Sunday, December 13, 2009


Another gem from Adrian. "No fancy dinner out for me tonight; I don't have a brass razoo." Translated into Texan: "Ahm durn broke!"

Etymology is very mysterious. I will quote at length from Wikipedia:

"There is no actual thing called a brass razoo, though some speculate that the term arises from Egyptian or Indian currency. One source describes it as 'an Indian coin, famous for being the most worthless coin ever issued.' ... 'Brass razoo' is believed to have origins with the phrase 'not a sou', a phrase meaning 'no money' or 'lack of wealth'. ... Eric Partridge, in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, suggests that 'razoo' is based on the Māori word, 'rahu'. In his 1997 book, Dictionary of New Zealand English, Harry Orsman makes a similar conjecture ... Another possible origin for the phrase would be during World War I, when the phrase was said to be used by Australian soldiers serving in France, and considered a joking reference used between Australian infantry and American troops. It was based on the Yankee 'raspberry' also called a 'razoo', a blurt or mouth-sound made to sound like a fart."

1 comment:

  1. Rubbish: From Wikipedia talk:-

    I AM 'THE SOMEONE' referred to above: after truly extensive numismatic and lexicological/etymological research, - which proved no such actual coin had existed -I I had the truly 'original one and only Brass razoo' designed by Melbourne artist John Farrell, (profile H Lawson one side, sketch map of Oz on the other, appropriate wording, date) acid etched on 'zinc heavy brass', brass plated then gold plated, attached 18ct gold chain, presented to my Father Kevin Joseph Pickett, as a truly unique gift.( he and family were fond of the saying... Every year at tax time,, he'd be looking thru the records, saying 'Fair bloody Dinkum, A man works hard all his life, makes money raises family.. And what? I haven't got a bloody Brass Razoo to show for it, not a Razoo to my name!'.) I presented it in wrapped jewellers box, saying, there's only one of these in existence.. And you've got it.. BUT, I'm afraid there is ONE. Thing you are fond of saying that you'll NEVER. Be able to say again". He was a gruff old Bushie at heart. Didn't show much emotion. But on his occasion he looked at it in wonder, teared up a bit.. And said "well I'll be buggered.. Err Blowed, I mean.. How about that? My own Brass Razoo! - one& Only, original..."" He was truly touched. Very proprietary. Wore it everywhere - and to my surprise got asked about it by everyone he met.. He'd proudly tell the story.. And EVERY. Single person he encountered wanted to buy one! So, as a 23 year old 'super programmer' (mainframes) with no marketing/real entrepreneurial experience (but other Inventions in progress, I ended up in the 'Brass Razoo Mint" business. I met up with. An Aussie Pom, Peter Russell whilst doing the copyright/trademark rounds.. He was working on the same idea (common saying in parts of Britain, too, you see). I had half the trademark, he had half the 'Kangaroo' design as a w.i.p.; we decided we'd make better partners than legal foes and joined up, agreeing to split the OWNERSHIP OF. The pooled IP 51/49% in my favour, largely because I'd got there first and we needed to avoid 'ties' in decision making.- no tiebreaker setup... But as 50/50 partners otherwise. We made the coin pictured in the entry..