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Title: Boldrewood and an Implied Etymology
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S  (author)
Publication Date: 1979
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Abstract: The late Grahame Johnston in his 'Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary' (1976) gives the language of origin of 'shicker' (-ed) ('Australian slang') as Yiddish. S.J. Baker observed in 'The Australian Language' (second edition, 1966) that "there is some reason to suspect that a mutilation of she-oak may have given us shickered, drunk" (footnote p. 229). A.A. Morris in his 'Austral English' (1898) gave many quotations of the use of the substantive 'she-oak' as both tree (pp. 413-5) and as "a slang name for colonial beer" (p. 415). For the latter sense he illustrates from Rolf Boldrewood's 'A Miner's Right' (1890). "Then have a glass of beer - it's only she-oak, but there's nothing wrong about it." (p.415). Boldrewood's moral tale, 'The Squatter's Dream' (1875), in its 1890 text has many references to she-oaks (p. 1), the casuarina (p. 27), and the illicit provision of grog, illegally peddled by hawkers under the casuarinas to the aborigines. ... G.A. Wilkes indicated the rise of 'shicker' as 'liquor' from 1916 (by C.J. Dennis) in his 'A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms' (1978) and the greater likelihood of the joke would be enhanced if there were earlier attested uses of 'shicker(-ed)' in Australian English. It is certain that Boldrewood makes many sad associations of she-oaks, alcoholism, and the linked degeneracy of aborigines and stockmen in the 1870's.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Notes & Furphies (2), p. 14-14
Publisher: Association for the Study of Australian Literature
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 0156-806X
Field of Research (FOR): 160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
160204 Criminological Theories
160205 Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
HERDC Category Description: C4 Letter of Note
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