Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Dec 14 21:45:55 UTC 2001

> > >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.)

But ....

(1) Is "mong" = "mongrel" commonly used figuratively? [I don't know the
answer.] I've seen it used for a dog, IIRC. The on-line Macquarie shows
"mong" = "mongrel dog" and it's not clear to me whether this is routinely
used as an insult like "mongrel" itself apparently is. If "mong" (=
"mongrel dog") is used as a casual insult, it will typically be
indistinguishable from the other "mong", I think ... probably even to the

(2) In the context of the article --

<<The Supreme Court heard she frequently derided her quiet and introverted
husband by calling him "a mong">>

-- I think "mong = "dork"/"idiot" fits better than "mong[rel]" = "dog"
[fig.] or "mong[rel]" = "person of mixed ancestry" (another theoretical

(3) The woman who made the 'mistake' of using this word was only 82!

(4) Older persons often get arthritis etc. and don't go out as much as
previously ... so they watch the "mong box" a lot, and pick up all sorts of
bad language.

-- Doug Wilson

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