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Charles Moore
Charles Moore

Dinkum _VERIFIED_



1888, "hard work," Australian slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from Lincolnshire dialect. Adjectival meaning "honest, genuine" is attested from 1916. Phrase fair dinkum "fair play" is attested by 1894.




dinkum



According to Melvyn Bragg's The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language, "dinkum" comes from the English Midlands and meant work. "Fair dinkum" referred to a fair day's work and subsequently fair play.


Dinkum is an English dialect word brought to Australia by white settlers. It originally meant work. In Robbery Under Arms Rolf Boldrewood writes, It took us an hours hard dinkum to get near the peak. From this came fair dinkum originally meaning a fair days work for a fair days pay. And then the meaning broadened to the one we know today.


Folklore of the goldfields has it that, when Chinese goldseekers came to Lambing Flat, now Young, NSW, in 1860, they fossicked over ground already worked by European goldminers. On finding gold dust, the Chines were heard to call out: "dinkum". This was interpreted to mean: gold. On finding payable amounts of gold, they were heard to call out: "fair dinkum". This was interpreted as: "genuine gold", "real gold" or "true gold". With time, "fair dinkum" came to be used as an expression of "honest" and/or "true".


One suggestion of a number I have seen regarding "fair dinkum" is that it is a corruption of the Latin Vere Dictum - "truly said". This legal expression may have been heard by convicts and subsequently become, mispronounced, part of Australian slang.


In the days of the gold rush the Chinese miners referred to gold in their colloquial Chinese as Din Cum (phonetically Dinkum to western ears). In broken English, gold that is good quality or high grade is genuine or fair gold. Hence genuine gold is Fair Dinkum. Over time anything that was genuine became fair dinkum.


According to Melvyn Bragg's The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language, \\\"dinkum\\\" comes from the English Midlands and meant work. \\\"Fair dinkum\\\" referred to a fair day's work and subsequently fair play.


The word \\\"dinkum\\\" was reputedly coined on the Australian goldfields. It comes from one of the Chinese dialects widely spoken at the diggings: \\\"din\\\" and \\\"kum\\\" loosely translating as \\\"true gold\\\".


Folklore of the goldfields has it that, when Chinese goldseekers came to Lambing Flat, now Young, NSW, in 1860, they fossicked over ground already worked by European goldminers. On finding gold dust, the Chines were heard to call out: \\\"dinkum\\\". This was interpreted to mean: gold. On finding payable amounts of gold, they were heard to call out: \\\"fair dinkum\\\". This was interpreted as: \\\"genuine gold\\\", \\\"real gold\\\" or \\\"true gold\\\". With time, \\\"fair dinkum\\\" came to be used as an expression of \\\"honest\\\" and/or \\\"true\\\".


One suggestion of a number I have seen regarding \\\"fair dinkum\\\" is that it is a corruption of the Latin Vere Dictum - \\\"truly said\\\". This legal expression may have been heard by convicts and subsequently become, mispronounced, part of Australian slang. 041b061a72


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