Cliche of the Week 10 – Fair Dinkum

August 1, 2010 at 11:37 pm 1 comment

Fair dinkum, more a colloquialism except during an election campaign, is used in reporting worldwide as much as it is written in Australia.

In the past three months it’s appeared 1000 times in local media, and outside Australia mainly in British newspapers.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott uses fair dinkum as a way to say honest or serious — both when he attacks and when he makes a promise.

When debating Julia Gillard: “If the Prime Minister is fair dinkum about stopping the boats, if she’s fair dinkum about getting offshore third-country processing, why not just pick up the phone to the president of Nauru, who is waiting for her call?”

ABC July 25: “What we are announcing today is a demonstration that we are fair dinkum, that we will back up our talk with appropriate policy.”

And July 19: “I am certainly in favour of a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme.”

Canada’s Winnipeg Free Press on June 12 reviewing Peter Temple’s book Truth: “Yet, somehow, it’s all fair dinkum, with raw, visceral players and serpentine sub-plots fired by edgy, splatter-gun prose that makes Hemingway seem effusive.”

Cliche of the Week is published by The Australian newspaper every Monday.

Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week. Tags: , , , , , .

Cliche of the Week 9 – Safe Haven Cliche of the Week 11 – Anytime Soon

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Debra Ratcliffe  |  August 2, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Only those born or raised in Australia would know that cliche. Many others new to the counry would be wondering what he’s talking about.


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