Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Going the tonk

Last night we sprawled limply under the ceiling fan in the living room and watched Marto and Roy going the tonk at the Gabba*. I have no idea of the etymology of that phrase -- going the tonk -- but I have decided that it is my favourite phrase of the summer.

The Voice of Reason thinks that "tonk" is the sound of leather against willow, while I contend that it is a close approximation of the sound of a ball hitting the corrugated-iron roof of the Members' Stand at the SCG. The Dude just likes to say "tonk" over and over again, because it sounds so onomatopoeic.

Anyway, it got me thinking about going the tonk myself. Here's a short list of things I'd like to go the tonk on this summer:

Peter Costello
My next-door neighbour's radio at 2am
John Howard and his son, Richard "I met Senator John McCain"
The Unlocking the Mystery of Life DVD
Cockroaches (that reminds me, I have to book the pest guy)

* Translation for non-Aussies: "We watched Damian Martyn and Andrew Symonds, two of Australia's top cricketers, hitting a cricket ball into the stands for six runs at the Woolloongabba sports venue in Brisbane."

1 comment:

neil said...

I'm in London and came across the expression "going the tonk" in a rather different context:

'What's the number one FURGLE FANTASY of the red-blooded rooters of Orstralia? Going the tonk with TWO gorgeous sheilas...' Australian tabloid weekly, The Picture

quoted in Jill Julius Matthews, 'Sex in Public: Australian Sexual Cultures, Allen & Unwin, 1997, 4

I suppose it all depends on the context!

Neil Crawford