News Good News Rhyming slang won’t hit the ‘frog and toad’

Rhyming slang won’t hit the ‘frog and toad’

Having a 'Barry Crocker'? The Australian National Dictionary Centre wants to hear from you. Photo: AAP
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The wordsmiths at the Australian National Dictionary Centre are looking for new contributions from people who use rhyming slang.

Having a ‘Barry Crocker’ of a day? About ‘to do the Harold Holt’ because you’ve got your ‘Reg Grundies’ in a knot?

If you know what those phrases mean the wordsmiths at the Australian National University want to hear from you.

They’re looking for new contributions for the Australian National Dictionary, with a focus on rhyming slang.

The fun and often colourful phrases use rhyming words, names or phrases to replace their everyday, literal counterparts.

‘Shocker’ becomes ‘Barry Crocker’ and ‘undies’ becomes ‘Reg Grundies’.

Leaving somewhere without giving any explanation or bolting becomes ‘to do the Harold Holt’ after the former Australian Prime Minister, who mysteriously disappeared at a Victorian beach.

Editor Mark Gwynn says rhyming slang likely emerged in east London toward the middle of the 1800s and found its way to Australia very soon afterward.

“By the end of the 20th century a distinct form of Australian rhyming slang had emerged, giving Cockney slang a unique Aussie twist,” he said on Wednesday.

These include ‘Dad ‘n Dave’ for shave, ‘Noah’s Ark’ for shark and ‘Merv Hughes’ for shoes”.

Researchers know Australian rhyming slang is still commonly used because they’re finding it on internet chat sites and hearing it in sports commentary.

They’re working to identify how much is still in regular use, as well as find new phrases to add to ANU’s database for possible inclusion in the dictionary.

“So if you’ve got some fresh slang, pick up the ‘dog and bone’ and call us at the Australian National Dictionary Centre,” Mr Gwynn said.