Monday, December 25, 2017

Another Night Before Christmas, in Australia


Yesterday I posted some Night before Christmas information and parodies.  It's no longer the night before Christmas here in Australia, it's now Christmas Day, but I am posting another version of the poem, an Australian one.  I believe it has been written by Yvonne Morrison.  At the end there are some expolanations for overseas readers of some of the terms and expressions used.

An Aussie Night Before Christmas
  
'Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn't a sound.
Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.
We'd left on the table some tucker and beer,
Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;

We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,
While dreams of pavlova danced 'round in our heads;
And Mum in her nightie, and Dad in his shorts,
Had just settled down to watch TV sports.

When outside the house a mad ruckus arose;
Loud squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.
We ran to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,
Snuck onto the deck, then let out a shout.

Guess what had woken us up from our snooze,
But a rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty 'roos.
The cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,
And we both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.

Now, I'm telling the truth it's all dinki-di,
Those eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.
Santa leaned out the window to pull at the reins,
And encouraged the 'roos, by calling their names.

'Now, Kylie! Now, Kirsty! Now, Shazza and Shane!
On Kipper! On, Skipper! On, Bazza and Wayne!
Park up on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,
I'll scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!'

So up to the tank those eight kangaroos flew,
With the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.
He slid down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,
Then in through the window he sprang with a bound.

He had bright sunburned cheeks and a milky white beard.
A jolly old joker was how he appeared.
He wore red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,
And a hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.

His eyes - bright as opals - Oh! How they twinkled!
And, like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!
His shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly
Which shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.

A fat stack of prezzies he flung from his back,
And he looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,
To position our goodies beneath the yule tree.

Surfboard and footy-ball shapes for us two.
And for Dad, tongs to use on the new barbeque.
A mysterious package he left for our Mum,
Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;

He strolled out on deck and his 'roos came on cue;
Flung his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.
He bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates-
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and goodonya, MATES!'

TranslationS AND EXPLANATIONS
Tucker:
“Tucker” is Australian slang for food. Hence “bush tucker” refers to food found in the bush.  The word “tucker” originated from the English word “tuck” meaning to eat heartily, which in turn gave rise to the term “tuck shop”, being a shop or school kiosk selling confectionery, food items etc.


Pavlova:
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, usually topped with fruit and whipped cream.  The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.  Popular in both Oz and NZ, it has been argued for many years as to which country first created the dish. 
Whatever, I love it!  Could eat a whole one.  Family, please note for Christmas dinner.


Deck:
Not sure if they use the same term overseas. It means a floor, typically constructed outdoors, often elevated from the ground, and usually connected to a building. The term is a generalization of decks as found on ships.


Ute:
No, not what my cousin Vinny says when he refers to “youth”.
The term “ute” is short for “utility”, which in turn is short for “utility vehicle”, a vehicle which has a cabin at the front and a tray at the rear. 
In 1929 Lewis Brandt began work for Ford Motors in Geelong, Australia.  In 1933 a letter was passed to him from a local farmer who said “I want you to build a car in which I can take my Mrs. to church on Sunday and carry my pigs in the back on Monday”.  So Brandt did just that, designing and constructing the coupe utility that went on sale the same year.  In 1935 Bandt travelled overseas with two of the utes and met with Henry Ford in Detroit.  “Mr Ford called in his men to look at the coupe utility. They took one look and asked him what it was. Mr Ford replied ‘it’s a kangaroo chaser and we are going to build them here’,” Bandt recalled on his return to Australia.
After his retirement in 1976, Bandt found a 1934 utility in a barn in property near Geelong and restored it, painting the sides with Australian flora and fauna and the Southern Cross.  Sadly, Brandt died in his ute in 1987 after filming an ABC documentary about Australian inventions. He collided head on with a large tip truck just outside Geelong and died instantly.

Brandt’s utility coupe
Lewis Bandt (standing) with the design of the first ute on blackboard in 1933.
Roos:
Short for “kangaroos”.
A widely held belief has it that the word kangaroo comes from an Australian Aboriginal word meaning "I don't know." This is in fact untrue. The word was first recorded in 1770 by Captain James Cook, when he landed to make repairs along the northeast coast of Australia. In 1820, one Captain Phillip K. King recorded a different word for the animal, written "mee-nuah." As a result, it was assumed that Captain Cook had been mistaken, and the myth grew up that what he had heard was a word meaning "I don't know" (presumably as the answer to a question in English that had not been understood). Recent linguistic fieldwork, however, has confirmed the existence of a word gangurru in the northeast Aboriginal language of Guugu Yimidhirr, referring to a species of kangaroo. What Captain King heard may have been their word minha, meaning "edible animal."
BTW:
From Wikipedia:
A kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that ignores recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. The term may also apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority who intentionally disregards the court's legal or ethical obligations.
Although the term kangaroo court has been erroneously explained to have its origin from Australia's courts while it was a penal colony, the first published instance is from an American source in the year 1853. Some sources suggest that it may have been popularised during the California Gold Rush of 1849, along with mustang court, as a description of the hastily carried-out proceedings used to deal with the issue of claim jumping miners. Ostensibly the term comes from the notion of justice proceeding "by leaps", like a kangaroo – in other words, "jumping over" (intentionally ignoring) evidence that would be in favour of the defendant. Another possibility is that the phrase could refer to the pouch of a kangaroo, meaning the court is in someone's pocket. The phrase is popular in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand and is still in common use.


Shazza, Bazza:
Condensed nicknames for Sharon and Barry, often in a bogan context. Darren is Dazza. Maureen becomes Mazza.   It is then sometimes further condensed to Shaz and Baz. 
Ahh, so that is why Oz director and producer Baz Luhrmann is named Baz! Wrong.  He was named Mark Anthony Luhrmann and received the nickname "Baz" from his father Leonard. He officially changed his given name from Mark to Baz sometime around 1979.
Water tank:
Those who have seen the film “Australia” will know the Oz water tank and windmill, it’s where the mixed race children were hidden when the authorities sought to claim them as part of the Stolen Generation.
Does anything scream "Australian outback" as loudly as a rusted windmill and water tank?


Stubby shorts:
Stubbies was the name given to a brand of men’s shorts, introduced in 1972 and since becoming a general term (according to the Macquarie Dictionary) as "short shorts of tough material for informal wear".
Paul Hogan in stubbies meets Her Maj

Thongs:
Thongs in Oz are what are called 
flip flops in the US, jandals in New Zealand and slops in South Australia.

Prezzies:
Abbreviated form of the word “presents”.
According to Wikipedia:
Diminutive forms of words are commonly used in every-day Australian English. While many dialects of English make use of diminutives, Australian English uses them more extensively than any other. Diminutives may be seen as slang, but many forms are used widely across the whole of society. Some forms have also spread outside Australia to other English speaking countries. There are over 5,000 identified diminutives in use in Australian English.
In Australian English, diminutives are usually formed by taking the first part of a word, and adding an a, o, ie, or y. Alternatively in some cases no ending may be added. While the form of a diminutive is arbitrary, their use follows strict rules. Diminutives are not used creatively. For example, an ambulance paramedic is called an ambo, and is never pronounced ambie or amba. The use of the -ie ending, for example in bikie (a motorcycle club member), does not carry a connotation of smallness or cuteness as it does in other English dialects.


Swaggie:
Swaggie is short for swagman.
From Wikipedia:
A swagman (also called a swaggie, sundowner or tussocker) was a transient labourer who travelled by foot from farm to farm carrying his belongings in a Swag (bedroll). The term originated in Australia in the 19th-century and was later used in New Zealand.
Swagmen were particularly common in Australia during times of economic uncertainty, such as the 1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Many unemployed men travelled the rural areas of Australia on foot, their few meagre possessions rolled up and carried in their swag. Typically, they would seek work in farms and towns they travelled through, and in many cases the farmers, if no permanent work was available, would provide food and shelter in return for some menial task.
Swaggie 1931
Goodonya:
Abbreviation of “Good on you”, a term used in Oz to express a job well done, approval, thanks. Sometimes abbreviated further to “Onya.” 







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