Monday, April 30, 2007

Auspolitics Slang 101

I just thought I'd go through a quick rundown of some terms used in the Aussie blogosphere, particularly the politics side, just to clarify for non-locals. Given that there's a lot of sporting metaphors I wouldn't be surprised if there's Americans out there scratching their heads.

Ozblogistan - the Australian blogosphere, esp. the political one.
ozplogs - an amalgam, meaning Australian political blogs.
Dorothy Dixer - roughly analogous to "softball" in US parlance, eg. an easy question given by an interviewer. "Dorothy Dixer" carries additional connotations of being arranged in advance (as opposed to just being an easy question to use for posturing), and it is often used to refer to a member of one's own party setting up such a question during Question Time in Parliament.
Laura Norder - a common platform for politicians to run on to demonstrate their "tough on crime" credentials (say it out loud, kids). Pejorative.
stoush - colloquialism for disagreement, fight, dispute etc. For a more in-depth explanation, see Liam's post @ larvyprod. Also. a great group blog.

Sporting metaphors:
free kick - giving away ground to the other side with a mistake. AFL/soccer origin.
own goal - like a free kick, but more disastrous. Soccer origin.
hit(ting) for six - what a pollie usually does with a Dorothy Dixer. Roughly analogous to "out of the ballpark", I guess. Cricket origin.
let [something] go through to the keeper - to leave a topic or question well alone, seeing that no good can come of "taking a swing" at it. Cricket origin (unlike baseball, in cricket you don't have to swing at a ball in the strike zone - if a tricky ball comes in and it's not going to hit the stumps, a batsman will often just lift his bat and leave it for the wicketkeeper to catch).
playing a straight/dead bat - not giving anything away or revealing anything, keeping to safe but uninspired talking points or policy. Like letting through to the keeper, but less confident. Cricket metaphor (to play defensively, not aiming to score but also keeping to safe shots unlikely to get you out - thanks to Suki for this one).
"I'll pay that" and variations - to give credit for something well said, handled or accomplished, often grudgingly used in relation to people one doesn't agree with, or approvingly when someone coins a particularly witty turn of phrase. Complimentary. AFL origin (for some reason I've never understood, AFL fans refer to free kicks and marks being "paid" to a player when they're awarded).

meeja - pejorative for the media.
Curious Snail, Daily Terror/Terrorgraph/Telecrap, Orstrayun, 'tiser, Hun, etc etc. - nicknames given (with varying degrees of affection or contempt) to various newspapers around Australia. The examples given are the Courier-Mail, the Daily Telegraph, The Australian, The Advertiser and the Herald Sun respectively.

Ausblog history:
pandagate -

Anything else that needs to be added to this? Any improvements to make? Please suggest something in comments, if it'll help non-locals through the Aussie poliblog chaos. (thanks to saint for a couple of suggestions)

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