Aussie rhyming slang

Are you having a “Barry Crocker” of a day?

Rhyming slang was born out of London’s east end in the 1800s, with the Cockneys no doubt taking the crown for their rhyming linguistic acrobatics. Our English roots meant it wasn’t long before rhyming slang made its way to the Antipodes. And as it evolved, our version took on a uniquely Australian flavour. Here are some of our favourites.

Dog and bone / phone: “Hurry up and get off the dog and bone.”

Bag of fruit / suit: “Dressed up like a two bob watch in his new bag of fruit.”

Barry Crocker / shocker, a poor performance: “His first attempt was a Barry Crocker.”

Butcher’s hook / crook / also a ‘look’: “He’s butcher’s hook.” (unwell) “Take a butchers.” (look)

Dead horse / tomato sauce: “I’ll have some dead horse with my pie thanks.”

Pat Malone / being alone: “I’m on my Pat Malone.”

Frog and toad / the road: “Time to hit the frog and toad.”

Rubbity dub / pub: “Off down the rubbity dub for a couple of cold ones.”

Hugs ‘n’ kisses / missus: “The hugs ‘n’ kisses will be joining us soon.”

Noah’s (Ark) / shark: “Went for a snorkel yesterday, Noah’s everywhere.”

Reg Grundy’s / undies, from Reg Grundy, an Australian TV producer: “Don’t get your Reg Grundy’s in a knot.”

Jack and Jill / bill: “Let’s finish our meal and ask for the Jack and Jill.”

Porkie pie / lie: “When you hear the full story, it’s obviously a porkie pie.”

Sky rocket / hip pocket: “Whack the change in your sky rocket.”


Scorcher

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Comedian, radio host and design enthusiast Tim Ross brings us a collection of evocative short stories about the Australian summer. His beautifully crafted words are accompanied by old photographs from the National Australian Archives. The soft crash of waves that blissfully block out all other noise, the smell of two-stroke and lawn clippings, the first sip of cold beer, the laboured whir of the ceiling fan, the sound of a bag of ice hitting the pavement, that feeling of salt on skin and even the smell of prawns on bin night. Tim’s wistful, nostalgic story telling captures Aussie summers past.


Eggplant parmigiana

Winning recipe from our reader Jenna.

  • 3 large eggplants
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 x 400g tins of good-quality plum tomatoes
  • Ground black pepper
  • A splash of wine vinegar
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 3 large handfuls of grated parmesan cheese
  • 150g buffalo mozzarella

Prepare the eggplant: remove the stalks, slice into 1cm thick slices, layer on a tray, sprinkle with salt and set aside to ‘sweat’ for a few minutes.

Prepare the sauce: while the eggplant ‘sweats’ put 3 lugs of olive oil into a large pot on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and dried oregano and cook until the onion is soft and the garlic has a tiny bit of colour. Add the tinned tomatoes. Give the mixture a good stir, breaking up the tomatoes, then put a lid on the pot and simmer slowly for 15 minutes. When the tomato sauce is reduced, season with salt, pepper and a swig of wine vinegar, then add the basil.

Grill the eggplant: while the sauce cooks, transfer the eggplant to a colander/sieve, rinse and pat dry. In a pan or grill, cook the eggplant in batches in olive oil until lightly cooked on both sides.

Layer ingredients in a roasting pan: start with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a scattering of parmesan, followed by a single layer of eggplant. Repeat these layers until you’ve used all the ingredients up, finishing with a little sauce and another good sprinkling of parmesan. Top with slices of buffalo mozzarella. Bake at 190C for 15 – 20 minutes until golden, crisp and bubbly.


Interesting eggplant facts

  • Eggplants might pose as a vegetable, but botanically they belong to the berry family.
  • 13th century Italian folklore believed eggplants caused insanity – the Italian word for eggplant is melanzana, which translates to ‘apple of madness’.
  • There are hundreds of varieties of eggplants. The name eggplant came from a small, white variety that looks like a chicken egg.

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