be born on the goldfields

neliha76

Senior Member
france
Hello everybody,

Does someone know what it means "to be born on the goldfields" ? (it is an Australian Aboriginal who says that )

Has it a symbolic meaning ?
 
  • Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    neliha76 said:
    Hello everybody,

    Does someone know what it means "to be born on the goldfields" ? (it is an Australian Aboriginal who says that )

    Has it a symbolic meaning ?
    Guess only: "to be born rich"? As in AE "to be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth". Anyone from Oz out there?
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    The goldfields = a district in which gold is mined.
    Such as Ballarat, Bendigo, Kalgoorlie or Palmer River (plus many more)

    It means that he was born in an area where there are gold mines.

    There is no symbolic meaning.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    imithe
    It might not be a person which is being referred to, but a way of life, or a practice, which was "born on the goldfields". Miners' habits and customs can be a bit rough-'n-ready ± uncouth. ;)
    If it were a person I'd have said "born in the goldfields".
     

    neliha76

    Senior Member
    france
    No, it wasn't a spelling mistake. It is clearly written "I was born on the goldfields".
    It is in a dialogue and it is an Aboriginal who is talking.
     

    rsweet

    Senior Member
    English, North America
    From what I see online, I gather that the goldfields in Australia were similar to the goldrush towns in California. I'd say it refers to the kind of life in such a settlement--tents and rapidly constructed buildings, little social structure or long-standing community ties, an influx of a lot of people from different social classes with an excess of misfits and drifters.
     

    rsweet

    Senior Member
    English, North America
    I'm sure there are hundreds of novels that have to do with the goldrush, but titles aren't leaping into my brain at the moment.

    There is a recent HBO miniseries called Deadwood, which deals with the goldrush days in Deadwood, North Dakota (http://www.hbo.com/deadwood/). The series was more than a bit controversial because it attempted to show the unvarnished truth about life in towns such as these (You can just about smell the place!). I have to admit that it took me some time to get into the story: First, because just about everyone is scum. Second, because the profanity is truly shocking:eek: , and I'm not really prudish about that sort of thing. After an episode or two, I became engrossed, however. Some of the characters really start to grow on you in surprising ways. My husband and I even started making jokes about the language after awhile, counting how many times in an hour someone said, "c*cks*cker"! The interviews with the screenwriter provided some very interesting (and valid) explanations for the language. The main argument was that profanity was the muleskinners' normal vernacular for getting oxen and, well, mules to pull heavy wagons. Also, these types of towns were so potentially dangerous, it was safer to keep your guard up and the precision of your words down.

    The other novel that comes to mind is more highbrow, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. It's not specifically about a goldrush town, but it gives a very moving portrait of life in America (near where I live) at the time of the goldrush.
     
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