Bewdy, bottler, ripper
Three words with the same meaning: terrific! They’re sometimes strung together, sometimes used individually. ‘Bewdy’ is the slack Aussie way of saying beauty, as in “You little bewdy!” ‘Bottler’ is also straightforward. It means “Your blood’s worth bottling” and was coined by Aussie diggers in WWI, after the development of blood transfusions. But ‘ripper’ remains a mystery. So far, every linguist and lexicographer I’ve asked about this has responded with a shrug: why should something terrific be “a little ripper”? You’d think ripping would be bad not good! If you can help, email me at
kel.richards@2CH.com.au Help solve this mystery and you’d be a little ripper!