[PW] ?Australian quote

Timothy Cotsford tcotsford at acpe.edu.au
Wed Mar 21 22:47:47 PDT 2018


I've lived in Australia for the past 35 years and have never come across it either. Peter may well be correct, Barry Humphries is very good at sharp retorts. 

Timothy Cotsford
Information Services Librarian
Australian College of Physical Education

Phone +61 2 9739 3367

tcotsford at acpe.edu.au
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-----Original Message-----
From: Project-Wombat-Open [mailto:project-wombat-open-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of peter macinnis
Sent: Thursday, 22 March 2018 4:33 PM
To: project-wombat-open at lists.project-wombat.org
Subject: Re: [PW] ?Australian quote

On 22/03/2018 08:41, d-lien University of Minnesota wrote:
> I posted a query on another of my groups, which has a number of 
> Australians contributing.  Only got one response, from an Australian 
> woman now living in the U.S. who says she's familiar with the quote 
> and uses it herself, but has no idea of its origins or its canonical 
> exact wording.
> 
> For what it's worth. . .
> 
> Dennis Lien /d-lien at umn.edu


I am Australian. I have never come across it. I have no doubt that somebody will attribute it to Mark Twain. Before I start, a declaration of interest: I have no known convict ancestors, unlike my wife, of whom I am profoundly jealous: we Australians see the convicts now as having equal standing with the DAR.

There's a close hit here: <http://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/337200>

A spot-on hit here: 
<https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=665409>

Sir Les Patterson (Barry Humphries) said it in 2008: 
<https://www.spectator.co.uk/2008/10/diplomatic-notebook/>

That, on  a cursory look, is the earliest. A lot of our most colourful expressions (like 'Technicolor Yawn') came from Humphries' invention, Bazza McKenzie, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was the source.

The sort of stupid "slinging off" about convicts that merits a slap-down comes usually from a particular class of young males with the charisma of John Major on a wet day and the personal hygiene of Albert Steptoe. 
They feel injured when we don't dance around, admiring them.

That is when they start making convict comments. My retort in that case is to explain how my grandmother feared going to England "because that was where the convicts came from", and I think that one might actually trace back to Miles Franklin.

For a more even-handed look at the early convicts, see <https://oldblockwriter.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/about-those-convicts.html>


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