‘Nothing wrong’ with the latest batch of entries to the Crikey Spiv-tionary

The latest additions to our compendium of shonky language include a couple of absolute classics.

Lionel Murphy (Image: WikiMedia)It’s beginning to seem as though we could do this every day for a year and never exhaust the litany of shonky and euphemistic language of the spiv. Behold volume four of the Crikey Spiv-tionary:

“My little mate”: The exact phrase doesn’t quite cross Daryl Maguire’s lips during his tapped phones calls with Gladys Berejiklian, but mates are never far from a dodge conversation. Example (made infamous by Lionel Murphy): “And now what about my little mate?”

EASOH: One for scrutiny-averse institutions. According to a reader, EASOH stands for “every assistance short of help”, an acronym at one time used in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet “by senior staff on correspondence indicating how to draft a reply to someone leading to giving them no help”. It could be found, the reader goes on to say, on “ministerial correspondence … in the Fraser years when I was a lowly public servant”. Example: “The usual EASOH reply please.”

Mute-a-genic: A reader proposes a new term for “the inability to recall ICAC-able matters, but only when under oath”. Example: “Daryl has a photographic memory but he seems to be mute-a-genic today.”

“I’ve done nothing wrong”: The phrase to wheel out if you want to claim exoneration after an inconclusive investigation into your conduct, however shoddy that investigation. A reader translates it thus: “I have been neither charged nor convicted for any dodginess I have knowingly been involved in”. Example: “I’ve always maintained I’ve done nothing wrong.”

About the Author

Charlie Lewis

Reporter @theshufflediary

Charlie writes about industrial relations, politics and culture. Prior to Crikey he worked across government and unions and was a researcher on RN’s Daily Planet. He hosted The Alternative History on Triple R, and is an occasional host on Breakfasters.

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