Thursday, 14 May 2015

Drongo - The Aussie Horse Who Always Came Last

Stone the crows if that ain't a face like a dropped pie!
(photo by Gunnar 'Probably Not Australian' Gunnarsson)


Noun. Plural drongos or drongoes. Mid-19th century.
[Madagascan name.]

1 Any of several black birds with long forked tails that belong to
 the passerine family Dicruridae and occur in Africa, southern Asia, and Australia. M19

2 A stupid, foolish, or incompetent person. Australia & New Zealand. slang. M20

For people of a certain age (my age), drongo will no doubt conjure up memories of the Australian soap Neighbours and its famously cerebral dialogue:

"Rack off, Ramsey, yer stupid flamin' drongo!"

If you've always admired the Australians for their bizarrely idiomatic epithets, you will be interested to know that drongo is actually a Madagascan name which acquired its negative connotation in the 1920s thanks to Drongo, the spectacularly inept Australian racehorse with a record of virtually always coming last. Thus, drongo entered into the Aussie vernacular, reaching our own shores just a few decades later by way of Australia's fine schedule of televisual programming. 

Are you a drongo?

Are you as stoked as I am about this Aussie insight?

Do please go off like a frog in a sock in the bonza box below, mate.


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