What happened to Woop Woop?

Woop Woop (or maybe it’s Whoop Whoop) is a fictional place in Australia. It’s a place that’s in the middle of nowhere – probably beyond Bourke but close to the Black Stump.

If you’re under 30 you probably won’t know what I’m talking about. But these places, along with much of the slang we used to use in our language, are disappearing fast.

A couple of weeks ago, at the start of a university lecture, I placed a picture of a rocket on the screen and told the students most of them deserved one. There were lots of blank expressions. Almost no one knew what I meant (except the mature-age student). I proceeded to tell them it meant they all deserved a pasting because they hadn’t been doing their work.

But the fact they didn’t know what it meant is a reflection of the way we are losing our connection with more than just (what was) our traditional grammar and language. These things are symptomatic of a greater loss – a sense of irreverence, adventure, larrikinism and general disdain for over-regulation. It’s reflected in the over-governed, nanny-state society we have become.

I will write more on this as I start my search for finding Woop Woop.

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1 Comment

Filed under australia, character, Culture, Language, slang, society

One response to “What happened to Woop Woop?

  1. My sons find it great feast to reminisce on my favourite ‘irate’ sayings. Most I learnt of my father. Having been mistaken for a non-Australian at time for speaking far too well, it was usually in an angry moment that I fall into the vernacular. My sons’ favourite seems to be “if ……, I’ll kick you into next week”. Mind you I never did, which probably has something to do with the regales of laughter that followed. Some say such low behaviour comes of being brought up in woop woop.

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