Thursday, 9 December 2010

Fair dinkum is as fair dinkum does. L'Aussie explains...

Hey are you guys fair dinkum or what?  Not satisfied with following the comment stream you must have a fair dinkum explanation from moi. Ha! You asked for it!

Before I launch into the translation, I'd like to give fair dinkum thanks to all of you who were so happy to receive this strange liitle award and ponder over what it meant. I'll just say for an Aussie to tell you that you're 'fair dinkum' is the highest accolate you will get from one of us. I think you're a 'bonza' lot as Crocodile Dundee would say.

Here are some commenters' ideas of what 'fair dinkum' means:

NR Williams - kind and thoughtful
Coelene Murphy - I have no idea!
Lynda Young - genuine, real, honest
Words Crafter - the real deal
Jeffrey Beesler -  I think a dinkum is kind of like a snookum in the US, and a snookums is a term of endearment for a loved one.
Writers Block NZ - truthful/honest
Grandpa - it's about truth, honesty, and about being fair, really - which I think is what Australia and all Aussies are all about!
Cheryl -  honest, genuine, a great person
Francine - I'm a fair dinkum Pom, and an Aussie says so!
Theresa -  People who are faithful in their support.
Nomes - genuine. It's true blue awesomeness.
Kangaroobee -  sure enough or okay and perhaps cool,
Rachael: it always means genuine and true blue for me.
Ellie: all round nice, honest, and caring person. Someone who I could trust with my life.
Christine - true or genuine (and Rolf Harris!)
The Golden Eagle - they do something that says that they care.
Julie Musil: Could it be that it's named after a writer?
Theres Just Life: You are fair dinkum in my book. 
Adina West - the simplest definition for fair dinkum is 'true blue'. Two words. Yep. Reckon I showed 'em. Gob smacked by that, aren't you, eh, you lot? Bloody oath!
Madeline: So since you had to stop somewhere with awarding I guess the answer would be 'Fair Dinkum'.

Well, as Kangaroobee's husband told her to tell me, just to show off his complete understanding of Aussie slanguage - I've been flat out like a lizard drinking, making this award or two, awarding it to 'fair dinkum' blogging mates, reading some sincere guesses and some downright show-offy Aussie know-all definitions, and now sifting through.

The iconic images on my award - a pub, a horse, the outback, the isolation, the sunset, the tranquility - all Aussie! Not a ranch in sight - we call 'em 'stations' and they are bigger than some countries!

The pic was taken near the largest station is the world, Anna Creek Station. It is located in South Australia. Its area is roughly 24,000 km² (6,000,000 acres) which is bigger than Israel. It is 8,000 km² larger than Alexandria Station (its nearest rival) in the Northern Territory, Australia and eight times the size of America's biggest ranch, King Ranch in Texas, which is only 3,000 km². Now howzat! Maybe I'll set my next HM&B romance there!

Now that you've read through the above comments, you've probably seen that the most popular definition of 'fair dinkum' is - a person who is kind, caring, thoughtful, genuine, straight, TRUE BLUE. Aussies love the term 'True Blue' as it means 'fair dinkum.' Don't get me started again!

True Blue: The Very Best ofWe have many examples of Aussies we consider true blue, such as the late Steve Irwin, who was a mate of John Williamson, a true-blue Aussie balladeer. I'm going to leave you with his song, 'True Blue'. He sang it live at Steve Irwin's memorial. I'll include that clip for any Steve Irwin fans. It shows an Australia Zoo worker loading Steve's camping gear and paraphenalia in his ute, then driving away. Very moving. As John Williamson croons - 'just knocked off for smoko...'

The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, a 'true-blue' Aussie.


  1. aaww this is sweet I am fair dinkum right? am going to start using the word just to see the reaction I get.
    Cant play the song yet the hubs is asleep but will come back 2moro or when the sun is up with my box of tissues to listen.
    And guess what i think u are fair dinkum too

  2. Joanna: Hey, you didn't let me down this time! The first clip doesn't always play which is a nuisance. Hope it plays for everyone else!

    You are definitely a fair dinkum sheila!

  3. fair dinkum and true blue is only a fraction you've gotta learn when you move to Aussie Land - but i suppose that's what makes the Australians so special :-)

    Fair dinkum - i love it here !

  4. Iris! You're right, these two are only the tip of the idioms! Glad you like it here!

  5. My brother-in-law (an Aussie) uses that term (and really many others) a lot. Now I know what it means!

    I had an Aussie lass stay with me and she always used the term "chuck-a-U-banger" so much that now I use it. I don't know if I spelled it correctly or not.

    Have a great day, mate!


  6. I was deeply upset when Steve Irwin died. My husband and I both.

    He was one of the good ones.

  7. ...besides enjoying your spirited posts, I adore the pics from your homeland:) My son once promised me that when he's financially able, (he's currently 14) he wants to treat the two of us to a trip, wherever I want to go. I told him to take me to Australia...then I found your blog, see your pics, and am really hoping that boy comes through for me someday!
    Great post,

  8. I felt good when I received the Award - now I feel better! I'm feeling like Joanna felt a few days ago - up in the clouds!

    I was in Perth when Steve Irwin died. That was a great loss to Australia, and to the world. Quite untimely

  9. Clarissa: Thank you matey! Chuck-a-u-banger. That is hilarious. We just don't like to use real language, we like to make up our own expressions! Thanks for the visit!

    Maria: I can still cry about it. He was really true blue.

    Elliot: I hope that boy comes through for you too. You'll love it and I hope you can get a little of the spirit of Oz on my blog. Have you checked out my L'Aussie Travel site? You can wallow in a lot more Aussie pics there.

    L'Aussies Travel Blog

  10. AWE! I love it!! And the Steve shout him.

  11. Coelene: And I was afraid people would have forgotten him!

  12. Oh wow, that's what fair dinkum means? I'm honoured. I've been wracking my brains trying to figure it out and now I'm grinning and hugging myself. Thank you for including me in your list of awardees.

    It was very sad when Steve Irwin passed. He was a great man. Definitely fair dinkum.


  13. Woohoo Denise, let's teach everyone heaps more Aussie slang as well :)


  14. I love the picture on your little "Fair Dinkum" award! Does say Aussie.
    I must tell you Kentucky uses the term "True Blue," but our version refers to following a basketball team. I like your version better :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  15. Oh, dear! I referred to that station as a ranch. Sorreeeee...

    Shame that I can't listen to the song as we have snail broadband here.

    Thanks for this lesson in Aussiedom - fascinating! I posted yesterday about warmth and your blog and the fab Award. Thanks again.

  16. Hehe! I love the expression - I know it well, since I've worked with many an Aussie in London.

  17. Hi,

    I'm just glad it wasn't a G'lar (Galar) Award! ;)

    Bugger: the beach hut in Alice Springs was wrong ID of shack (station).


  18. So that's what it means!

    I'm honored that you awarded me, especially now that I understand the definition.

  19. Very moving...I watched his funeral. I am even more honored now that I know what fair dinkum means. Thank you.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  20. "Hey true blue, is it me and you..." Guess what song will be in my head for the rest of the day. I have put up my L'Aussie Award post (thank you again). Pop over to to check it out.

  21. Great definition of fair dinkum and true blue. And I wasn't aware our cattle stations were so huge. wow!

  22. What a fun & educational post. I like that ranches are called stations. You sure live in a fascinating country & I enjoy hearing your accents in the movies & on TV.

  23. Oi, who's Kangaroobee's husband callin a downright show-offy know-it-all? Some people just know stuff, mate, and some people can't tell a middy from a bloody schooner. No point gettin yourself in a tizzy about it, eh?

    (Apologies to all and sundry for the use of unintelligible vernacular. Yes, pun intended. I just can't help myself...I'll go now)

  24. what a 'ripper' of a blog mate - brought a tear of the crocadile variety to my eye. I was moved fair dickum - too right!!!!
    I love the aussie way of talkin makes me as happy a kookabarra who just realised he no longer has Laryngitis

  25. I consider myself properly educated now :-)

  26. Denise, what a beautiful award you created! Jai Joshi just gave it to me and I feel so blessed. Thanks so much for this, and for posting the video of Steve's memorial too - that was very touching.

    It may take me a while to post my acceptance, (kids were out of school all last week thanks to snow, & of course are now loaded down with homework), but that will give me a bit of time to decide who to pass it on to. I know so many great bloggers it might have to come down to "eeny-meeny-miney-moe". :)

    Thank you again!

  27. I finally got my award acceptance posted Denise - thanks so much!


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