The lurgy – I got it

I have the dreaded lurgy*……….                                                                                     You know I’m really sick when I’m heading into the 3rd evening of no wine!  (not to mention I’ve just had my second day off work –  it’s usually broken bones that keep me away from the office).

*Lurgy is thought to have originated on an episode of The Goon Show  “Lurgi Strikes Britain”  of  9th November 1954.   For Goon Show fans the episode script is here:

There’s also been a suggestion that it’s a contraction/corruption of allergy but lurgy rhymes with Fergie so I prefer to go with it being an invention of the Goons.

Although it is commonly heard in Australia,  when I mentioned on Wednesday to a number of people in the office that I thought I was coming down with a lurgy I got very vague looks.


37 responses

    • Thanks Lauri – it is probably the same thing the manservant came down with over a week ago – he’s still sniffling and coughing so it’s one of those things that hangs on once it gets a grip on you.
      I grew up listening to The Goons on the radio (re-runs by the time I was born) – it’s interesting to see how words make it into common usage.

  1. definitely not American slang. Though, the more I read it the more I think I’ve heard it before. But I might be thinking of “Lurch”, the character from the Addams Family.

    btw: No idea what The Goons are either.

    • You are way too young to know who the Goons were. It was a British Radio comedy in the early 50’s; which was then replayed for many years on Australian radio. We didn’t have a TV until I was 13 so I got to hear a *lot* of radio plus my father had records of their shows.

      Americans say “cooties” which we don’t use in Australia – though I think cooties is more something children/teenagers say rather than adults?

  2. Hope you very quickly recover from the dreaded lurgy Emjay.

    Listening to Goon Show episodes might help…..they are replayed here every Friday morning at 9 am…….compulsory listening for me to start the day.

    • Amazing that they are still replaying the Goons after so many years! Whenever I drive north of Sydney I give a little nod to Spike as I pass by Woy Woy – his parents and younger brother lived there – they have an annual festival called the “Spike Fest” which celebrates Spike’s life even though he referred to Woy Woy as the “largest above ground cemetery in the world”. You can’t drive past Woy Woy without laughing at that.

  3. I always feel a little lost when I look around to realize I’ve just lost my coworkers or friends to an “Australianism”. At least at my workplace they’ve now got a list of words on the back of the closet door that they can use to interpret what the heck I just said! I shall have to add “lurgy” to it. 😀

    • After 10 years here I’m surprised to find I can still stump my friends/co-workers with a phrase or word that just pops out. One guy is about to have a trip to Australia and he asked for a list of words that he should *not* use while he was there as he didn’t want to offend anyone. I told him that Aussies are much more laid back when it comes to the PC stuff – but, I did mention that “root” was a word he should be careful with 🙂

  4. Lurgy makes it sound kind of cool – like something a character on Sherlock Holmes would get!

    Feel better, dear. Lots of tea, maybe hibiscus, just pretend it’s wine!

    • LOL Kim. I knew it was bad when I had no craving at all for Chocolate – that rarely happens because I’m a big believer that chocolate is good for absolutely everything from celebrating to healing.

    • LOL – I wonder if a “tired bum” can be claimed under Workers Comp? I am a Receptionist so others from the office had to sit in my chair this week – a couple of ladies sent me emails saying that my chair was the most uncomfortable chair they’d ever sat in! I suppose when I go back on Monday that means all my “settings” have been changed and I’ll spend half the day trying to get it back to what I find comfy.

      • I hate when people adjust my chair. Since I’m only in the office one day a week lately and working out of another office during my project stuff, everyone gravitates to my desk to use my computer for some reason. Sheesh.

  5. Hello..’Third night without wine’..threw me for a moment..I thought that the cause rather than the symptom..oh well, this it pshchological..physical..or just, as with most, a combination of both in the machine we call body?..sounds interesting..I shall investigate this interesting thing and possibly be back with you on this..Peace Tony

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