Am I overstating the devastating, insulting sarcasm in the front page headline in today’s Sydney Daily Telegraph? I don’t think so:
Our message to the hypocritical, sanctimonious, whinging Poms
who can’t accept that they were beaten fair and square:
WE’RE 2 UP, BABY
Jamie and I find ourselves sitting in front of our television transfixed at 5:00 a.m. every morning these days as we watch the Aussie cricket team playing against the English. This year the five game series is being played in England. The two bitter rivals have been playing each other for The Ashes trophy for 150 years or so. Unfortunately, the sport has become particularly painful for the British recently because the Aussie team is the best in the world.
Let me explain what happened in the last game using comparable baseball terminology so that the headline and the game make sense for American readers:
At a key moment late in the game, just when it looked like England was mounting a heroic comeback and might win its first game in the series, an English batter absentmindedly wandered off base and got picked off. The umpire correctly called him out. Nevertheless, the English team and 50,000 fans were outraged and accused the Aussies of cheating.
Hence, this hilarious headline and subhead in today’s Sydney Daily Telegraph.
But let’s explain a bit of Aussie slang in that headline:
“Whinging” is an Aussie word that means “complaining” or “whining.”
“Pom” is a derogatory term Aussies use to refer to an Englishman. The etymology of the word is in a bit of dispute. One theory says it’s a reference to the sun turning an Englishman’s skin pomegranate red. Another theory says it came from the French (“pomme” means apple) and is a reference to an English accent sounding like the speaker is eating an apple.
Either way, “whinging bloody Pom” are three words that are almost always heard together in Australia. And the English didn’t do much to disprove the validity of that insult in yesterday’s game.
By the way, our friend Tim Blair is the editor of the Daily Telegraph. I don’t know if this headline and subhead are his work, but it certainly sounds as if it could be.