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A number of words in my diary stem from different languages; here's an overview of their meanings and backgrounds.


Malay word for “goods, baggage”. My latest dictionary doesn't list it, preferring barangan instead. Also used to mean drugs (specifically, ganja or marijuana). In my diary, it always means baggage.


A Malay dish, modeled after the Indian biriyani. The reference on 3 May 1967 was to the real biriani, but I didn't know that detail at the time.


Toilet. This slang word is over 200 years old.

CDC case

A case I had with all my cameras in it. Stolen from the boot of my car in Milano on 25 September 1976.


A city in Hessen. In early 1967, I had more or less decided to go to the Justus-Liebig-Universität in Gießen. I never did, though in the early 90s I lived just down the road from there.

golden tripod

A large Dewar (“thermos”) flask with a wide opening, used for solid foods. We bought it in Singapore in April 1967. It was made in China, and claimed to be a “Golden Tripod”. It was, in fact, a very useful implement, but I've never seen one since.


Abbreviation for Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Almost all Malaysian place names are habitually abbreviated in this manner.


“Liquide hydraulique synthétique 2”, a synthetic hydraulic fluid used by Citroën for the hydraulic systems of the D series until 1967. After that, they changed to a mineral based oil (LHM, “Liquide hydraulique minérale”), which is still in use today. The ride of the car changed significantly at the same time, becoming much firmer and less “floating”. The two fluids are completely incompatible; put either in the wrong system and you can end up destroying all the seals in the system. LHS2 is a reddish colour, and the hydraulic elements of the systems which use it are black. Both LHM and the corresponding hydraulic elements are bright green. See Wikipedia for more details.


Malay word for “food” or “to eat”.

makan angin

Malay phrase, literally “eating air”: a walk.


Malay word for “oil or“petrol”.


Also spelt naan. Flat bread of a kind eaten from Eastern Europe to India.


Malay word for unripe rice, usually transliterated into English as “paddy”. The Oxford English Dictionary claims that it means “rice in the straw”, but this is inaccurate. Cut rice is referred to as beras.


Malay for “clever”, often used to describe people who have (finally) learnt something.

Pom, Pommie

Australian nickname for the English.


In Australia, also used to mean (cheap) hotel. Until very recently, all pubs (public houses, i.e. bars in the USA) were required to have rooms.


A combination of “squirt” and “shit”: excessive diarrhoea.

sly drool

Slide rule. From the book “Let Stalk Strine”, by Afferbeck Lauder.


An Australian. From the book “Let Stalk Strine”, by Afferbeck Lauder.


Malay word of Chinese (possibly Cantonese) origin, meaning roughly “boss”. In our family we frequently used it to mean people who ran restaurants, etc.


Also known as a brush cutter, though I don't know why I should want to cut brushes, or to use it to do so if I did. The official name appears to be “string trimmer” (strtrim()?), which is at least as confusing.

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