Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

April 30, 2008

What does "sooled" mean?

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Language, Media

The Queensland Opposition issued a statement today saying "Bligh sools solicitors onto Gubi Gubi people over Native Title".

I wasn't sure whether congratulate or condemn the Premier for doing this to the solicitors.

After almost a decade in Australia I thought I heard just about all Aussie slang words and phrases.

"Bludger" and "wowser" I'd heard back in the UK. "Rort" took me a while to decipher. "Chook" was fairly obvious, as was "esky" when it's pointed out. "Ekka" is a corker and it was years before I heard the explanation of its origin as a shortened "exhibition".

But "sool". It's not in my Australian pocket dictionary.

A quick web search revealed more evidence of this mysterious word in the Australian media.

Headlines from The Sydney Morning Herald proclaim "Bouncer sooled dog on me, woman tells court" (Wednesday 13 July 2005) and "Watchdog won't be sooled on ABC" (Friday 18 July 2003).

I'm still not sure what the word "sooled" means.

Digging deeper in to the web and The Northern Daily Leader uses the word in a story filed today, "Gold Buckle not finished yet " (Wednesday 30 April 2008), about a racing horse.

On Sunday, Gold Buckle won his second successive Tamworth Cup when Dubbo-based Greg Ryan, who won the 2001 Tamworth Cup on Merchant Bank, sooled the seven-year-old gelding to a length win over Ready As.

Uh? But then who outside of horse racing ever understands what these people are talking about.

Eventually a larger and much heavier version of the Macquarie Dictionary revealed the answer.

Sool is a verb meaning to attack. It can also be used in the context of encouraging or inciting someone or something to attack.

That's a new one on me.

Now, what did the Queensland Opposition say again?

PS - The spell check's having a fit over this posting... ha ha ha.

3 Comments so far ...

1. Mark

I've seen this a few times in Australian Media - I've still no idea what it means either. Looks like the articles are written by a 13 year old maybe or edited by the journalist's young child ? The Sydney Morning Herald should be ashamed! This article uses it here below. There are far more obvious and meaningful words that could be used...after all, press journalism is about getting to the point fast to the lowest common denominator reader level, not sounding like the content is from the playground ;-)


Comment on June 22, 2009 04:34 am
2. Suzanne Olsen

I used to hear this word a lot as a child, when we would be with our dogs and we would encourage them to chase something like a rabbit or a rat, or sometimes a person that was annoying us.

Comment on November 15, 2009 02:05 pm
3. James K

And here it is again, about halfway down in the par starting "Its actions have invited": http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/crusading-scourge-of-pokies-has-labor-pulling-every-lever-it-can-find-20110417-1djka.html

Comment on April 18, 2011 08:50 am
(will not be published) (required)

Just so you know…

All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.