Of Ducks’ Guts, Bees’ Knees and Cats’ Pyjamas

Of all the intestines in the animal kingdom, large or small, those of ducks are the finest. Same goes with the knees of bees. Similarly, if you are seeking the best pyjamas, by any measure those worn by cats can’t be bettered. As Australians, we hold these truths as self-evident (American slang meaning none of these statements is a barbie stopper).

We are also unanimously agreed that Australia Day is traditionally an excuse to drink a fifteen (aka a handle) or two and watch the cricket on the idiot box. However, in recent years, governments both state and federal (not to mention Sam Kekovich) have gone flat chat to try to convince Australians to take the national day a little more seriously. As part of this effort, the Australia Day Council of New South Wales has published an online dictionary of Australianisms.

The dictionary is but the latest addition to the proud comic tradition of Australiana. Milestones in its history include (in reverse chronological order) Austen Tayshus, Sir Les Patterson, John O'Grady (aka Nino Culotta) and Steele Rudd. Australiana aficionados can add their own Australianisms to the dictionary, as the list is far from comprehensive. For example, the arch-Australian term culture cringe isn’t in the dictionary.