Friday, May 18, 2007

bulk ace

I've been invited to write an entry for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and my plan today was to work on that. I've decided to play instead... besides I've got an appointment at 3pm so there's no point starting "work" now, is there?

The other night at dinner with friends we got talking about terms that were used when we were at school. One friend (in his late 30s) who grew up in Queensland said the word "decent" was used to describe anything good. In Victoria where I went to school anything good was "grouse", "bulk" or (if it was exceptionally good) "bulk ace". Someone who gave you the shits was a "suck" or even worse a "big suck" - a term my Mum hated us using at home. It's funny how these random words come into use. Where do they come from and how do they gain popular acceptance? They seem to disappear/change at a rapid rate too. So, I'm just wondering what words you used at school that you never hear any more. It'd be bulk ace if you could leave a comment...

21 Comments:

Blogger Miss Litzi said...

Hi Nash,
What an honor for you to be invited to write an entry for the “Australian Dictionary of Biography”. Do you know which person of significance in Australian history you’re going to discuss? Will it be someone from the theatre or arts that died after 1980? That seems to be your strong suit.

It’d be bulk ace if I could come up with words like “neato” for something that was really “keen” or “the real pits” for anything or anyone that was a big suck, hmmm? How about saying you were going to watch the “submarine races” when you were really going to “make out” or “neck” in the backseat with a “chick” (OMG, I hate that) or “cool cat” that “killed” all the “hep” people you were “tight” with. And parents were so “square” about the “threads” we wore and they didn’t “dig Elvis the Pelvis”. And let’s not forget “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb”. (This quote came from “77 Sunset Strip”; one of the most popular detective series in early television from 1958 to 1964. It won the 1960 Golden Globe Award for best TV series.)

Your post is far-out, dude! Peace, bro….

May 18, 2007 3:32 PM  
Blogger Wayward Son said...

Hi Nash. I've come your way via Marc's blog. When I was a teenager, we called people a doe (female deer) if they did something say ... less than smart—okay, stupid. The example that comes to mind is when my date for a high school dance, Molly, ran into a wall and broke her wrist. "What a doe!"Being that we were young and always doing something stupid PLUS we were rhetorically challenged, it was a term that was used endlessly. The etymology of the word in that context escapes me. Deer, male or female, are not especially dim nor especially bright. Apparently, neither was Molly.

Cheers, WS

We said cheers too but not in the same way you Aussies might.

May 18, 2007 4:22 PM  
Blogger marc said...

How about "fembots" from The Bionic Woman?
It didn't get near popular enough as a term for the fairer sex as far as I'm concerned.

May 18, 2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger barsony50 said...

One you rarely hear today and is worthy of a revival is the word for condom. Bring back the franger I say!!!

May 18, 2007 9:32 PM  
Blogger Brechi said...

I just remember everyone saying KEEN while I was in Oz, but maybe they still say that...

May 19, 2007 3:58 AM  
Blogger nash said...

Hi Miss Litzi,
Further down the track I just might blog about the piece I'm (supposed to be) writing, but yes it is another dead actor. I've heard a lot of those American terms, but never "submarine races". I wonder if that'll ever make a comeback...

Welcome Wayward Son,
I've never heard "doe" used in that way, but I'm wondering if the writers of 'The Simpsons' weren't inspired by it when they came up with Homer's catchcry - D'oh!

Hi Marc,
I used to watch Lindsay Wagner as the 'Bionic Woman' every week, but have no recollection of "fembot". I wonder what Lee Majors was called?

Oh Barsony50, I forgot all about frangers! I haven't heard that word since the daze of the ol' schoolyard. You made me laugh out loud!

Hi Brechi,
People still use the word "keen" as in being keen on a spunky boy or not being too keen on something you eat. Oh hang on, I think I need a better example

Another term I remembered was "der fred" or just simply "der" - used to point out something was obvious

May 19, 2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger Wayward Son said...

Fembot is a term for a personal ad I would think the opposite of MascBot, No?

May 19, 2007 2:28 PM  
Blogger nash said...

Or Masctop perhaps?

May 19, 2007 2:35 PM  
Blogger DENYS said...

I've just hung up from a friend who has reminded me of these words from our days at school.

dag, doey (dumb), durry and fag for a ciggie (cigarette), cool, scrag, harlot, and moll are all self explanatory. Dog meant the lowest of the low or a cheap woman.

Bullé - pronounced bull-ay (bullshit) and see ya was either "I'm out of here" or was used dismissively in conjunction with a hand gesture.

And everybody was a fag or homo without them meaning that you were a poof or poofta. :)

I apologise if people are offended by the more offensive words. I grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney.

May 19, 2007 7:36 PM  
Blogger Therin of Andor said...

My younger brother used to get into trouble in the late 60s/early 70s for saying "Fab!" all the time - and it took me years to realise that Mum was assuming he was using "Ffffffab!" as a swear word, ie. as an alternative to a certain four-letter word. (And I guess he was, but it was all quite innocent, in that he was just repeating his friends' schoolyard catchcry. As soon as she banned "Fab!", he substituted "Fit!" instead, and still got into trouble. (The two girls who lived next door used to say "Sssssugar!" and "Schweppes!" as their secret swear words.)

I can recall "The Brady Bunch" repeats on TV keeping "Groovy!" in vogue long beyond its "Use By" date.

Re: gay. In the 70s, "gay" was definitely not yet in vogue as an alternative for the term "homosexual". More often, someone was said to be "camp". There was a fascinating article in an old "TV Week" or "TV Times" that talked about Joe Hasham (who played homosexual lawyer, Don Finlayson in "Number 96") having a gay time at a party. ;)

"Neato!" I first heard during a one-night stopover in Hawaii in December 1983. I was able to meet up with an art class fellow student, who happened to be there to run in the annual Hawaii Marathon, and he explained it was the current "in" word. I started using it myself all 'round the USA - complete with phony American accent, and I was surprised that it did end up in use in Sydney a few years later - but usually just as "Neat". And "Neat!" was totally overshadowed by "Sad!" (meaning "Good") in the 90s, "Cool!" (or indeed "Kewl") in the 2000s, and "Sick!" and "Fully sick!" in 2006.

May 19, 2007 9:18 PM  
Blogger marc said...

Nash, you've created a monster.

I think Fembots might have just been my friend Brian's word. He had a lot of made up terms-like calling lesbians "cups." I actually coined him "Bribot" and then we started attaching "bot" to everything.
Anyway, gag me with a spoon. Or a big black leather ball gag--That would work too.

May 20, 2007 6:06 AM  
Blogger barsony50 said...

Yes, you have created a monster.

Another popular one was 'got on with', which not to be confused with 'got off with', meant kissed.

Also, at my primary school a haircut was a 'head job'. Very disturbing!! I bet there were a few alarmed parents when that was bandied about.

May 20, 2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger Therin of Andor said...

The fembots were real enough. They featured in a multipart episode where Oscar's secretaries, including the feisty Callaghan, were being replaced by androids. The fembots were so popular, the came back for an episode called "Fembots in Los Vegas", and there was even a fembot doll (with a false, removable Jaime Sommers face) to fight with the Lindsay Wagner doll. They were also lampooned in the first two "Austin Powers" movies.

May 20, 2007 12:06 PM  
Blogger DENYS said...

Marc, how can you pash anyone with a big black ball gag in your mouth or even suck a knob whilst wearing that.

Photos coming soon?

May 20, 2007 1:24 PM  
Blogger nash said...

Hi Denys,
"Doey" sounds similar to Wayward Son's "doe". I wonder if there's a connection. All the other words you came up with I've heard (or used) except for "Bulle". Wonder where it came from?

Hi Therin,
I forgot all about using "sugar" for "shit", but I do remember "groovy" being a 'Brady Bunch' word. The first time I heard the word "gay" was in the final year of 'Number 96' in reference to Don's boyfriend Rob played by John McTernan. As for fembots, I should've known you'd know the answer. For some reason I was thinking of Callaghan the other day after Marc's comment, but not in relation to the fembots. Now that you mention it those episodes are sort of coming back to me

Marc,
When you've finished being gagged with your Valley Girl spoon perhaps you and Denys can have a "pash" (or "suck a knob") whilst I "get on with" Barsony50...

What about these: "Will you go with me?"

(two weeks later)

"You're dropped"

May 20, 2007 1:57 PM  
Blogger DENYS said...

I have had two girlfriends and my memory is of saying "Will you go with me" and inevitably they responded later into our where going out with a "you are dropped".

Noice, noice, diff'rent.

May 20, 2007 2:19 PM  
Blogger Campbell said...

Ahh this is taking me back....
to change the flavour slightly.....my mother used a phrase the other day that I haven't heard her use in years - it was her swearing substitute: 'Mother look at Dick'! I put 'Dick' with a capital D as I'm sure she refers to it as the diminutive for Richard.....as opposed to the other visuals it aroused in me whenever I heard her use it.
Another of her's when she is surprised by something is "You never can tell from where you sit where the man in the gallery's going to spit". Which I always thought of as strange coming from my mother for whom talking about spitting (let alone doing it!) is anathema!
It is these sort of phrases that are likely to die off with that generation. Hopefully we can keep the phrases of our own generation alive. This is one way - thanks Nash!

May 20, 2007 2:20 PM  
Blogger nash said...

You funny boy Denys!

Thanks for adding to the list Campbell - I've never heard those sayings of your Mum's, but I think I'm going to adopt the Dick one. Have you asked her where these terms came from? I hope I get the parlance right

May 20, 2007 2:30 PM  
Blogger Miss Litzi said...

Oh Crikey! All these passé terms are so rad…they’re blowing my mind

May 20, 2007 3:51 PM  
Blogger DENYS said...

Another old schoolfriend reminded me that I used to say tops

May 24, 2007 10:05 PM  
Blogger richardwatts said...

Dipstick was a term of contempt in the Latrobe Valley circa 1980, as in 'You dipstick'.

A good looking person was 'a spunk'.

If one was particularly aroused by a particular spunk, one might, if a bloke, 'crack a fat' ie have an erection.

June 13, 2007 3:36 PM  

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