Re: Re: RARA-AVIS: Bird

Date: 16 Apr 2002

There was an interesting cultural phenomenom in Britain in the 80s and 90s, when the massive (and unanticipated) success of Australian day-time soap operas, particularly amongst school children led to the appearance of Australian slang in British playgrounds. Dag for a geek, or uncool person; dobbing for grassing (or peaching to use the archaic english term!), rack off to tell someone to go away rather quickly and a number of others. Doing bird, or porridge, can indeed be used as a prison term although I think more in fictional than real criminal circles. Bird for a female is now more often used in a knowing ironic way, it was always considered terribly common. I suppose the idea of most slang is to exclude your elders/authority figures, with a language they can't understand so as soon as a slang is well enough known to authors, lexicographers and the like it's pretty much dead anyway. Mmmm is this an interesting problem for you hard-boiled folks? Is inventing your own slang!
  a better route as it can't become outmoded? Like a Clockwork Orange. Having said that, reading Iceberg Slim, a lot of the slang he uses seems to have lived on in black street speech - from what I know, which is bugger all really. Anyway, cheerio, toodle pip etc Colin

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