View Full Version : Fair dinkum: Aussie phrase sparks in-flight dispute

10th Aug 2007, 05:48
By Jim Tharpe
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 08/09/07

An Australian tourist upset over her airborne snack says the slang term "fair dinkum" landed her in a fair amount of hot water this week on a flight from Atlanta to Pittsburgh.

Sophie Reynolds, 41, said the problem began about halfway through her Delta Connection flight on SkyWest Airlines when she rejected a snack of crackers and asked the flight attendant for pretzels.

"She said they didn't have any, and I said, 'fair dinkum,' out of frustration," Reynolds said in a telephone interview. The term is frequently used in Australia to express everything — depending on inflection — from amazement to the belief that something is honest and true.

"Say you're telling me a story, and I think it's amazing, I'd say 'fair dinkum,' " said Reynolds, who lives in Queanbeyan, about three hours from Sydney. "If you're telling me a story, and I think you're full of it, I'd say fair dinkum, too."

Reynolds said that after the mid-air misunderstanding another flight attendant requested her passport and copied down her name and other information. Three uniformed officers greeted Reynolds when she exited the flight in Pittsburgh.

"They said, 'You swore at the hostess and there are federal rules against that,' " Reynolds said. "And I said, 'I did not swear at the hostess, I just said 'fair dinkum.' "

A SkyWest official said Thursday the airline is still investigating the incident, and noted "there are two sides to every story."

"Our initial reports indicate it was more than a misunderstanding of the language," said SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow. "We witnessed aggressive behavior throughout the flight."

Snow said the Utah-based airline, which flies under contract to Delta Air Lines, is still trying to contact Reynolds. She said no charges were filed as a result of the incident and Reynolds was allowed to go on her way after a chat with police.

"The safety and comfort our of passengers and crew is our first priority," Snow said. "When other passengers or crew members feel uncomfortable it's our standard procedure to contact law enforcement just as a precaution."

10th Aug 2007, 05:55

edited to correct length

10th Aug 2007, 06:34
Well, bugger me with a fish fork!

10th Aug 2007, 06:38
Well oil beef hooked !!!! :}

10th Aug 2007, 06:42
Well root me boot !
Fair suck of the sav !

psycho joe
10th Aug 2007, 07:32
Sorry, but we're all out of pretzels.....


10th Aug 2007, 08:14
And next time a Yank in Aus mentions "Sitting on their Fanny", straight to the dungeons!!

Islander Jock
10th Aug 2007, 08:23
Filthy animals the yanks anyway... They p1ss and cr ap in the bathroom:}

Buster Hyman
10th Aug 2007, 09:55
I once asked for a white coffee on a United flight...didn't I get the evil look...lucky I wasn't wearing my white sheet & pointy hat!:hmm:

10th Aug 2007, 10:37
crikey m0ses!!!!

10th Aug 2007, 11:02
shame the hostie in question had a face like a dropped pie!

galaxy flyer
10th Aug 2007, 11:05
As a Yank, this "incident" illustrates perfectly why we enjoy the reputation we have. WTF?? Americans have become such wusses that being uncomfortable is a hanging offence. OTOH, we got guns!!


10th Aug 2007, 12:07
Yeah but your shithouse shots :}

10th Aug 2007, 12:22

Wot he said.

The general view amongst America's fellow-travellers is that when the Seppos (ie. you lot) are about and their safetys are off,

DUCK! :eek:

Wonder what the f/a would've made of it if the pax had come out with "Fair dinkum... Sounds like I get the rough end of the pineapple again. Just don't come the raw prawn with me, love, or spin me a yarn, or I'll knock ya block off!" (or "... I'll rip ya bloody arms off" if Ms Reynolds was an Aunty Jack (http://www.auntyjack.org/flash.html) fan :ok:)


Isn't the expression, "a face like a smacked ar5e"?

Or more elegantly (and one of my grandfather's favourites), "Looks like a bulldog that's had nettles rammed up its chuff"...

10th Aug 2007, 13:06
If you are as disgusted as I am about this you can email Delta (this was a Skywest Airlines Delta Connection flight) at this link

I don't know the totality of the situation but it might help to clarify it a bit if they hear from a few Aussies about what Fair Dinkum means, and that it's not a curse word.

10th Aug 2007, 13:43
Thanks Weasil.

As an Aussie myself, I'm a bit bemused by this, but in the F/A's defence, she's an F/A - not an expert in other languages and cultures (although she should be sensitive to them); as a result, for all she knew, "fair dinkum" might actually mean "go fcuk yourself" in Austrenglish. Personally, when it comes to Australianisms I've never actually used the phrase "fair dinkum" (and I'm nearly as old as Ms Reynolds) and I've never referred to anyone as my "cobber" and I don't know anyone who has.

Having observed some of my fellow nationals abroad at times (and run, at times... ) it would not surprise me if there is any truth in the comment that there was "aggressive behavior throughout the flight" by Ms Reynolds. That said, what might to an Aussie seem perfectly normal, might seem "aggressive" to some others.

For instance: Bill Woodfull to team-mates (re D. Jardine): "Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?" :}

Buster Hyman
10th Aug 2007, 14:11
I bet she now knows how Bert Newton felt when he said "I like the boy!" to Muhammed Ali!!!:eek:

Anulus Filler
10th Aug 2007, 16:06
Don't the American's know that when we say 'GO FCUK YOURSELF' , it actually means 'NO PROBLEMS-I'LL SETTLE FOR THE CRACKERS INSTEAD!'...:E

The Voice
10th Aug 2007, 23:27

from the aussie slang dictionary located at http://www.koalanet.com.au/australian-slang.html#D

Dinkum, fair dinkum : true, real, genuine ("I'm a dinkum Aussie"; "is he fair dinkum?")

personally I have used it here and there as another way of saying "are you/is it for real?"

It isn't usually used for swearing purposes ;) but could be perhaps construed that way depending upon the circumstances.

Bug Smasher Smasher
11th Aug 2007, 03:15
Stone the flamin' crows! Stop the ride, I want to get off. Is this really where we're at these days when a complaint about in-flight "catering" gets you "meeted and greeted" by the boys in blue? Farkinell!

Mind you, this is the gosh darn U S of A so I'm not really surprised though it does show the lousy attitude of the F/A.she's an F/A - not an expert in other languages and cultures (although she should be sensitive to them)Spot on Taildragger67, me ol' china. Why would she assume the pax had sworn at her, just because there was a word used that she hadn't heard before. If you assume you make an a$$ out of you and you.

They are certainly one of a kind, our USAmerican ubervolks. :}

11th Aug 2007, 05:55
"Our initial reports indicate it was more than a misunderstanding of the language," said SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow. "We witnessed aggressive behavior throughout the flight."

Having observed some of my fellow nationals abroad at times (and run, at times... ) it would not surprise me if there is any truth in the comment that there was "aggressive behavior throughout the flight" by Ms Reynolds.

Halo - Checked and on
Story - Sorted
Media - Called
15 minutes of fame - Assured ;)

11th Aug 2007, 08:14
You have to be so careful in the USA, even with "normal" English words, never mind Australian phrases.

Whatever you do, NEVER EVER particularly around Aircraft, say you have a torch in your bag. :eek:

11th Aug 2007, 09:45
Can you imagine how upset they'd get if we told them to "go and get bored, reamed, blued and honed!!!!"

talking about "spitting the pink dummy"


11th Aug 2007, 09:50
"Our initial reports indicate it was more than a misunderstanding of the language," said SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow. "We witnessed aggressive behavior throughout the flight."

Perhaps more to the story then meets the eye.

11th Aug 2007, 11:26
I've had to refrain from saying "cop you later" (say it quickly)to all those poor folk from lesser places in the world, ie, non-Aussies.

13th Aug 2007, 08:43
I recall only two international (!) incidents. (How protected am I?).

Arrival at Heathrow in November 2005 when 5,000 of us were patiently waiting to get through the burning hoops... and where was the only loudmouthed PITA from? The other was the last time I was checking out, patiently with other guests at the 4 Seasons Sydney and where was the middle aged lady (OK I am being excessive) who just walked right up in front of everyone, by deciding she was more special than all of the rest of us from?

Neither were arrested but both deserved a thorough slapping. Both were exercising normal behaviour and both were obnoxious.

It seems that a small town in Texas has more than one idiot. The few embarrass the many but some many have more than a few.

13th Aug 2007, 08:52
Passport line at LCY last night; one choke point, but then 3 desks handling all comers. Not a huge queue, just off one Quadrapuff, but I was about 1/4 from the front and this young Oriental lady swans past (Vuitton bag in hand, of course) to the front, and pushes in.

Then, as I'm 3 from the front, a large man (not Australian but rather from a cheesy mountainous land) comes down to the front, sees my furrowed brow and makes some excuse about there not being any WCs between gate and passport control... like most of the rest of us weren't in the same predicament!


Ron & Edna Johns
13th Aug 2007, 11:14
And what ever you do, DON'T get onto a plane anywhere, bump into your old mate Jack sitting there in 6C as you pass by and say a friendly "Hi [email protected]@@" to him.

Shootable offence, that one...... (then again, it really could be kind of fun - I reckon you could sue someone's fanny/tush/a$$ if they kicked you off)

3 cops on arrival for saying an innocuous phrase? Tell me there's more to it.

Another reason why I'll never be inspired to holiday in the States again.

The emperor is not wearing any clothes, you know. Do you hear?!

tail wheel
13th Aug 2007, 11:59
Americans and Aussie: joined by a common heritage; divided by a common language!


13th Aug 2007, 23:17
Fair comment tail wheel.

Given that the the pax in question was speaking Orstraylian, it's a wonder the FA understood anything she said. :}

14th Aug 2007, 00:39
Once when asked "how's your day been?" by a shop assistant in the USofA, I replied, "Not too bad thanks."
A puzzled look came over the face of the US local...."oh I'm sorry to hear that.":rolleyes:

kiwi chick
14th Aug 2007, 00:47
I would have responded with the old classic Kiwi saying:

"Bugger me!"...:E

What do you think would have happened to me at the airport when I arrived...? :(

14th Aug 2007, 00:52
Quoting woftam: Well oil beef hooked !!!!
According to the text emblazened on my (shrunken?) 1980 vintage T-shirt, that should be 'whale' oil :)

14th Aug 2007, 01:04
I got a ticking off from my boss here in the Caribbean for describing a broken engine as buggered. Where hes from its another word for sodomy and thus deeply offensive here. Where Im from its a perfectly mild term to describe something thats f****d and has little to do with back to front nude sport. Cultural relativism I believe the pointy headed ones describe it as. Or maybe just bad manners...

14th Aug 2007, 01:17
Lucky she wasn't pissed and wearing thongs.

Old 'Un
14th Aug 2007, 01:30
Johnny K: Try "knackered" and see what response you get :}
This language 'drift' works the other way too. On the infrequent occasions that I watch TV news, I have to listen carefully to a story to determine if the reporter is talking about a "tourist" or a "terrorist". Sometimes, even from the general tenure of the story, it's hard to tell. And it begs the question: if a group on holiday is intent on causing death and destruction are they "tourist terrorists" or "terrorist tourists"? Say that 5 times, quickly.

Heaven help anyone travelling in the USA who calls someone "shag" or "sheepshagger". Immediate lynching? :rolleyes:

OK, officer, I'll go quietly...

Le Vieux

Buster Hyman
14th Aug 2007, 02:23
"Bugger me!"...:E

What do you think would have happened to me at the airport when I arrived...?
Over the PA, some funky 70's guitar music would've started....:E:ouch::suspect:

14th Aug 2007, 03:27
not siding with the yanks, but were you there? It could well have been something more & the Aussie is backing out of a situation. Where there's smoke there's usually fire.

kiwi chick
14th Aug 2007, 03:34
Over the PA, some funky 70's guitar music would've started....

LMAO Buster!! You just took me back to my wedding night... :eek:

14th Aug 2007, 03:36
time to get out me old copy of Bazzer McKenzie.............


socks and thongs
14th Aug 2007, 03:42
I agree with you goddamit, I have seen some loose aussies overseas that really make me cringe. Nothing wrong with being proud of where you're from, but there is something that takes place in the mind of some Australians when they travel that convince them they are invincible and can get away with anything they want.

Some people just need to tone it down, and I have a feeling shazza from this flight might just be one of them.

14th Aug 2007, 04:01
reminds me of the movie anger management, where the Adam Sandler asks a question of the flight attendant and ends up getting tazered and hand cuffed by security.

Buster Hyman
14th Aug 2007, 04:36
You just took me back to my wedding night... :eek:

kiwi chick
14th Aug 2007, 04:38
yeah... but the airport crowd might be a bit smaller :eek:

14th Aug 2007, 12:26
"Bugger me and wedding night" and a 'busted hyman' - jeesuz kiwi chick I'm getting a mental image that will now require counselling :eek:

kiwi chick
14th Aug 2007, 21:54
... imagine what being married to it for 10 year did to ME?! ;)

i still wake up from a dream where i am being chased by a yetti...

14th Aug 2007, 22:33
kiwichick said 'i still wake up from a dream where i am being chased by a yetti...'

i thought we were the only ones who made jokes about kiwis and sheep but i reckon "Bugger me!" is to much information:E

kiwi chick
14th Aug 2007, 22:47
Right. For all you buggers (;)) out there who continually take the piss out of us Kiwis for our taste in sexual partners... I'll have you know there are some knockouts here who really know how to give a girl a good ram.

I've posted this under a new thread too, as I think we need to be loud and proud.

Hot NZ Males (http://www.adultsheepfinder.com/)

Buster Hyman
14th Aug 2007, 23:03
who really know how to give a girl a good ram
...this is a trap isn't it?:oh:

kiwi chick
14th Aug 2007, 23:46
No? We only use them for possums cos they're too hard to hang on to :E

14th Aug 2007, 23:57
'wether' or not Baaaa..ster Hyman, if it's a trap, KC will have to watch her tongue if next time she is paxing from A to B and is told by the cabin crew that "we have run out of lamb".:E Depending on the carrier, her response 'bugger me' may eagerly be carried out :ok:

15th Aug 2007, 00:02
from kiwichick 'We only use them for possums cos they're too hard to hang on to'
yeah but a guy in wullingtun told me the prob with possums over a beer .he reckons its not catching the furry chainsaws or holding onto them but when you let them go that gives you grief.gum boots are no good because the bloody things climb.thats why hes sticking to sheep and he's got a glam called barbaraaaaaaa:E

15th Aug 2007, 00:11
Can just imagine the reaction at the top of the stairs when Dame Edna greets the crew with "HELLO POSSUMS". She would have already caused a frucus a few moments before hand when she beat up the security person with her bunch of gladdies.

socks and thongs
19th Aug 2007, 07:18
Our fine ambassador.

August 19, 2007 07:00am
Article from: http://www.news.com.au/images/sources/h14_sundaytelegraph.gif (http://www.sundaytelegraph.news.com.au/?from=ni_story)

THE AUSSIE woman arrested for saying "fair dinkum" on a flight in the US had left behind two young children to wed her internet lover.
Sophie Reynolds, 41, came to the world's attention when reported to US police by Delta Airlines for muttering "fair dinkum" and displaying aggressive behaviour when told there were no more pretzels on a flight from Atlanta to Pittsburgh.
During a television interview last Tuesday night, Ms Reynolds spoke of her bizarre run-in with the US authorities before explaining she was overseas to get married.
It was the first Reynolds's young family - Elly, seven, and Matthew, nine, and her partner of 15 years, Peter Plank - had heard about the marriage.

19th Aug 2007, 07:44
fair dinkum.....doesn't look like she needed the pretzels anyway!

19th Aug 2007, 08:45
mmmmmmmmmm...she sure looks like someone who would cut up rough if denied food . It does look like a match made in heaven though.

19th Aug 2007, 08:54
The thought of her turning the other cheek is not a pretty one...:yuk:

19th Aug 2007, 20:29
Not "noice" :yuk:

Near Miss
21st Aug 2007, 09:02
Heard a story of an Aussie crew on arrival to LAX saying to the ground engineer “G’day Digger”. The GE in question was African-American and thought the pilot said N:mad:. It took a lot of explaining to an GE, who was ready to go "postal", that it was a good word. :ooh:

21st Aug 2007, 10:19
With all due respect, irrespective of colour, Americans in general have a problem with spoken english. Whilst they expect everyone to be familiar with Americanisms they are none too familiar with other forms of the language. Another thing I have noticed over the years is that they do not listen to what is being said to them, particularly people employed in the service industry, airlines, hotels, restaurants, bars.

Past experience has taught me to be very explicit in the language I use when doing anything in the USA. Ordering a scotch and soda can be very frustrating.

Near Miss
21st Aug 2007, 10:39
Tropicalchief I wasn't in anyway saying that it was because of the GE's colour that he misheard the pilot. It was because he was American, listening over the interphone that is not exactly clear, who just happened to take additional offence to the word he thought he heard.

I have to agree though. When I am over there I have to think very carefully about what words I use to ask for something. However sometimes I try to educate certain individuals that there is more than one word for a particular item.

21st Aug 2007, 11:38
It's not easy. The first time I ever set foot in the USA in 1959, I ordered the then usual Australian culinary delight of steak and egg in a restaurant. To my great surprise, I was served a plate full of pancakes, which they called a stack of eggs.:O

21st Aug 2007, 11:43
Oh, what a good chuckle I've had.......stone the crows! (Meaning from one Urban Dictionary: it is an expression referring to an outlandish event, Australian origin). "From this spread of terms, it seems it is a variation on a basic theme, fuelled by the Australian love of playing with language".
Well, as a former old boiler for a major Aussie airline, I've heard it all. One particular American singer, who shall remain nameless, travelled with her entourage of 42.

The saxophonist told one of my hosties inflight that she was a "f*&%ing c%$k [email protected]$ker" as she had refused a piece of oversized cabin baggage at the gate. When he denied saying this and he was "just calling my mate Coxy", a beaut strine bloke sparked up behind him, stood up and said, in his best ocker accent, "naaah maaaate, ya called her a f&%$*@n' c*&k s%$kahhhh". Fair dinkum!!