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Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky

Helen 28 Aug 06 - 08:07 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Aug 06 - 08:15 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Aug 06 - 08:22 AM
Sandra in Sydney 28 Aug 06 - 08:52 AM
Bob Bolton 28 Aug 06 - 08:57 AM
John O'L 28 Aug 06 - 08:59 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Aug 06 - 09:06 AM
hilda fish 28 Aug 06 - 09:24 AM
Little Robyn 28 Aug 06 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Giok 28 Aug 06 - 04:20 PM
Helen 28 Aug 06 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Rowan 28 Aug 06 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Rowan 28 Aug 06 - 07:16 PM
rich-joy 28 Aug 06 - 07:16 PM
Helen 29 Aug 06 - 02:33 AM
JennieG 29 Aug 06 - 03:39 AM
Joybell 29 Aug 06 - 06:00 AM
MBSLynne 29 Aug 06 - 07:00 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Aug 06 - 09:31 AM
Helen 29 Aug 06 - 04:01 PM
MBSLynne 29 Aug 06 - 04:35 PM
Helen 29 Aug 06 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Rowan 29 Aug 06 - 06:56 PM
Helen 30 Aug 06 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Rowan 30 Aug 06 - 02:37 AM
GUEST,Rowan 30 Aug 06 - 02:57 AM
Snuffy 30 Aug 06 - 08:45 AM
JennieG 05 Sep 06 - 07:19 AM
Bob Bolton 05 Sep 06 - 08:52 AM
Rumncoke 05 Sep 06 - 06:26 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Sep 06 - 01:23 AM
GUEST,Rowan 06 Sep 06 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Rowan 06 Sep 06 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Allen in OZ 06 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Sep 06 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,Allen in OZ 06 Sep 06 - 10:27 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Sep 06 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Rowan 06 Sep 06 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,Allen in OZ 06 Sep 06 - 11:49 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Sep 06 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Rowan 07 Sep 06 - 01:08 AM
Helen 07 Sep 06 - 02:03 AM
Uke 07 Sep 06 - 02:41 AM
GUEST 19 Jun 11 - 12:53 AM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Jun 11 - 07:33 AM
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Subject: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Helen
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:07 AM

Hi all,

I've have been trying to satisfy an idle curiosity about the Oz term "tinny", or "tinny-arsed" or "tin-arsed" which means "lucky". (People tend to say it about my hubby when he repeatedly wins things in raffles etc, although he hasn't done it so much lately. It seems to go in cycles.)

I can't for the life of me figure out a logical explanation of how the term came about and where it came from or what it signifies. I've looked up "the Bible", i.e. the Macquarie Dictionary (my version is 1982) and all it gives is the definition "lucky" but no origins.

Please, dear Mudcatters, shed some light on this puzzle for me, or even just toss around some ideas of where it might have originated. Think laterally!

A thought I have had is that it might relate to mining, striking it lucky, mining tin. So lucky that you just have to sit down and you find yourself sitting on the mother lode?

Who knows? Maybe there isn't an explanation. But here is the best place I know of to ask the question.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:15 AM

I never heard that use of the word, over here the received wisdom is that in Australia a 'Tinny' is a can of beer. I was amused when over in Oz to see beer being sold by the 'slab' though!
G.


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:22 AM

'Tinny' was in use when I was a kid - there were no aluminium beer cans then, and I seemto remember that beer mostly came in bottles 'long johns' - large brown glass ones, rather than tines.


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:52 AM

tin = money


Mark Gregory's Australian Folk Songs


Across the Western Plains

Chorus
Oh for me grog my jolly jolly grog
Oh for me beer and tobacco
Well I spent all my tin in a shanty drinking gin
Now across the Western Plain I must wander

I'm stiff stoney broke and I've parted with me moke
And the sky is looking black as flaming thunder
And the shanty boss is too for I haven't got a sou
That's the way you're treated when you're down and under

Well I'm crook in the head for I haven't been to bed
Since first I touched this shanty with my plunder
I see centipedes and snakes, and I'm full of pains and aches
So I"d better make a push out over yonder

I'll take that Old Man Plain and I'll cross it once again
Until me eyes the track no longer see boys
And my beer and whisky brain looks for sleep but all in vain
And I feel as if I had the Darling Pea boys

So hang that blasted grog, that hocussed shanty grog
And the beer that's loaded with tobacco
Grafting humour I am in and I'll stick the peg right in
And I'll settle down once more for some hard yakka

Notes

First printed in the Bulletin in May 1916.

Reworked from a sailor's song 'Noggin Boots' or 'Across the Western Ocean'

This version from the singing of A.L.Lloyd who writes "Sung straight the song never seemed to me wildly exiting, but once I heard a drunken shearer named White sing it on a station near Bethungra NSW, in a way that would make the hair stand on end."


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:57 AM

G'day Helen,

The simple source is "tin" meaning money (specifically silver coins - so we aren't talking riches ... just reasonable money for working people. The Australian National Dictionary gives:

2. Special Comb. tin arse (~ back,~ bum), an unusually lucky person; also as tin-arsed. Their first citation is:

The Bulletin, 4 June 1898 with the "Red Page" defining a 'tin-back' as "a party who's remarkable for luck".

"Tinny" is simply a polite evasion of the pithier early forms.

We may have the Macquarie Dictionary as a 'national standard'... but if you want a real 'dictionary on historical principles', in the tradition of the OED, you must have >i>The Australian National Dictionary, from the successors to Oxford's (~) "Australian Language Centre" ... which was working on this long before I made some (very minor) submissions on Tasmanian variants in 1964!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: John O'L
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:59 AM

Very interesting. I've often wondered where 'tin-arsed' came from, but never thought to ask.

What about 'jammy', as in "Half yer luck, ya jammy bastard."?


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 09:06 AM

I always knew that as

All for me Grog, me jolly jolly grog
All for me beer and tobacco
For I spent all me tin on the lassies, drinking gin
And across the western ocean I must wander.

The use of the word 'tin' as a synonym for money goes back a long way.

One country Borneo way, used tin ingots as money, and the UK issued tin money in 1684 see here

As for the song, I always thought it was of British origin.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: hilda fish
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 09:24 AM

Here I am living in Woolloomooloo and never heard 'tinny' being used in that way! Can of beer was a tube or a Fosters, VB, Carlton, whatever. Tinny for me is/are (singular or plural? my grammar is slipping) those little aluminium boats that you use to wander the harbour, go fishing, muck around in. The 'little shack down the coast and the tinny' was an ultimate retirement dream of the '50s. Anyway lots of people here have their tinnies tucked under the wharf ready at any time.


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Little Robyn
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 04:00 PM

Years ago when something lucky happened to me (can't remember what it was) someone called me a tin-bum. I'd never heard it before and I still don't understand where it came from but thought it may come from metal armour protecting ones nether regions - like Ned Kelly??
Or does it just mean money coming from an unlikely source?
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Giok
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 04:20 PM

You'll be sorry you arsed mate
G


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Helen
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 05:17 PM

Sandra,

I had forgotten that reference in the song: "lost all me tin". Thanks.

And thanks to everyone else, too, especially Bob with the dictionary reference.   

But I still don't get why you would have a tin bum, of all things, if you were lucky. Little Robyn, maybe you are right, but then the term tin-backed doesn't make sense.

Tinny = also a beer can, at least here in Newcastle, NSW, Oz
Tinny = also a small aluminium boat usually with an outboard motor, or even a rowboat

John/Giok, they're probably going to be called something other than a slab in the next few years because a lot of cartons of beer are being packaged into user friendly cube-shaped boxes with a carry handle. Or maybe that's only the girlie beers, like light beer.

So, why a tin bum?

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 06:53 PM

I can remember using the description "tin bum" in the 1960s (mostly in Victoria) and Sandra and Bob have mentioned the most likely traditional links to the term but there is another context that may (or may not) have some relevance.

In my youth I had a girlfriend whose family came from Newstead, in the goldfields of Central Victoria. On one of my visits there an old codger took a bit of a shine to me and wanted me to join him in a 'serious gold mining venture'. Well, I knew enough folk lore even then to avoid being sucked too far into such thgings but he did teach me how to use an ordinary long-handled shovel as a gold-panning dish (as well as a frying pan); this was a favourite way to spend smoko when out with the road-mending gang.

According to him (and I've verified it in other areas where alluvial gold occurs) the best way to check that your panning technique is 'on the money' is to find specks of tin in the bottom of the dish. Its specific gravity isn't as high as gold's but it's higher than anything else naturally in the alluvium so, if you find tin but no gold, you know you're technique is good. In areas that have never been National Parks, you could also expect to find lead shot.

Just panning on spec and turning up tin is a lucky start.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 07:16 PM

And I do recall someone (probably me) exclaiming "Tinny!" at someone's extraordinarily lucky snooker shot in the comp. at Mawson in 1969.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: rich-joy
Date: 28 Aug 06 - 07:16 PM

Growing up in West Aussie, I can't recall hearing the "lucky" references that Helen has asked about - just the beer and the boats!! ... and also if something was a bit cheaply made, it could be a bit tinny - and esp the sound coming from a tranny (i.e. transistor radio - remember when they were all the rage?? ha ha!!!!!)

As to John O'L's "jammy", my Scouser partner says that it is a very Liverpool (UK) term and reckons it's a reference to jam being sticky so therefore the luck is sticking - but "you jammy bastard!" is usually a very envious term!!!


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Helen
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 02:33 AM

Two things I have learned by Googling the phrase "tin bum":

* having the name Nicholas often earns that person the nickname (no pun intended) of Tin Bum (from Nickel-Arse)    - sorry, this is typical Oz humour e.g. red-haired people are called "Blue", etc.

* "tin bum" is a phrase in use in New Zealand, and can mean either "lucky" or "miserly". The second may be a corruption of the Oz term "tight arse" meaning "miserly".

But I am still getting no closer to finding a logical explanation of how the term came about.

And, rich-joy, you're right: I forgot about "tinny" referring to sound quality.

Rowan, the info on panning for gold is an interesting thought.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: JennieG
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 03:39 AM

I remember the expression 'tinny', and I grew up in country New South Wales. It was one of those wonderful words with a wealth of meanings - tinny sound (meaning scratchy as though sounding from far away), lucky (Helen's original question), the little aluminium boat. The beer connection came later I think; beer came in bottles first in my memory, then later in steel cans.

Expressions that I knew from childhood were regional, when I moved to Sydney in 1970 nobody here had heard of them!

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Joybell
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 06:00 AM

In Melbourne, it was a common word when I was a kid. 50s-60s. Then it went away.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: MBSLynne
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 07:00 AM

I grew up in WA too, and I've never heard it. Looks as though it is an Eastern States expression. There are quite a few dialect differences. For instance, what the Easter5n staters call yabbies, we used to call gilgies

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 09:31 AM

"Looks as though it is an Eastern States expression."

Was there as much general society fuss about alluvial gold in WA as in the eastern states?


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Helen
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:01 PM

There is a really interesting project site associated with the (Oz) ABC network where words and expressions are being mapped across Oz:

Australian Word Map

"Tinny" or "tinnie" is there referring to the boat, but not "tin arse", "tin bum" or "tinny" or "tinny arse" or "arsey" referring to being lucky.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: MBSLynne
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:35 PM

I think so Robin

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Helen
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 04:35 PM

I'd like to ask for your assistance in tracking down another Australian mystery:

Lyr Req: Ballarat Horse Auctioneer

We've come to a bit of a dead end, but someone mentioned that it might have been a poem in The Bulletin, and Rosie, who is looking for the song, said that she found it originally in an Australian songbook.

"We apologise for this break in transmission and we now take you back to your programme." :-)

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 06:56 PM

In Melbourne, real beer came only in bottles (~750ml, in current metrics and I forget how many fluid ounces; I had too many scruples) and were collected when empty by "Bottle-oh"s who drove horse-drawn carts through the back lanes. These empty beer bottles (called Dead Marines) were my major source of pocket money.

In the late 50s we started seeing transistor radios and that was when I first heard "tinny" applied to sound quality. The earliest cans of beer were the same size as the bottles (as I recall) and were made of steel. Steel cans for food/beer/etc were plated with tin to prevent rust from forming and tainting the contents' taste. Such steel is called 'tin plate' and I suspect that was a major reason why such beer cans were called tinnies. These tinnies needed a 'church key' to open them as they didn't have ring-pulls. The usual church key was a handle about 5" long with a crown seal type bottle opener at one end and, at the other, a curved triangular 'beak' with a short protrusion underneath it. The protrusion was held underneath the metal seam around the top of the tinny and, by raising the handle the curved beak would drive a triangular hole into the top of the can. I mention this for our northern hemisphere friends who may not be familiar with Australian ritual.

By the end of the 60s smaller beer cans had become popular and we'd gone all metric so we standardised on 375ml as a size. Being shorter than a real man's can they were called 'stubbies' (stubby, if you only had one) and were still made of steel although aluminium started making its appearance (as did glass) and were also called tinnies. You still needed a church key to open the cans until they invented the ringpull, which came only when cans were made of aluminium. Small boats made of aluminium started becoming popular in the 60s and were also called tinnies but I'm unsure of whether the terms were more onogenetically linked.

The ringpulls from beer cans came adrift from the can when opened and were a major rubbish problem where people wore bare feet (probably not in Parliament or the Opera House) and concerned people used to daisy chain them into long strings and hang collections of such strings over doorways to keep flies out while letting breezes and people in. Nowadays the ringpulls stay with the can.

Small cans were sold in slabs of two dozen (giving rise to the slab as a unit of currency) until glass bottles (also 375ml) were introduced; these were sold in shrink-wrapped half-dozens called sixpaks, so called because their appearance on a grog shop shelf reminded women of the ideal shape of a man's torso. These stubbies caused Australian musos endless trouble.

The original beer bottles used crown seals which had a cork insert. A beginner could easily collect lots of dead crown seals and flick out the cork insert with the point of a knife or a screwdriver. The naked bottle top could then be attached to a lagerphone and give the instrument its distinctive ring tone. When (in the late 60s & early 70s) women cornered the market in cork for their platform shoes, makers of crown seals had to start using plastic inserts; this allowed them to use screw-threaded crown seals which could be removed without a bottle opener.

Trouble was, plastic doesn't come out with a flick of a screwdriver and the slightest trace of it deadens the tone of your lagerphone. Some may find this welcome but true believers could go to the makers of crown seals and acquire some of the seals before the plastic has been inserted. You get the distinctive tinny ring tone but must space the screws further apart as the seals are squashed to their useable size only after the insert has been ,,, inserted. Careful observation will thus allow you to determine the age of the instrument.

To find a crown seal supplier who'd give you a case of seals for nothing is the sort of luck that would get you called a tin arse.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Helen
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 02:32 AM

Rowan, what a good read! And a punch line, even!

I suppose you could go to home brewing suppliers and buy the caps, then put them onto a bottle, then remove them again so that they would be the right shape for a lagerphone. Or should that be called a stubbiephone, now?

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 02:37 AM


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 02:57 AM

Don't know how that happened! I was going to say

Thanks Helen. Even the crown seals in home brewers' supply shops have plastic inserts these days. Fortunately I don't play the lagerphone very much now, although I'm trying to subvert the folk scene in South Carolina by sending detailed construction notes to some friends there. When I used to play it I had rather an energetic style and, even though I used a steel washer between the crown seal and the screw head (so that the hole torn in the seal had to be at least 1/2" wide before it could fall off) seals lasted only about 3-4 gigs before needing replacement.

I was lucky enough to locate the manufacturers (which is how I know about the process and the sizing) and they were so stunned by my use of their seals that they were quite happy to give me a box of them, which I still have. They were the old style (seal pressure-forced onto the bottle, rather than screw-threaded) but the tone was perfect all the same.

As an aside, the crown seals I found in America, while all with plastic inserts, came in (at least) two varieties. Most inserts were unable to be extracted intact, resulting in a dead tone useless for a lagerphone, but some inserts came out intact if you were careful; these were great,

An (expensive) alternative is to collect the curved steel disc that protects the traditional champagne cork from being cut by the wire twist that keeps the cork in the (high pressure) bottle. A collection of such discs would give a simialr tone to the crown seals but you'd be making a very different instrument, called a champerphone.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Aug 06 - 08:45 AM

From childhood on I have heard sounds being called "tinny", and always assumed it referred to the sound quality of the "telephones" we used to make from two tin cans and a taut length of string.


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: JennieG
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 07:19 AM

According to "A dictionary of Australian colloquialisms" by G.A. Wilkes (I obtained my copy from a school library cull) 'tin-arsed', 'tin-back', 'tin-bum', 'tinny' means lucky, or a lucky person, one who is impervious to kicks in the backside. First recorded usage was in 1899 by W.T. Goodge: "And a tin-back is a party who's remarkable for luck".

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 08:52 AM

G'day JennieG,

My reading (up in the 4th posting: Date: 28 Aug 06 - 08:57 AM )of that 1899 usage would be that it was A. G. Stephens' explanatory note on the term, as used in Goodge's poem, as published in the Bulletin.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Rumncoke
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 06:26 PM

Somewhere - somewhere - I heard

'He's got a tin arse, he must shit silver'

refering to some one who always had money but no obvious source for it.

I think it was in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England - early 70's -

Anne


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 01:23 AM

G'day Rumncoke,

It would be no surprise to find that any Australianism derived from an old ( ... dialect ... local ...) expression in some part of Britain. All ex-colonial societies hang onto some expressions and words that have long ago died out - back at "home".

(However, I suspect we did a good trade in our local expressions while putting in a bit of military service in an around your part of the world ... back in the First and Second Great Stoushes!)

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 06:24 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 06:29 PM

Must do something about that tabbing!

To refer to Bob's post, in parts of France there are quite a few patches of Australian wattles that arose from seeds planted by Australian troops and nurses in the First Such Stoush. Many of the locals apparently regard them as native (rather than naturalised aliens) to the area.

Cheers, Rowan.


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Allen in OZ
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM

Given that the term " jammy" is used in Liverpool UK and that the word " tinnie" is used in OZ, could there be a relationship, viz

"Jam Tin" ?   Just a thought

AD in OZ


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 09:29 PM

G'day Allen,

"Jam Tin" ?   Just a thought

Maybe ... but the earliest citations seem to point to the sense of money (not as sweet as jam ... but it does a better job of paying the bills!).

Use of the term "tin" for money goes back a long way further than the use of tin(nned canister)s for preserved foods. See, for instance, the persistence of that term in both the British sailors' song Across the Western Ocean and its Australian adaptation as a droving song: Across the Western Ocean.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Allen in OZ
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 10:27 PM

Good on you Bob

Across the Western Ocean
Across the Western Plains
Across the Western Suburbs

If ir predates tinned food (which I think came into being in the early 1800s) then my theory is shot to pieces

Best wishes

AD 1943


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 11:38 PM

G'day again Allen,

Tinned meat was originally a Napoleonic initiative ("... an army marches on its stomach ... ? and all that). I think the first practical use of their bouef bouilli was in the 1820s. I would need to be at my home computer to track down an item I wrote on this - but I think the first meat canning in Australia was (~) 1849.

BTW: They didn't invent the can-opener for at least another decade ... they opened the tin(ned cannister)s with a hammer and a cold chisel for the first ten years, or so!

It's fairly well accepted (in some quarters...) that our "billy can" was started life as a bouilli can ... and I doubt that the term "tin can" became popular until well in the latter half of the 19th century. (I'll check the word histories in Morris's Dictionary of Austral English [mid 1890s ... ?] when I get home.)

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 11:46 PM

And Franklin used 'tin' cans of meat on his Northwest Passage (and, thus, last) trip, which (from faulty memory) was in the 1840s and led to a great song ("Lord Franklin") and the suspicion that lead poisoning (from the soldering to seal the tins) contributed to irrational and fatal behaviour by some of his party.

In their case, tin did not equate to either luck or money.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Allen in OZ
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 11:49 PM

Bob

Many years ago I saw a tinnie or tin of meat held in the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Harris St Sydney . It had not been opened and was from the Crimean War. I think that since then it has been opened to check the fat contents of the meat among other things .

It does not help us much with the origins of "tinnie"...but it is all good fun and it keeps us off the streets where we only be frightening the horses

AD 1943


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 12:29 AM

G'day Rowan,

I remember a documentary about an expedition to revisit the graves of Northwest Passage expedition members. Hair samples taken from a sailor showed frighteningly high lead levels.

They also quoted from a journal of the attempt to get back to civilisation overland ... mentioning that they dumped all sorts of useful supplies - but decided to carry off a small organ (?) from their ship! This was, possibly, good evidence of the cumulative effects of the lead contamination in their supplies.

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Rowan
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 01:08 AM

G'day Bob,
I saw probably the same documentary and remember the same inference about the lead in the hair and the utterly stupid behaviour. My archaeological interests had already exposed me to the excavation reports but the documentary put it into a better perspective. Pity they didn't use the song. There was also some indication that Franklin's expedition was an extremely early user of meteorological balloons and that a similar one of these was later used by someone to try and con Lady Franklin that there were survivors from her husband's expedition. The fact that the tag had "Long." & "Lat." given in that idiosyncratic order (rather than the naval "Lat. & Long.") put the kybosh on the attempted con.

Cheers, Rowan.


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Helen
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 02:03 AM

Hi all,

I'm finding this discussion very interesting, especially the detours into related area like the first use of tinned foods.

JennieG, that is the sort of logic I was trying to figure out, i.e. that there could be some rational reason why the term refers to a tin-arse or tin-bum.

"....a lucky person, one who is impervious to kicks in the backside"

Or Rumncoke's saying "He's got a tin arse, he must shit silver"

but I guess I should remember that Aussie sayings can just gratuitously introduce parts of the anatomy or bodily functions into just about any concept, e.g. the exclamation "shit a brick", so maybe my quest for logic is essentially futile. The use of the term "tin" for "money" brings a sense of logic to it, too, and I have to admit, I had never thought of that connection.

So please, while ever this discussion captures your interest, I am happy to see how the thread plays out.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: Uke
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 02:41 AM

Interesting thread! This has me breaking out my Dictionary of New Zealand English, ed. by Harry Orsman.

Across in NZ the earliest printing he located of 'tinny' meaning 'lucky' was 1918 in an NZEF army newspaper: "Remarks are heard on the 'tinny' luck of the [poker-]players, while the 'stiffs' bemoan their luck."

So maybe NZ soldiers picked it up from Aussies during WW1 (?). Then again, 'The Bulletin' was always widely read in New Zealand in those days. They also printed verse by many poets from here.

According to Orsman, 'tin-arse' and 'tin-bum' came later to New Zealand, the earliest printing of either he found was 1984, but of course it may go further back in terms of popular usage.

As far as the derivation goes, he agrees with the whole tin=money theory. He also mentions that some folks have considered the word was a corruption of "[des]tiny", but discounts this immediately, so I don't really know the details on that.


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 12:53 AM

as far as jammy is concerned - that is and English expression - "more jam than Hartleys" hence a jammy person has more than others


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Subject: RE: Origins Oz word: tinny = lucky
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:33 AM

The Tin Woodman doubtless lived in Oz, and he was reasonably lucky.


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