Friday, November 08, 2019

The wog accent

The word wog is perhaps now pejorative but in my younger years it was just a word to describe immigrants of a certain origin. Of course if you called someone a filthy wog, that is different and offensive. Wog as a word on its own is ok. Those described below took it onboard and hence many years the tv show Wogs Out of Work.

It is a strange thing that the first generation of people born here of Mediterranean and Middle East parents often have this cross accent. I rather like it and where I worked a number had such an accent. Can I even confess I find it arousing? It comes with so much promise.

Watch as much or as little of this video by Superwog as you are up to. I particularly like his put down of the passenger who asks about free range chickens. The video is the perfect illustration of the Australian 1st generation wog accent and manner of speaking, and probably attitudes too.



40 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:49 am

    Eric Bana.

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  2. In the 1960s we went from school to stay for 3 weeks with families in Belgium and Germany, and later hosted the Belgians and Germans in England - i.e. foreign language exchange visits. Our foreign partners were referred to as "wogs", e.g. people would ask "What's your wog called". It wasn't used in any nasty way but I hesitated now before posting this comment.

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    1. Tasker, thanks for posting it. It helps to give context. I am not sure how it was used in the UK. Simple noun, like blackie? They were meant as descriptive, not as an insult.

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  3. I well remember the local fish and chip shop being known as the wog shop. And patronised (as opposed to patronised) well.

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    1. I can believe that, if you want great fish'n'chips, go to the Greeks. We had the same in Port Pirie, the shop run by the Greeks did so much more business than any other fish'n'chip shop.

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    2. EC and River, it is how I remember the times. While our earlier generation may have had issues with Mediterranean immigration, none of us did.

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    3. As I recall, earlier generations had no problems and assimilation was easy. It's the later generations that are making so much fuss with each intake wanting or demanding to be allowed to keep their own culture and then there's the fuss over different religious events and now kindergartens and schools aren't allowed Christmas parties because of offending those who don't believe in Christmas and other stuff like that. I have no problem with others keeping their cultural traditions alive, but allow us the same.

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  4. I lived in Britain for a few years in the early 1970s and tried desperately to adopt a Home Counties accent. Not wog perhaps, but highly desirable back then.

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    1. Hels, I bet if I heard your voice now, there would traces of home counties. I rather like it. Even the young royals now seem to speak home counties rather than than the speaking manner of their great grandmother.

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  5. Classic - My Little Grand Nephew Called A Frog A Wog This Past Halloween - Uncle, Uncle, Its A Wog, A Big Wog - Thanx Brother Man, Needed This Post Today

    Cheers

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    1. So cute Padre. Pleased you enjoyed it and I hope all is well with you.

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  6. Now I guess being a country girl of a certain age, I have never heard that term before.
    I sure did enjoy the video! Made me chuckle!

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    1. Glad you liked the clip Maribeth and I hope you could understand what was being said. Yes, I don't think it is a word used in North America, but obviously from comments it was in the UK.

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  7. Remember the word 'wog' really well, everyone that was not born in Australia was a 'wog'. It was used as affection to them, they didn't mind. Sometimes if you couldn't remember their names (those born here) we would say, 'you know, from that wog family up the road'.
    Watched the video and they sound as if they have a 'chip' on their shoulder, and have something to prove :)

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    1. The Greeks were wogs, Italians were Dagoes and I can't remember what the other Europeans were called, Chinese Asians were all Chinks, I don't think there were any Japanese in Australia when I was a child.

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    2. Margaret, was it really a word used for all immigrants?

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    3. River, I remember clog hoppers and cheese eaters for the Dutch. Any Asian person was called a chink. There were Japanese here from our early days, the pearl fishermen in WA and NT. Some married white women and had children.

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    4. I'd forgotten about clog-hoppers.

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  8. Wog is term I never heard either.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, seems like a very Australian and UK word.

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  9. Where is Effie when you want her. Could you see her as a hostie??

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    1. Yikes! Effie as a hostess! That boggles the mind.

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    2. Cathy, Effie came to my mind when I was writing this post.

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  10. I always believed it stood for Wiry Oriental Gentleman.

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    1. Cro, have you mistyped? I always heard it was Wily Oriental Gentleman. Wily as in take care as you are dealing with a smart and wily person.

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    2. Old age Andrew. I'm sure you're right.

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  11. Andrew, I reckon "wog" was always pejorative, even if it came to be owned by its descriptees as such terms often are and its sting was drawn as we moved on to picking on the next waves of immigrants.

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    1. Marcellous, I am not sure. I think you and I are both right. At times it could be used pejoratively but it is not how I remember the word being used in my childhood. My father's friend (Latvian) was known to all as Johnny the Wog. It was just a name. He could have just been Johnny but the addition of the Wog singled him out as being a bit more interesting. Dunno.

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  12. Worldly Oriental Gentlemen they are not 😁 The video made me laugh out loud and at the same time confirmed all the reasons I am terrified of flying 😁😁

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    1. Lol Grace. I didn't even think of your flying phobias when I wrote the post. So we have Wiry, Wily and now Worldly.

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  13. I watched the whole thing, stupid and funny as it was. I never saw the Wogs out of work TV show, either it wasn't on wherever I was living at the time, or it clashed with whatever His Highness Prince-Not-So-Charming wanted to watch. When we moved to Adelaide there was a stage show by the same name and I would have loved to see it, but the previously mentioned Prince-Not-So- vetoed that. I did eventually get to watch the movie The Wog Boy. And I loved the tv show Acropolis Now for a couple of seasons.

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    1. River, I watched Wog Boy just a couple of years ago and saw our famous The Senator in a cameo role. I am hard pressed to remember Acropolis Now. Did I watch it? I know it was funny.

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  14. That was such a funny video! I loved it.

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    1. Pleased you liked it Strayer.

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  15. Watching a series on a streaming service last night, I heard a word I've not heard in many a long year. It was used often when I was a kid...but I doubt it's used much these days...."dago". My ears really pricked up when I heard it used in the dialogue!

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    1. Lee, yes, and didn't that specifically mean Italians? Like you, I haven't heard it for years.

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  16. We have those accents too and I just swoon listening to them. Can't imagine I just used the word swoon!
    Worked for an Indian Canadian with that upper class British accent, swoon!

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    1. Jackie, swoon is a good word to use. I do it frequently and often. The Indian Canadian must have been interesting. I had a golliwog when I was young. I never associated it with people.

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  17. PS forgot to mention the golliwog dolls my mother knitted!

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