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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - March 26, 2017

beyond the black stump

More than any other country Australia seems to produce nicknames!
In some places they are 'necessary' due to limited surnames e.g. Wales.
In some smaller towns names are common so nicknames are used. The Norfolk Island phone book lists nicknames !

1 In bush what were 'the library', 'two minutes silence', 'outback string' ?
  Dunny, local paper, fencing wire
2 Translate 'At the 'G' the 'Bloods' gave the 'Pies' a shellacking'.
  Sydney beat Collingwood at the MCG
3 Nicknames that never took off in Sydney were 'The Danish Blue' and 'Madonna's Bra'. What were they?
  Anzac Bridge - Opera House

• Institutions: ‘Coat hanger’ ‘The Firm’ ‘Aunty’ ‘Granny’  ‘Silver City’ ‘The Danish Blue’ ‘two minutes silence’  ‘The Rock’
• Fame can produce names of honour that are not really ‘nicknames’ e.g. “La Stupenda”  … "The Don"
• Sports People : sometimes the nickname was enough e.g. .. ‘Lithgow Flash”  “Tiger” “Rocket”
• Institutions: We had The Firm’ ‘Aunty’ ‘Granny’ ‘City of Churches’  ‘Silver City’ ‘two minutes silence’, 'the library'.
• THE…” is very common I places  e.g. …”THE…Isa’ …”THE…Alice” …”THE…Hill” ‘The Rock’ ‘THE CROSS”
• Names given to yourself   aliases or pen names or stage names … “Melba”   “Banjo”  “Steele Rudd”  “Bronhill”
• Normal FAMILY  nicknames …from childhood … ‘Sissy’  'boy'  ‘Emil’ from some childhood incident or habit … Babe for youngest
• Association nicknames … ‘Cod’ for Murray  ‘Top’ for Grady  ‘Teresa’ for Green  … products associations ‘BP’ for Johnson ..etc    ‘ACE’ asymmetrical etc 'lighthouse'.
• Trains with nicknames ……. Spirit of Protest’ ‘Slogger’ Fish and Chips  HERON ??? Queensland had the ‘Sunlander’ to Cairns, the ‘Inlander’ from Townsville to Mt Isa, the ‘Westlander’ to Charleville and its unique ‘Gulflander’, which travels over the most remote and isolated line in Australia, between Normanton to Croydon in the Gulf Country.

 

‘SKEW-WIFF’ KELLY
Grahame Watt

His name was ‘Skew-Wiff’ Kelly, And everything he built
Was either at an angle, Or leaning at a tilt!
On all of his construction jobs He used the rule of thumb.
He’d close one eye and line it up And reckon it was plumb.

He would use the best of timber And take a lot of care,
But every job completed Was a little bit off-square.
His reputation grew and grew As ‘Skew-Wiff’ moved around.
The cockies over-looked his faults For his workmanship was sound!

So as you travel round the place You can see where ‘Skew-Wiffs’ been.
That hay-shed leaning side-ways. That verandah with a lean!
You’ve seen his good old tank-stands, They’ve a wind-blown look with time.
His fences have a stagger, And wander just off line.

You’ve seen a ‘skew-wiff’ chimney And you’ve seen a ‘skew-wiff’ door.
His buildings stand — defiant Of the gravitation law.
Yet a funny thing about it, Though his buildings aren’t quite straight,
They always look so comfortable As if they’d time to wait!

Now ‘Skew-Wiff’ died some years ago, But I reckon he’d be pleased
For his tombstone’s got a lean on — About forty-five degrees!

 

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