Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Dec 14 20:20:53 UTC 2001

On Fri, Dec 14, 2001 at 03:12:18PM -0500, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
> >> What is a "mong"?
> >
> >Presumably this would be Australian slang _mong_ 'a desicable person',
> >ultimately from _mongrel_, and not to be confused with British slang
> >_mong_ 'an idiot; fool', from _Mongol_.
> I suspect it might instead be Australian slang _mong_ "stupid/annoying
> person"/"dork" from _mongo_ from _mongoloid_ [i.e., "mongoloid idiot" I
> guess], as shown in Macquarie's --

Hmm. This seems to be newer Australian slang; it's not in the
Australian National Dictionary for example. Since the speaker
in question was, what, 83?, it still seems likely that the
_mongrel_ variant is the likely candidate.

(The earliest OED has for _mong_ 'idiot' (< _mongoloid_) is 1980,
and is labelled British; while there's clearly current Aus use
if Macquarie is to be trusted, it still seems like a rather elderly man
wouldn't have been using this sense.)

Jesse Sheidlower

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