Australian Dates.

Mark Gwynn at Ozwords takes “a light-hearted look” at Australian words for the backside; the opening paragraph will explain my post title:

As a kid I was often told by my dad to ‘get off my date’ when he wanted me to get off the lounge and go outside, or to help with some chore. I was surprised to discover many years later, when I started working at the Australian National Dictionary Centre, that date was not a coinage of my dad’s but an established word in Australian English, meaning ‘anus’. Further exposure to Australian English at the ANDC revealed a number of colloquial terms with the same or a similar meaning.

Lots of interesting terms there, like blurter (from blurt ‘to emit breath eruptively’) and bracket (probably from the shape of a pair of round brackets).


  1. Another marvel of Australian English for me is how on earth did the saying ‘Up ya bum’ for sculling a drink ever become a non-insulting thing to say? lol.

    Sculling means to skål? ‘Up yer bum’ is a very amusing mild insult in England, but I’ve never heard it used there as a skål.

  2. David Eddyshaw says

    “Furphy” is a new word for me. Looks useful.

    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to feel the same about the Oort Cloud again.

  3. In Turkic languages art means back(side), as in:
    Uzbek is known for its predilection (Farsi-inspired) to round (historically long a’s; thus, O’zbekiston, Tojikiston, Gamla Ston. And art becomes ort.

  4. @juha “Gamla Ston”: isn’t that Swedish you’re thinking of? 😉

  5. Yep. It sounds remarkably close, apart from being a cognate.

  6. “Browneye” first recorded in 1978? That sounds a bit late. I was hearing it in the early 1970s.

    Is “date” Australian? There seems to be a similar American usage, as found in the words: “Down at the Oasis the Arabs were pickin’ their dates”.

  7. In America, brown eye is slang for anal sex. I imagine that it originally referred to the anal region itself. However, when I first encountered it, it had been reanalyzed (heh…) as referring to getting feces on the head on the penis.

  8. Trond Engen says

    In Norwegian brunøyet for “anus” is, I won’t say common, but at least common enough to be commonly understood. But I remember being past the proscribed adolescense when I first saw it, so it could well be a recent calque.

  9. “Browneye” was the Australian equivalent to “mooning” when I was at university in the 1970s.

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