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Re: Dunnee, dunny

Posted by ESC on September 14, 2003

In Reply to: Dunny posted by Lotg on September 14, 2003

: Back on the 13th of September (well only yesterday actually), Irene Robinson asked about the origin of the term 'the bog'.

: That reminds me to ask where, why, how and when the term 'dunny' came in to being, this being a reasonably commonly used term in the bush (Australian) for toilet. Probably less so these days, but certainly in my younger days.

DUNNEE, DUNNY - "n. Australian. a toilet, especially an 'outhouse' or outside lavatory. The word was reintroduced to some British speakers via the Australianisms in the cartoon strip 'The Adventures of Barry McKenzie' in 'Private Eye' magazine in the late 1960s. In fact this term has existed for approximately 200 years in British English as 'dunnakin' (spelt in various ways, including 'dunnigan' in Ireland) and had become obsolete. The ultimate origin of these words is obscure but seems to be related to archaic dialect words for excrement such as 'danna,' or its colour (dun)." From "The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang" by Tony Thorne (Pantheon Books, New York, 1990).

On White Oak Mountain, W.Va., someone on the way to the outhouse said, "I'm going to see Miss Murphy."