Bugger! Clacker! Struick! Don't know what those mean? Better listen!
Keiran: Alright. Today, we have David Peachey back on the podcast. How's it going, David?
David: Hurrah! It's going pretty well over here down here. Yup.
Keiran: And what’s new with you lately?
David: A few things. In general, I’m planning a holiday that’s coming up soon. Just giving myself a break and apart from that, yeah, I’m going through the motions of the teaching and a bit of socializing, a bit of music. It’s really quite nice.
Keiran: Ah , cool. So, where’s the holiday you’re planning. Where are you going to go?
David: Okay. I’m off to Hong Kong simply out of curiosity. I’ve never been there before. I don’t consider myself a big city person, but yeah, I’ll try it out anyway to see what it looks like.
David: Scoot around.
Keiran: That’s exciting and when are you heading out there?
David: Next month, so, yeah, mid-November. So, basically, my plan is go to Hong Kong, zip across to Macau because apparently it’s close. They’ve got the Grand Prix on around mid-November, so…
David: Prices for hotels and even hostels have just sky rocketed into the hundreds literally.
Keiran: Yeah. It’s a good to juice everyone when that’s happening.
David: Yeah. So, and yeah, then I’ll catch a couple of friends down in Malaysia and then checkout Myanmar, the old Burma.
Keiran: Alright. Cool man. Well, I hope that trip goes well.
David: Yeah. Looking forward to it. Yeah.
Keiran: So, David, today on the podcast, you’re going to be teaching us about some local slang. I’m only familiar with one of the words that you…
Keiran: Propose to talk to about today. So, let’s just get started. What…
David: Yup. Let’s get into these words.
Keiran: What do you have ready for us today?
David: Okay. The first word would be the one you’re most familiar with which is…
David: Yeah. Bugga and we drop the R at the end like good Australians.
Keiran: Yeah. The lazy pronunciation. Bugga.
David: Yeah. And it’s a lovely exclamation and we use it all the time to surprise, frustration. You can say, “Bugga me” if you’re very surprised.
Keiran: Sorry. Can you explain it a little more, like let’s say I say I bought – like I say, “David, come outside. I have something for you and then you go outside and there’s a brand new car.” Are you going to say, “Oh, bugga me! A new car!”
David: I would. Yeah. “Bugger me! A new car!”
Keiran: It’s funny.
David: Yeah. I think bugger by itself, it’s maybe a bit more like frustration or annoyance or I didn’t expect this to happen, “Oh! Bugger!”
Keiran: Right. You what I think we’ve occasionally heard this – I’ve occasionally heard this word and it was always from an older person in Canada It’s like maybe like my grandma and she would always say, “Oh, you little bugger! Get out of the cookies. Those are for after dinner.”
David: That’s the interesting thing because it’s quite a strong word in the UK, so you wouldn’t readily use it or use it as freely as we would.
Keiran: Maybe my grandma has a foul mouth.
Keiran: I don’t know.
David: Possibly or maybe the meaning’s changed that’s why I find this word interesting. So, little bit of history is that bugger means sodomy. Bugger means anal sex.
David: That’s the – that’s why it’s such a strong word in British English.
David: History of that, it comes from and this is going to sound a bit racist, it comes from Bulgarian.
David: And apparently, there was some war or bad blood, so…
Keiran: And then they’ve…
David: Bulgarian, bulgar, became bugger.
Keiran: Oh! That’s interesting.
David: Yeah. So, that’s the interesting thing.
Keiran: I thought you’re going to say that they buggered them after they won the war, like…
Keiran: I forget we’re…
David: I had to [inaudible] that much.
Keiran: No, but I remember, I remember maybe I’m completely wrong on this, but it was kind of like a form of humiliating the opponents after you win a war, you – anyways, this is getting very graphic.
David: Yeah. I do. I’m not very good at modern history, so I don’t know.
David: I pondered on why it’s much softer outside of the UK and maybe it’s not because we’re desensitized to it or we’re in denial of its history, but there’s an extra theory that’s says bugger comes from a corruption of Irish Gaelic speaking saying, by-god, which would be “begorr” …
David: Which is where we get our stereotypical begorrah from, which no Irish person ever says.
David: So, it could be a version of “by-gorr” or a combination of the two. So, that’s just a little theory. Maybe that’s why it’s just a casual word here. It’s actually not vulgar at all to us.
Keiran: Right. And I don’t remember it being vulgar when I was in Australia when I heard it. I was – it just seemed to be dropped around quite carefree with a…
Keiran: You wouldn’t think about it much.
David: Yeah. I do wonder if that’s, yeah, a combination of two different histories taken to the Australian bugger.
David: Just my history [phonetic].
Keiran: Alright. Let’s go onto the next one. What’s the next word you have for us?
David: Okay. Going on from bugger, we have the word “clacker” and this is one of my favorite Australian slang words, and it’s connected to bugger because clacker is the anatomical anus.
Keiran: The anatomical anus.
David: Anus. Yeah. So, it can’t really correlate with asshole because you can’t use clacker to describe a person.
Keiran: So, you’re saying you’re not someone’s an asshole, you’re saying – you’re just talking about the anatomical part of the body?
David: Yes. So, “A pain in the clacker.” Yeah. “What’s up with your clacker?”
Keiran: This is funny. It is a funny – it’s a funny way to say.
David: It’s beautiful word.
David: Yeah, “You’re clacker!” “Kick up the clacker!”
Keiran: Now, is it…
David: “You need to kick up the clacker!”
Keiran: Is this is a regional, like, is this is a regional slang in Australia? Is it for like people around Brisbane because I don’t recall hearing this one when I was Wagga. Maybe Wagga wasn’t clacker region.
David: It is definitely east coast.
David: It’s in a couple of Australian comedies, but yeah, if you – the main point is it is in the anatomical sense of the…
David: So, it doesn’t really in a figurative sense. Now, my little online research tells me it comes from that which clacks. This makes no sense. We don’t say clack. We mean fart.
Keiran: Well, I mean, I guess maybe it could…
Keiran: I guess it depends how you hear it. Like my wife always gets angry when in Canada, we say dogs bark, and she says, “No, they don’t. They go, haw, haw, haw, haw, haw!” And I’m just like, “Okay. Well, maybe that’s Mongolia dogs.”
Keiran: Like I don’t here dogs go haw, haw, haw, haw, haw!
David: Oh! Haw! Haw! Yeah, that’s sounds pretty common about, yeah, also in Turkish they say haw. Yup. Yeah. So, clacker is – my theory is it actually comes from the Latin word “cloaca” which – you use cloaca to describe – if you’re talking about birds and fish because they don’t have like anything remotely like human genitalia. They just have one hole.
Keiran: Right. Yeah.
David: Which is the kind of excretion/reproduction…
David: Do everything and that’s called the cloaca, so I wonder if that’s been corrupted into the Australian clacker.
Keiran: Maybe. That would make sense.
Keiran: One of my other podcasts, so he’s a bird fanatic and he likes to talk about birds do everything through that one hole, so.
Keiran: The words are similar. That could be an easy jump, right?
David: Yeah. I think that’s a much easy jump that trying to describe farting as clacking. We just don’t that.
Keiran: Okay. Alright. So, clacker means the anatomical anus.
Keiran: It’s interesting. Okay. “So, I got a pain in the clacker.”
David: Yup. Or someone needs a “kick up the clacker” or…
Keiran: Okay. That’s a god one. Alright. What’s the next one you have for us, David?
David: Okay. Word number three. This is a pretty outdated word. If you use this in Australia, people will think you stepped out of 1940 or 1950. It is “struth.”
David: Which is an expression of surprise. Now, it’s other than S-T-R-U-T-H or S-T-R-E-W-T-H and it comes from 18th century English which is like a contraction of God’s truth.
Keiran: What do you mean God’s truth?
David: God’s truth. So, it’s like a religious oath. It’s a swearing by God’s truth.
David: So, you say, “Oh! Struth!” Of course that meaning, that connection is lost in time. Yeah, I found it quite interesting because this goes all the way back to Shakespeare. He had, not sure if he spones, which was God’s bones in Hamlet. Hamlet definitely says splood, God’s blood.
Keiran: So, it’s like an abbreviation for God and another word, struth, God’s truth.
Keiran: It’s interesting.
David: God’s truth, yeah, corrupt or contract into struth.
Keiran: So, I guess if you’re in Australia in the near future and you’re going to the retirement home and you find some really old people, you could maybe throw this word around to get in.
Keiran: To get in with the gang of old people. Struth.
David: Yeah. It’s very – yeah, everyone knows it but it’s a very outdated word.
Keiran: Okay. Cool. Alright. And you have I think one more for us, right?
David: Yes. This is a really interesting one for a long time. I didn’t realize this was a purely Australian word and it’s – I don’t even count it as slang because it’s just a standard word to us, and the word is “spruik” which is spelled S-P-R-U-I-K.
Keiran: So, how did you discover this was an Australian word or an Australian slang. I mean how did you discover it is an Australian word.
David: A bit of online research and because I think it’s an unusual word and…
David: Just by the spelling, the U-I-K spelling it’s really considered strange for an English word accounting of many English words that have a U-I-K spelling, spruik.
Keiran: Yeah. It’s not a U-I-K. Yeah, even – the only – I can’t, spruik. The only thing I – the only word I can think of that same word is Buick but that’s not even a – that’s a brand of car.
David: Me too.
Keiran: So, it’s not the same. Right. That’s interesting.
David: Yeah. So, but this was a standard word. Basically, to spruik is to promote something. So, you would be spruiking a product, spruiking an event. Sometimes outside the front of a shop, there might be like an actor looking for work and they’d have like a microphone and amplifier and they’d be giving a promotional spiel and that is spruiking.
Keiran: Spruiking. Yeah.
David: A person’s called a spruiker.
Keiran: So, again, I spruik my show at the end of this podcast.
David: Exactly. Exactly. And that sounds completely natural. So, I don’t even count it as a kind of slang but origin. No idea.
Keiran: Yeah. That’s why it’s going be, I mean, that’s really interesting. It has to be somewhere from Australia obviously because we, like this is – I’ve never heard this word. I’ve never – and you’re right, if I saw this word, I would be like that’s not a word. This is misspelled. No, I’ve never seen a world spelled like that, right?
David: Yeah. The closest – just like guess I could make just looking at it now, it might, I mean, this is purely my idea, so there’s no research behind this. Maybe it’s from the Dutch “spreek” which would be to speak. That would be S-P-R-E-E-K, spreek.
Keiran: Okay. Spruik.
David: Yeah. Now, we have spruik. So, yeah, it’s a mysterious word which is quite a normal word to us.
Keiran: Yeah. That’s interesting. You could use that to screw some foreign English people from other countries.
David: Oh, yeah.
Keiran: “Hey, let’s going spruiking later today.” Like, “What?” “Yeah. Come one. We’ll tell you about it later.”
David: It’ll be fun.
David: Grab this microphone.
Keiran: Alright. Well, David, thank you for sharing those interesting slangs, Australian slangs with us. Let’s review them really quickly before we end the podcast.
David: Yeah. Sure.
Keiran: So, the first one we had was “bugger.”
Keiran: Sorry, I got it…
David: Bugga. Yeah. So, remember to drop that R. You end that final R if you’re using the Australian English.
David: Bugger maybe a combination of English bugger meaning sodomy or the Gaelic by-god, but who knows. Mystery.
Keiran: Right. And then we have the next one also with an E-R, which is clacker, or in Australia it would be clacker.
David: Clacker. You said it very well. Maybe from the Latin “cloaca”, but yeah, that’s probably, that’s the most logical connection I could imagine, but clacker, the anatomical anus.
Keiran: Yeah. Anatomical anus. Beautiful.
Keiran: And then, the next one we have is “struth” meaning God’s truth, right?
Keiran: It’s an old-fashioned word.
David: Yeah. Just to show you’re surprised. “Oh! Struth!” “Struth, mate!”
Keiran: Struth. And the last one…
David: “Struth! Bugger me!”
Keiran: was the Australian, what’s word I’m looking for, oh, crap! It’s the word that only exists inside of Australia, the English word…
Keiran: Yeah. There you go. Endemic. It’s endemic to Australia. Right. Spruik.
David: Spruik. Yeah. Spruiking and spruiker if you want to promote something.
Keiran: Great. So, guys, we’re going to end this podcast by spruiking myself. If you’ve liked this podcast, if David and I have well, maybe David, today has helped you learned some interesting English, then subscribe to us on iTunes. Rate it. Review it. And we’ll catch you very soon on the next podcast of Uncensored English. That’s my spruiking.