eido wrote: Le Baron wrote:
Adrianslont wrote:I am familiar with medicos and I speak Australian English.
It makes sense. 'Medico' seems to follow a common Aussie slang pattern like: 'smoko', 'dero' (derro?), 'arvo' etc.
As you can see from my choices I've watched quite a lot of Prisoner
I just guessed what it meant because it's similar to the Spanish word for "doctor," médico
. American English does that a lot. It takes Spanish words and remixes them into English versions, and I figured this was another. Looks like Google is telling me this particular iteration is from Italian (coming to us in the 17th century, it seems), so close enough.
Eido, yes, to be sure, etymology is not always an exact science - it can be open to conjecture.
In the case of “medico” I think we did get it from the US. I have a feeling it predates our use of the terms “ambo” and “garbo” and “derro” for ambulance driver, garbage collector and derelict person respectively.
And my general impression is that Australians have been making diminutives with “ie” and “y” for longer and more commonly than with “o”. See “hanky” “piccie” etc.
This is just my conjecture but based on my long experience ie I’m old. I often notice my viewpoint is different to others who just don’t know what people were saying in the sixties and seventies eg “medico” “garbo” and “derro” were common but I didn’t hear “ambo” until decades later.
Speaking very generally I think people everywhere invent all sorts of folk etymology, especially with slang terms. I have heard Australians say that certain words are of Australian origin when they are clearly not. I’ve even caught our national dictionary, The Macquarie Dictionary, indulging in this.
And of course Australians aren’t the only ones to make diminutives with “o” and “ie”
Le Baron, I have never been able to make it through a single episode of Prisoner! But I have seen enough to know that it offers valuable insights into Australian English!