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Good on ya

Posted by Smokey Stover on February 23, 2006

In Reply to: Good on ya posted by pamela on February 23, 2006

: : : : What does "good on you" mean? As in "good on you, Joe, that was an excellent play".

: : : It means you're being complimented ... by an Australian.

: : What Bob is too shy to mention is that "good for you" is the more usual expression, outside of Oz, and means "you did well." Or it could mean "you did good." That's ungrammatical--or not, depending on what you did. SS

: I was so sure that the spelling was "good onya", but my sister swears its "good on ya". We decided to settle via google fight and "good onya" scored 125,000 and "good on ya!" scored 45,500,000. Still not convinced, I argued that most of the "good on yas" lived overseas and did a google search limited to Australian sites. Score: 861 "good onya" v. 31,200 "good on ya". I stand corrected. Either way, it is definitely not "good on you". Even Australians who don't have broad, rural or working class accents would lapse to the strine "Good on ya!" when using this phrase, rather than "Good on you!" which would sound plain wrong. Very often used sarcastically: "Good on ya, Minister!" could just as easily be followed by "Yeah, we really need fewer public hospitals" as by something complimentary. Pamela

I understand perfectly. You Ozzies pronounce "Good on you" as a dactyl, with a corresponding reduction of "you" to an unaccented syllable, or schwa. I think the most common sarcastic equivalent north of the equator is probably "Great!" or "Right!"--as in "Right! What we need is more tax cuts for the wealthy." I wish the sarcasm of that phrase were more obvious to those in charge. SS