Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Australian Word: Stoush

Found in this news story:
Former jockey Allan Robinson says he'll do everything he can to ensure John Singleton "won't go down" in the fallout of the stoush between the millionaire racehorse owner and trainer Gai Waterhouse.
 (This is a bis story in Australia right now. I'm not much interested in it—so there you go.)

This site from ABC News Radio (root) says stoush - pronounced "stowsh" - goes back to the late 19th century:
There was a time when “stoush” (meaning “fight”) was a very common piece of Aussie slang.
But does anyone still say "stoush"?
Stoush was both a noun and a verb: to stoush someone was to bash them or fight them, while a fight was called a stoush. It probably had its highest currency in the late 19th early 20th centuries. In typical Aussie fashion the Great War of 1914-18 was called “the big stoush”. The earliest citation is from a report in the Bulletin in 1893. The source of the word remains a mystery, but the English Dialect Dictionary records a somewhat similar word “stashie” meaning “uproar” or “quarrel”. So stoush may have started life as an English dialect word that immigrated, changed, and then lived on here while it died out back in the British Isles. 
Similar: blue - fight or argue ("She was having a blue with her husband.")

Extra: The Scottish word "stooshie," carrying a similar definition, might come from the Aussie "stoush."


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