Re: Drongo in the pejorative

To: Glen Ingram <>
Subject: Re: Drongo in the pejorative
From: Marjorie Wisby <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 14:18:40 +1000 (EST)
Hi there,

At 01:41 PM 20/06/97 +1000, you wrote:
>Dear Birdingaussers,
>Does anyone know of the use of  the word "drongo" in the strine sense in
>literature before World War II. Quote will be fine but reference where
>to find it would also be great. Librarians, e.g., Denis Abbott, please
>say hello.

The word drongo actually came into Strine use via a racehorse. The horse was
presumably named for the bird, of course. Drongo was foaled in 1921, and his
ignominious career ended in 1925. Apparently he excelled at coming in
second, and never won a race. From that time, anything which wasn't quite up
to snuff was called a drongo, and subsequently the soubtriquet was applied
to anything clumsy, stupid or worthless.

My authority is G.A. Wilkes, _A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms_,
SUP, 1978.

Hope this helps.

Townsville, NQ
Caranus 16 - good rowing!
 ~   Marjorie N. Wisby                    From every mountain-side   ~
 ~                        Let Freedom ring.        ~     
 ~          - Samuel Francis Smith  ~     
 ~                                                 (_America_)       ~
 ~  Have you noticed that people who are most unwilling to accept    ~
 ~  responsibility for their own actions, are the most keen to       ~
 ~  regulate everyone else's?                                        ~

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