There is something delightful about the Australian vernacular. `He's flat out like a lizard drinking' and `He's a few bricks short of a load' are distinctly Australian. Sadly, phrases such as those and words such as`bonzer' and `cobber' and, dare one say it, `sheila' have all but disappeared from everyday speech. One of the joys of a visit to outback Australia is to hear some of those all too readily forgotten Australianisms. Why have those words and phrases gone? Is it because they are unfashionable? Is it that, as a nation, we have become more sophisticated? Or is it because of our growing reliance on America for food, films, fashion, culture and sports? 

Hon. LH Davis, South Australian Legislative Council, 19 July 1995

Thanks cobber

Spirit of Tasmania staff member taking a tray of drinks, 2002

He's out playing with his cobbers

Old woman refering to a small child, Perth, 1999

Thanks cobber

An aboriginal after being given a dollar, Perth, 1999

Cobber - Old Australian for mate, heavily used in the period of the first world war. Seldom heard in modern times, but understood by all. The one place in Australia where cobber seems to be alive and used in a fair dinkum way is Tasmania and in older and some aboriginal communities.

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