derisively substituted for ‘rabbit’, denoting the inferior meat that had to be eaten when butcher’s meat was too costly

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