Apparently “doobalackie” is not a universal word for “thingamybob”—you know, that thing for which you do not have a name, that “doohickie”. I had no idea it was just us Australians who reach for doobalackies.
Is it just us? Any South Africans or New Zealanders or Jamaicans or English or Welsh or Irish or Scottish people care to weigh in? What do you call the thingie for which you do not at that moment have a name?
I learned the non-Americanness of doobalackie from the the livejournal devoted to Megan Whalen Turner’s fabulous Attolia trilogy which recently discussed my worship of said trilogy1 and wound up discussing a bunch of different Aussieisms.
The whole thing got me curious so I looked up “dooberlackie” in the Macquarie Dictionary and discovered it’s supposed to be spelled “dooverlackie” or “doovahlackie”. To be honest I’ve never seen it written down before, only heard it. That aside, spelling is not my strong point. Dunno if I’m gunna budge from dooberlackie, but. That’s how it sounds in me head. You should never mess with your own head.
It’s amazing how many words I thought were universal turn out to be Aussiesm or, at least, not much known in the US. Usians don’t do the whole brekkie, pressie, chrissie, journo, muso thing. They have no mates called Dazza or Shazza. They don’t squiz at stuff or chuck a right. They’re never lizard flat-out. They don’t know what bitumen is. And the way they pronounce “condom” is deeply strange.
How many of you English speakers have discovered that some of the words and expression you thought were global English turn out to be just from your part of the world? What words were they? Share!
In other news: it stopped snowing but it’s still too bloody cold. Also I am reading the second Buddha and I am in heaven. I heart Osamu Tezuka. Thanks, Anne!
Oh, crap, now it’s snowing again. Aaargh!!!
- Are there still any of you who haven’t read Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia trilogy (The Thief, Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia)? If not, why not? On your bikes! [↩]