The Melbourne suburb of Murrumbeena (Muh-rum-bee-nuh) where I now live, is the subject of the new Limerick Game. It is probably most famous for being home to a very famous family of Australian artists by the name of Boyd.
More recently it has been in the news because it has a level crossing on the busiest metropolitan Melbourne rail line, where a train goes through every ten minutes in each direction, plus a few country trains and freight trains. You can sit at the intersection waiting for the boom gates to go up so you can get through the level crossing, for 15-20 minutes while 7-10 different trains pass though it, and then when 3 cars each way get through and yours is the 4th car, the boom gates come down again to let another few trains through.
Anyway the State Government has made a commitment to eliminate the level crossings by 2018. Trouble is a very vocal group of residents is up in arms because they claim the Government promised them underground rail, but the Government is going with a somewhat controversial Skyrail solution. Personally as a new resident I say just get rid of the level crossings by hook or by crook and the sooner the better. I even challenged the Vocal Group that I have read all their material and told them it is all emotive gobbledygook, and why don't they send out some material that explains what they think is wrong with Skyrail. The woman was even more emotive on the phone than in their printed material, and I still haven't seen a well-reasoned argument from them about why.
So send me your Murrumbeena limericks by PM ASAP and the more the merrier. You only have to rhyme with bee and follow it with the na-schwa.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Greg S,
If only it were so, I rent a room in a share house, where there are 2 other tenants. Melbourne house prices are getting well out of reach of the majority, and I wonder if either of my children will ever own one.
3 good limericks from one person so far, and I am having trouble with writing one myself. More please.
Just got another beauty. In responding by PM to the limericist (I think I just made that word up, but it should be one), I used the word debacle. But the Wordcraft dictionary (or is it my computer's dictionary, can't really tell) doesn't think "debacle" is a word and thinks I may have meant debatable. WTF? Maybe it's my computer's dictionary, because if it was Wordcraft's dictionary, surely it would think Wordcraft is a word, but it doesn't, that would be like Google's dictionary not thinking Google is a word, but as we all know it is now a new verb. Oh and for the record this dictionary (whosever dictionary it is, processing my post as I type it) doesn't think Google's a word either. Furthermore it's not real happy with "whosever" either.
Originally posted by Greg S: Sorry it's a bit tricky, much harder than I thought it would be, but I finally have written one myself to go with those 3. Come on people, a few more, just so we have a contest at least.
Not tricky at all. They're all just not trying. Or maybe trying too hard and wanting to rhyme every syllable. You just need to rhyme "been a" which is a doddle in Brit English (note for Americans - a doddle is British for something very easy)
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
You just need to rhyme "been a" which is a doddle in Brit English
And in Aussie English, for our English is also British English. However sadly we have adopted a few Americanisms, for example our obsession with Sport and the American game of basketball (another Aussie looks like being No. 1 Draft Pick in the NBA again), has seen us adopt the American pronunciation of defence, as dee-fence, but thankfully we don't wipe our donkeys (asses), we still wipe our arses.
Okay, well this isn't great and I am not submitting it in the contest, but it serves two purposes. One, to help those struggling, to think outside the square a bit, and two, to draw attention to the fact that in Murrumbeena at the present time, and I assume also in the Northern hemisphere, but I don't really know enough about Astronomy, there are two evening "stars".
When Marco, born in Argentina, Wed Vena, Russian ballerina, Underneath two evening stars, Venus then outshone by Mars - That's multicult'ral Murrumbeena.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Greg S,
I just sent you one. By the way, in your opening post you mentioned "by hook or by crook." Just this weekend I read this about the phrase in Quinion:
Q. From Alice Winsome: I know that by hook or by crook means to do something by any means possible, but why those two words? What’s the story behind it? A. This curious phrase has bothered many people down the years, the result being a succession of well-meant stories, often fervently argued, that don’t stand up for a moment on careful examination. As good a place to start as any is the lighthouse at the tip of the Hook peninsula in south-eastern Ireland, said to be the world’s oldest working lighthouse. It is at the east side of the entrance to Waterford harbour, on the other side of which is a little place called Crook (or so it is said: no map I’ve consulted shows it). One tale claims that Oliver Cromwell proposed to invade Ireland during the English Civil War by way of Waterford and that he asserted he would land there “by Hook or by Crook”. In another version the invasion of Ireland was the one of 1172 by Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, also known as Strongbow. Two other stories associate the phrase with gentlemen called Hook and Crook. Both appeared in early issues of the scholarly research publication Notes and Queries. One linked it with the difficulties of establishing the exact locations of plots of land after the great fire of London in 1666. The anonymous writer explained: The surveyors appointed to determine the rights of the various claimants were Mr. Hook and Mr. Crook, who by the justice of their decisions gave general satisfaction to the interested parties, and by their speedy determination of the different claims, permitted the rebuilding of the city to proceed without the least delay. Hence arose the saying above quoted, usually applied to the extrication of persons or things from a difficulty. The above anecdote was told the other evening by an old citizen upwards of eighty, by no means of an imaginative temperament.
Notes and Queries, 15 Feb. 1851.
The other supposed derivation was equally poorly substantiated: I have met with it somewhere, but have lost my note, that Hooke and Crooke were two judges, who in their day decided most unconscientiously whenever the interests of the crown were affected, and it used to be said that the king could get anything by Hooke or by Crooke.
Notes and Queries, 26 Jan. 1850.
Most of these stories can be readily dismissed by looking at the linguistic evidence, which tells us that the expression is on record from the end of the fourteenth century, by which time it was already a set phrase with the current meaning. During this period, local people sometimes had rights by charter or custom known as fire-bote to gather firewood from local woodlands. It was acceptable to take dead wood from the ground or to pull down dead branches. The latter action was carried out either with a hook or a crook, the latter implement being a tool like a shepherd’s crook or perhaps just a crooked branch. Little contemporary evidence exists for this practice. Written claims for it dating from the seventeenth century are said to exist for the New Forest in southern England, one of which argued for an immemorial right to go into the king’s wood to take the dead branches off the trees “with a cart, a horse, a hook and a crook, and a sail cloth”. Another version was once claimed to be in the records of Bodmin in Cornwall, whereby locals were permitted by a local prior “to bear and carry away on their backs, and in no other way, the lop, crop, hook, crook, and bagwood in the prior’s wood of Dunmeer.” Richard Polwhele’s Civil and Military History of Cornwall of 1806 argued in support of this claim that images of the hook and the crook were carved on the medieval Prior’s Cross in nearby Washaway, though modern writings describe them as fleurs-de-lys. The examples suggest that this origin for the expression is the correct one, though some doubt must remain. If so, as hook and crook were effectively synonyms, it was almost inevitable that they were put together to make a reduplicated rhyming phrase.
Thanks for the limerick, Kalleh, and for the revelations about "by hook or by crook" - never knew that - not that I am any the wiser for having read it. We do have some strange expressions in this language.
Two others that come to mind are "but that's a different kettle of fish" and "there's more than one way to skin a cat" (how many ways are there, and who would know even one way?). Immigrants to an English speaking country must wonder what the hell we are talking about sometimes, even if their English is reasonably good.
And then there's all the euphemisms (both male and female) for having a pee. Not too familiar with the female ones, but for the fellahs there's all sorts, "shake hand with the wife's best friend", "shake hands with the unemployed", "siphon the python", and "point Percy at the porcelain". There was a very cringe-worthy (but funny) Aussie Movie called "The Adventures of Bazza Mackenzie", based on a comic strip written by Barry Humphries, that amongst other things introduced Edna Everage (Dame Edna) to the world, and in that movie Bazza reels off about 9 obscure expressions for having a pee, of which the above list are the only 4 I can remember. I heard this unusual female one once from an Aussie comedienne: "pierce the pudenda".This message has been edited. Last edited by: Greg S,
I had to laugh today, as I watched a highlights package of last night's Soccer friendly between Australia and Greece. The reporter, despite ending his report with "<my name> reporting", was clearly reading someone else's Report, because he used the word "profligacy" and pronounced it as "prof-legacy". It reminded me of the way my dad used to pronounce compromise as com-pro-miss instead of comprah-mize. But who am I to talk, I used to pronounce melancholy as me-lank-ily, until one day I heard someone use the word, and I realised the error of my ways.
There used to be an advert on TV for something or other (cosmetics I think) containing a bit of pseudo-science about its wonderful ingredient "proxylane". In spite of it being written on the screen as pro-xylane AND being derived from xylose the voice over described it as proxy-lane.
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.