grouse (was "cool" dates back to WW2)

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Mon Sep 6 12:50:08 EDT 2004


> > I have never heard this word used as meaning cool! In fact I don't know if
> > I've ever heard it said out loud
> > at all. Admittedly I've never watched Neighbours, live in Brisbane and
> > wasn't around in the 70s, but it
> > must  have been a fairly short lived word not to escape its city of birth!
> > I'm off to query Melbournites I
> > know now...

I think we said it for a brief period in Year 8, but (like witches 
britches) it was strongly disapproved of by parents and teachers. I went to 
a private girls' school in Melbourne. I think we also thought it was a bit 
naff, and said it to annoy authority.

>I just went and asked my girlfriend, who's lived in Melbourne all her
>(long, long*) life. She says that she sometimes says "grouse", but as a
>nice middle-class girl it is always sort of in inverted commas (the way I
>use Yorkshire dialect words, having only moved here 5 years ago from the
>bad South). The place I've mostly come across the word is as used by the
>working-class Communists, Bert and Cec, in Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher
>novels, which are, apparently (my gf also just told me) *all* set in 1929,
>which doesn't seem at all possible but does fit in with the 1924 citation
>[someone - sorry, can't remember who] found.

I think they are a little bit pseudo-historical, from my recollections of 
discussing the first one with Kerry. My husband helped her with a bit of 
the research for the Jazz-themed one.

Robyn 


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