Kentucky memories, IV


Look after his health and Jack’s all right

I am toying with the idea – not very practical I’ll admit – of putting together an Australia–US phrase book, available for download at a nominal fee to anyone reading what I write and having difficulty understanding the Australian turn of phrase.

When one ignores the obvious, such as “dinky di” and “have a go you bloody mug”, there are subtle differences in word meanings that often slip under the radar. I remember well the shocked look on my (then) bride’s face when I asked a friend if I could nurse her newborn babe – nurse in Australia means simply to hold.

Of course the trouble might lie in finding suitable US equivalents, but as from today I am confident I have at least one entry covered. Listed under “U” would be:

Up yours, Jack; var. and abbr. of F**k you, Jack, I’m all right: Sarcastic comment to a person exhibiting blatant self-interest or ignoring the plight of others, e.g. the voters of Massachusetts who, already enjoying a form of State-sponsored universal health care, knowingly elected to the Senate a man who is certain to block any attempt to introduce a Federal scheme that would benefit their not-so-fortunate fellow Americans.

This was written during the long and only partially successful battle to introduce universal health care, deridingly called “Obamacare” by the Mad Hatters of the Tea Party and their Republican acolytes.

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