submitted by George Poulos on 09.05.2004
Kytherian Peter Friligos learnt his journalist's trade on the Police Beat as a rookie reporter.
"It exposed him to Sydney's underworld and the mix of hustlers and punters and desperates that were always looking for the quick buck, and he ran with the illegal casino mob, with Bill Mordey as his offsider.
They spoke their own language, these people he was exposed to.
A kind of verbal shorthand that could be difficult to understand to the untrained ear, yet with his journalist's ear Chippy listened and over time began to absorb it.
The way he spoke it
Many phrases became part of his own language. Some, not working, were thrown out. Others still were re-worked into his own language. "That'll do me" was a favourite.
If it got a laugh it stayed, if not he moved on. He often called people Nevilles, as in a Neville Nobody.
Soon Bob Fulton, his close mate and Manly coach at the time, picked up on the colourful phrases and soon he, too, was calling people Nevilles or telling them to give themselves an uppercut.
It spread and became common again among footballers. What happened next was Manly captain Paul Vautin went prime time with The Footy Show and the language, once lost, again became a part of the national lexicon.
But Chippy had his own phrases, reworked so well over time that he knew exactly the right pitch at which to toss them up. It wasn't, "Anything happen on the night out?" It was, "Any atrocities?"
Or, "What's doing in the zoo?" when he'd call a club. Or if someone was hopelessly outmatched they weren't going to just get beaten. "All what'll be left will be the left eyebrow and the tongue of his shoe."
Paul Kent, Telegraph Newspaper, Sydney, Australia.
[See People - High Achiever's section - for more details re: Life and Achievements of Peter Frilingos.]
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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