Digging deep on Aussie nongs and drongos

Kate Burridge writes on the exuberance of expressions people gave us for stupidity. Favourites ranged from mild drongo (the clear winner in our survey with 886 mentions) to the more potent dickhead (third in the list, but a long way behind drongo with 120 mentions). Quite high on this list was also nong (and its relative ning-nong). Nong has been a favourite in this country for some time – since at least the turn of the 20th century, in fact, Australians have been referring to each other as colossal nongs. Nong has always been an effective insult to question someone’s intelligence or competence, but like other insults, it continues to be an important signal of mateship – and true affection. There is more to read at https://lens.monash.edu/2022/11/09/1385251.

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