On speak­ing terms

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘I’M just tak­ing the old Henry down the servo to get some juice be­fore I go bush bash­ing.’’

It wouldn’t mean much to for­eign­ers, but this mo­tor­ing slang is as Aus­tralian as a cat­tle dog in the back of a Holden ute.

Mo­tor­ing slang is an en­dear­ing, some­times deroga­tory, but al­ways colour­ful way of re­fer­ring to man and his ma­chin­ery.

Most of the slang we use here is home-grown, but some is based on Bri­tish terms and there are some for­eign terms that have started creep­ing in, mainly from the US, such as ‘‘stick’’ for man­ual gearshift.

Car and bike mar­ques and mod­els are tar­gets for some play­ful deroga­tory slang, such as Bit­sare­miss­ing (Mit­subishi) and Hardly Drive­able (Har­ley-Davidson).

Some get sev­eral men­tions, such as Com­modore which is al­ter­na­tively Dunny Door, Bomb-a-door and Com­mode.

We’ve com­piled a range of mo­tor­ing slang which is by no means a de­fin­i­tive list, and cer­tainly not the end of the story, with new terms be­ing in­vented all the time by the Gen­er­a­tion Y of rev heads.

To keep it brief, we’ve omit­ted ob­vi­ous ab­bre­vi­a­tions such as Merc, speedo and Suzi and avoided acronyms such as ATV, ABS and AWD.

But we in­vite read­ers to ex­tend our list by send­ing in their slang terms to [email protected]

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