Puzzles, posts, news and general word-chat.

Diabolically Arcane

Bingo. You’ve reached David Astle dot com, a carnival of words, puzzles and more words. Welcome aboard, and have fun.

Loading tweet...

Lost Lingo

17 February, 2012

Last month I saw Ray Lawler’s Doll, a rollicking play that still retains its punch and charm, with a swag of Aussie touches. Though the ‘wordsmirth’ in me couldn’t resist. I’m sure I irked my china in the adjoining seat as I jotted down phrases that our language has lost since the play’s first staging, stuff like strewth and skite, nippers and my eye.

My eye in fact is looking to survey these extinct and endangered species in a future column, and I’m sure you lot of galahs, you true-blue cobbers, you dinkum sports, can add to the Doll’s roll call. What phrases have you seen die in your lifetime – not just high-school slang, but generational dialect?

Another way of asking this question: what once-common words vocab may well have appeared in an LB crossword, yet now would seem quaint or foreign? Just as celebs fade into footnotes, so too do words need context.

My dear old Nan complained about matters getting on her quince, a phrase revived (momentarily) by Lawler’s script. As a kid, whenever I fell, my Dad would say I went for a Burton. Who’s Burton? And what other Australian phrases have drowned in the six o'clock swill?

What say we whack together an A-to-Z of Lost Lingo, the best word or phrases we find claiming rights to each letter? Should take two shakes. Let’s give it a burl, Shirl.

comments powered by Disqus

Rewording The Brain

Focus & memory, lateral leaps & logic - every aspect of cognitive health is lit in Rewording The Brain, a book revelling in how puzzles boost your brain. Part 2 equips your brain to conquer any twisty clue, plus the wild crossword finale. Pop science meets neural gameplay, Rewording is rewarding, and out now.


Rewording The Brain

Care to renew your noodle? Rewording The Brain explores the latest neural studies, seeing how puzzles (and twisty clues) boost your neurons. Part 2 helps you crack such clues, and prep the grey matter for the crossword showcase to finish. More here

read more +

101 Weird Words (and 3 Fakes)

From Ambidextrous to Zugwang, this mini-dictionary teems with rare or alluring words, plus bonus riddles, puzzles and fun word-facts. Dictionary detective will also nab the collection's three fakes. Ideal for late primary schoolers, or word-nuts in general.

read more +

Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

read more +

Recent Comments

Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
See Results