notes on the phrase ‘sing ’em muck’

1928 in Clara Butt: Her Life-Story, by H. W. Ponder—“Sing ’em muck! It’s all they can understand!”: advice given by Australian soprano Nellie Melba to English contralto Clara Butt, who was about to undertake a tour of Australia

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‘the politics of the warm inner glow’: meaning and origin

Australia, 1981—the ideology of the Australian Labor Party’s left wing, “for whom the ultimate test of a policy is the feeling of personal virtuousness to be derived from its espousal”—Labor politician James McClelland claimed to have coined this phrase

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‘a Jap on Anzac Day’: meanings and origin

Australia, 1973—used of anything that is absolutely unacceptable, and of any disagreeable situation or experience—‘Jap’: derogatory shortening of ‘Japanese’—Anzac Day: commemoration of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915

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‘wogs begin at Calais’: meaning and origin

1947—is used to express an attitude of insularity and hostility to foreigners attributed to the British—a shortening of ‘golliwog’, the derogatory and offensive noun ‘wog’ designates a non-white person

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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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‘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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‘Coggeshall job’: meaning and origin

any muddle-headed business—UK, 1813—the stupidity of the people of Coggeshall, a small town in Essex, England, has been proverbial since the mid-17th century

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