Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A word that I like: norks

Over at Yobbos' View is a picture (see here) of a rather attractive woman who is described by one commentator as having 'good norks'. I haven't heard this vulgarism for 30 years so it had nostalgic value to me. It is a rather punchy piece of Australian slang which GrodsCorp defines more precisely as:

'norks:Or: norgs / norgies / norkers , Australianism of the 1950s for women's breasts, said to derive from Norco butter (Norco Co-operative Ltd. of New South Wales) wrapper packaging displaying a cow's udder on the package . See breasts for synonyms and euphemisms'.

The Age in turn points out that Norco was an abbreviation of North Coast Fresh Food and Cold Storage Cooperative Ltd, a company that produced a range of dairy and meat products in Byron Bay, NSW from about 1895. By 1925 it was the largest butter producer in Australia. Norco still exists but is now based at Lismore. It is out of the butter business now and operates some retail stores and sells only milk. It had rather poor profits of only $127,000 in 2005.

In half an hour's searching I couldn't come across an image of one of those butter wrappers. If anyone has one and could pass it on I'd be grateful.

Generally, I like hearing phrases and slang that remind me of my youth. Another phrase that I heard again recently was 'bags' as in 'I bags that' or 'I bagst it first' which was a way that, as youth, we sought to resolve property right disputes. If you were the first to say you 'bagst' some desired object whose ownership was in dispute you were supposed (in theory) to get it. I've got to say that I heard this phrase most recently from a Melbourne university academic of about my vintage. I will not name names.

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