My son is doing a spelling list. He’s trying out the word “good”. I can’t help but think `G-O-GG-O’.
Before I know it, I’ve uttered the phrase, giggling to myself at my wit. But rather than laugh at the joke, my son just stares blankly.
“That’s not how you spell it mum,” he says.
Then I realise – he doesn’t get it. He’s never seen the Gogomobil ad. I’m officially old. I’ve turned into my parents making jokes that my children don’t understand.
Those classic Aussie sayings that Generation X have come to rely on in everyday conversation, just don’t cut it with Generation Z.
Here are the sayings that were once cool but your children won’t understand.
Don’t say this to children when they have done something awesome. Rippa Rita! actually dates back to 1982, making it more than 30 years old. It also makes you look ancient. Rita was the Eta margarine eater at the end of the commercials one child would say “Rippa Rita!”
THIS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO THE POOL ROOM
From the 1997 Aussie film The Castle, this saying is used when an item is so special it will be put on display in the pool room. Yes, once Australian houses were so big that they actually had a rumpus room with space for a pool table. Generally these rooms were lined with shelves for sporting trophies and memorabilia. Say it to your children and they will ask where is the pool room?
HOW’S THE SERENITY?
Have you said this to your children while on a family holiday? They don’t get it. They won’t get it. Also from The Castle, How’s the serenity? is uttered by Darryl Kerrigan (played by Michael Caton), as he sits and looks at the view from their holiday house at Bonnie Doon.
A CUPPLA DAYS, BEWDIFUL, DOESN’T MADDA
These lines are often used by middle-aged Aussies to say everything will be all right. They come from the 80’s TV show The Comedy Company. The classic lines were uttered by Con the Fruiterer, played by Mark Mitchell. Mitchell created the character after being served by two Greek Australian stall holders at Melbourne’s Glenferrie Markets in 1988. When anything is wrong with the fruit Con tells the customers it will be fine in a “cuppla days”. For example, a wilted lettuce – “Put it in the water, cuppla days”.
In 1989 then prime minister Bob Hawke appeared on the show and was asked by Con when he would fix up the country. Hawke replied “a cuppla days”.
GOGGOMOBIL – G-O-GG-O
Kids doing spelling lists can be forgiven for thinking their parents are crazy when they start using this saying. It comes from an early 1990’s Yellow Pages ad in which Scottish actor Tommy Dysart is trying to fix his small yellow car – a goggomobil. When he calls around to get the car fixed, he constantly has to spell the name of the car.
NOT HAPPY JAN
Yes, most people think this is something everyone knows. But it was actually from another Yellow Pages advertisement from the year 2000. So anyone born after 1996 probably doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about. The line was delivered by comedian Deborah Kennedy after she discovers one of her staff has forgotten to book an ad in the Yellow pages. It was co-opted by anyone opposed to John Howard in the 2004 federal election under an unsuccessful Not Happy John campaign.
YOU’RE TERRIBLE MURIEL
From the classic Aussie film Muriel’s Wedding the phrase “You’re terrible Muriel” is one every Generation X and Y knows. But once again, the kids will just say they are not called Muriel.
TELL `EM THE PRICE SON
Frustrated with your child over their stalling tactics? You may be tempted to utter the phrase “Tell `em the price son!” The saying comes from The Little Do’er carpet company ad where the son waffles on about the benefits of the carpets while the father urges him to just give the price.
What may be even more telling is the number of common Gen X and Gen Y sayings that are actually from free-to-air TV advertising. The next generation are far less likely to have any of this influence as they get their viewing pleasure from YouTube and Netflix.