Sunday, 6 March 2011

Mr Rooney-isms

I'm compiling a glossary of the expressions that get bandied around here, as we renovate the Sow's Ear.

We don't hear Australian expressions or words as much these days...people speak much differently now than they used to a generation or so ago. I must admit that business management terminology, computer and tech words and Americanisms have crept into my vocabulary.

Mr Rooney, our over-educated builder, speaks like an old grandpa, except he's not that old. With his interesting turn of phrase and choice of words, it's like stepping back in time. 

Anyway, here are some of our favourite (and somewhat least offensive) Mr Rooney-isms which have entered the Fun and VJs vernacular:

  1. Same mother, same father - consistently themed, if not exactly matching
  2. Necking a few frosty treats - drinking cold beer
  3. Cracker - really good
  4. Goes off like Chinese New Year - an enthusiastic bedroom performer (how does this come up in building conversation?)
  5. Has a face like a kicked-in sh*t can - someone ugly
  6. Dropping a grogan - going to the toilet
  7. Bum-nuts - eggs
  8. Blowing smoke up other people's fundaments - giving praise
  9. Blunt as my knob - "this chisel needs sharpening"
  10. Ooroo - good-bye
Do you have any old expressions that you use regularly?


  1. Very funny! We say Cracker alot around here too, as well as What a Corker! You Bewdy! Geez Louise!; & sometimes - Fair Scuk of the Sav! But not that often, as the kids don't know that a Sav used to refer to a battered saveloy sausage from the Fish & Chip shop. Can you still buy them? They probably think I am referring to a Cab Sav!

  2. Hahaha. Oh, i got a giggle. He sound's like quite the character. I use 'righteo' as in 'ok' and 'crikey moses' which supplements alot. Have no idea where i picked up crikey moses from, i think i was trying to stop using bad words when surprised, angry, caught off guard or told something that i don't necessarilly agree with... if you get me??? ...

    I really like 'same mother, same father' - i'm guessing he's used that when talking about brand vs brand of a building material? I'm still laughing at 'dropping a grogan' ... i'm just imagining someone saying that to me in the casual way he obviously says it, funny man.

  3. I don't think I could tell you the expressions I use regularly without getting kicked off the site, Bris.

  4. My Granny to to say.....A most unfortunate face...

    Face like the back of a tram...
    A real grafter (hardworker).....

  5. I like the one my mother uses a lot "Six to one, half a dozen the other." Comes in handy when you're a procrastinator & you don't want to commit. My Hubby likes to use "the ducks nuts" to describe something that's really good & he also likes to use, along with his mates, the term "cock on". It too came to be a favourite saying when we were all helping each other renovate our own Sow's Ears e.g. that stump looks cock on, what a cock on job. Cock on - to be just right or precise, particularly after some labour, usually followed by a beer ;-)

  6. All the 'ie' diminuitives: lippie, cossie, prezzie - and 'arvo' of course -
    and favorites 'don't come the raw prawn with me'
    'mad as a meat-ax'
    'flash as a rat with a gold tooth'
    'budgie smugglers'

    I don't get to say budgie smugglers much, living in California...

  7. I mean this in the nicest possible way... I hope you never get your reno finished because we will sorely miss Mr Rooney!
    My husband and I talk about this very thing quite often and now I can't think of one!!

  8. I use Crikey a lot since having children. Also Cripes! Better than the word I used to use.

    Is it even Australian? I assume so.

    I love australian slang. So colourful and evocative.

  9. Mr Rooney himself is a complete cracker really. Hard to be sure, but he doesn't sound like he's got a few roos loose in the top paddock( a little bit nuts) and definitely isn't a few iced vovo's short of a picnic (not so bright).

  10. Well there's a few sayings I'dn no heard before and I must say, living and renovating with a tradie I thought I had heard them all!
    Most of Lyn's sayings I couln' repeat, but there are a few crackers :)

  11. Has Mr Rooney ever used all those examples of the vernacular in the one sentence?

  12. As useless as tits on a bull, or couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery spring to mind, and I learnt from an old neighbour.
    Ah the book of Rooney. It's a page turner!

  13. Seeing them all lined up like that is quite alarming. But what is more so are the Rooneyisms unable to be repeated in polite company ha.(Note this doesn't actually stop the Rooneys ha) Now as you and your readers know I may be privy to some Rooney insider information. So I can say that if you really wanted to hear some crackers than Mr Rooney senior was the man to listen too closely followed by Rooney daughter number 3. A certain other Ms Rooney I know likes to use the expression " how's your father ?" to describe anything that is on the nose. And another Ms Rooney favourite is to exclaim "can I've a cutting" whenever she sees anything she likes from cake to men. ie "Ooh he is good looking..... can I've a cutting?" All I know is the whole family is "good value" to use another Rooney expression, and make for a cheap (but priceless and always memorable) nights entertainment when you are in their company. xx

  14. Am partial to "dumber than a box of Hammers" which is something one of my tradies used to oft say.

  15. That must be nice to hear cute sayings like those, as opposed to the "F" BOM dropped every second word from some of our tradies. Especially the concreter who shall remain anonomous.Lol

  16. Love your blog! I am a Canadian married to an Aussie. Quick funny story: I had not heard the "grogan" expression before. I was at Ikea and bought their stainless wine is part of a range called "Grogan". When I brought it home my husband laughed and explained the term to me. I reckon Ikea did not do an Aussie slang check when they chose the name!

  17. Thanks Anonymous! You've also just given me the perfect gift for Mr Rooney when he finishes the work on our house. The Grogan bottle opener. xx


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