Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Word for the day: 'Drongo'.

In the early 1920's there was a racehorse named Drongo who in 37 starts never had a win. He did however have a number of seconds and thirds in top class races, including the Melbourne Cup. His lineage is traced to a colt Jersey Lily brought to Australia by the actress Lillie Langtry. At one stage in her life she was mistress to Edward, Prince of Wales who later became Edward VII. Edward, it seems, was a bit of a pants man, having a possible 55 mistresses throughout his life. These included the mother of Winston Churchill and the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles.

Soon after the horse was retired racegoers, it seems, began calling any horse that failed to make the grade a drongo. And so it came to mean anyone who was slow, dim-witted, or hopeless cases.

In the 1940s the word was applied to RAAF recruits.

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