[Oz-teachers] honky nuts

Jenny Masters j.masters at qut.edu.au
Fri Feb 17 13:00:00 EST 2006


I don't often feel nostalgic for WA but this one took me right back...I 
knew exactly what it meant.

I found it amusing that Eudora gave this term three "red chillies"  - 
indicating that it was very rude. Obviously considered very offensive in 
other contexts.

Jenny :o)

At 08:11 PM 16/02/2006, you wrote:
>Hi,
> >From the ABC's Word Map http://www.abc.net.au/wordmap/default.htm :
>
>
>honky nut
>
>noun a large gum nut.
>
>Contributor's comments: Gum nut from the Marri tree found in SW WA. Good for
>throwing!
>
>Contributor's comments: I have always been fascinated with the origin of
>some slang. I believe I may be the origin of this term though I would be
>happy to be disproved. I grew up in WA and had never heard the term Honky
>nut (gumnut) in all my active years as a schoolboy. In 1965 I went to live
>in the USA and in the late sixties black slang included the word Honkie as a
>derogatory term for white people. When I returned to Australia in 1969 my
>nephews who were six and eight years old at the time were throwing gumnuts
>at each other and I called out and said stop throwing those honkie nuts.
>They then asked me about the term and while I made it up I told them that's
>what they were called. Years later my own primary school children began to
>use the term and I assumed it began with my original comments. Am I wrong? I
>would like to hear from any one who may know more.
>
>Editor's comments: The easiest way to find out whether or not you were the
>originator of the term "honky nut" is to find out if anyone remembers the
>word before 1969! Does anyone?
>
>Contributor's comments: Specifically the gumnuts of the marri tree -
>originally "Eucalyptus callophylla" but now not classified as a Eucalypt.
>
>Contributor's comments: I distinctly remember my mother using this term when
>I was just a (small) child -- and I was born in 1950. Definitely in use in
>WA before 1969. (Mum was born and grew up in Narrogin, so it may be a
>country term).
>
>Editor's comments: Ah, so it is. The origin from the US slang term "honky"
>cannot hold water.
>
>Contributor's comments: My Mother in law grew up in Jarradale in the late
>20's. They used large gum nuts and curved sticks to play hockey. She always
>refers to them as 'Hockey Nuts'.
>
>Contributor's comments: Born in WA in 1954, lived here all my life. Remember
>"honky [honkey?] nut" from childhood in a south west town, so well before
>1969. Still call them honky nuts.
>
>Contributor's comments: I grew up in Perth (Darling Ranges) in the seventies
>and we all used honky nuts for throwing at each other as children. They came
>from eucalypt trees and were abundant on the ground. None of my friends on
>the east coast has any idea what I am talking about when I use the term
>honky nut!
>
>Cheers,
>Trish
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: oz-teachers-bounces at cobia.ed.qut.edu.au
>[mailto:oz-teachers-bounces at cobia.ed.qut.edu.au] On Behalf Of Don
>Schmidhauser
>Sent: Thursday, 16 February 2006 7:51 PM
>To: 'Royce Moncur'; 'Professional community for teachers'
>Subject: [Oz-teachers] honky nuts
>
>
>Dunno either but WA knows about them.
>
>They can order numbers and understand the relevance of the order: for
>example, they know that if they have 9 shells and 7 honky nuts, they do not
>have to line up the items to say whether they have more shells or nuts.
>
>http://www.curriculum.wa.edu.au/pages/framework/framework08b6.htm
>
>
>
>Regards
>
>Don
>
>
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>
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