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babe from the Bush & Dowager of style

English translation: a cross-dressing Australian

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20:34 Dec 18, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: babe from the Bush & Dowager of style
Michael Parkinson introducing Dame Edna Everage:

My next guest is a megastar of showbusiness. But that is only half the story. She is a confidante of monarchs and captains of industry, and intimate of politicians and decision-makers. She is the babe from the Bush who became the international Dowager of style.
lim0nka
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:59
English translation:a cross-dressing Australian
Explanation:
Danme Edna is a drag queen in the UK.

Originally Australian, this is the reference to 'bush', tthat is the Australian outback.

As for 'dowager', she has a middle-aged, matronly look, exactly like one would expect a middle-aged exuberant aristocrat to look like.

DAME EDNA EVERAGE - HOUSEWIFE & MEGASTAR

She is one of Australia's best known performers. A comedienne and entertainer, she has had regular TV shows and has performed on stage in Australia and England. Dame Edna has interviewed such famous people as Charlton Heston, Barry Manilow, Jane Fonda, Sean Connery and many, many more.

In the 1970s the then Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, awarded her the title of 'Dame'; a high British honour. Her motto is 'I'm sorry, but I care'. She is a flambouyant dresser, wearing elaborate evening gowns and outlandish glasses. Her trademark is a bunch of those famous flowers, Gladioli which she tosses in to the audience.

The funny thing about Dame Edna is that she is really a man, the lesser known comedian and performer, Barry Humphries.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-18 21:01:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Forgot to mention that she is called \'dame\' which is an honorific title, typical of aristocrats, hence the reference to \'dowager\'.

Note the reference to flamoyant in teh text above, this is a reference to her fairly over-done, outrageous style of dress.


The man behind the Dame
By Ken Gewertz
Gazette Staff

Dame Edna Everage, the mauve-haired, gladiola-flinging megastar currently holding court at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, has become a celebrity of such magnitude that many assume her to be a sort of eternal presence, like the constellations.

Those who attended an event at Kirkland House last Friday, March 9, had an opportunity to learn otherwise. Barry Humphries, an Australian actor and entertainer, explained to an audience of several hundred how he happened to create the character of Dame Edna and how she has evolved through the years. Humphries appeared as part of the Office for the Arts Learning From Performers Program.

(A caveat: Dame Edna does not recognize Humphries as her creator, characterizing him in interviews as nothing more than her incompetent and annoying manager whom she\'s stuck with as the result of a long-term contract.)

According to Humphries, however, Dame Edna was born in 1955 when Humphries, then a dilettantish student at the University of Melbourne and an aspiring actor, was asked to write a skit for a Christmas show. Melbourne was gearing up for the 1956 Summer Olympics and was short on accommodations for visiting athletes.


read more in Google:
http://www.google.ie/search?q=cache:KkZOMSo2VSsJ:www.news.ha...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-18 21:03:30 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.dame-edna.com/biography.htm

See website for a great picture:-)
Selected response from:

xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 22:59
Grading comment
Thank you. :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +9a cross-dressing AustralianxxxLia Fail
4 +6gorgeous creature from the outback / grand dame of style
jerrie
3 +1Babe from the Bush, Dowager of Style -> self-styled names; the bush = an area of land where...
chica nueva
4 -3Aristocratic icon from the hinterlandnyamuk


  

Answers


22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +9
a cross-dressing Australian


Explanation:
Danme Edna is a drag queen in the UK.

Originally Australian, this is the reference to 'bush', tthat is the Australian outback.

As for 'dowager', she has a middle-aged, matronly look, exactly like one would expect a middle-aged exuberant aristocrat to look like.

DAME EDNA EVERAGE - HOUSEWIFE & MEGASTAR

She is one of Australia's best known performers. A comedienne and entertainer, she has had regular TV shows and has performed on stage in Australia and England. Dame Edna has interviewed such famous people as Charlton Heston, Barry Manilow, Jane Fonda, Sean Connery and many, many more.

In the 1970s the then Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, awarded her the title of 'Dame'; a high British honour. Her motto is 'I'm sorry, but I care'. She is a flambouyant dresser, wearing elaborate evening gowns and outlandish glasses. Her trademark is a bunch of those famous flowers, Gladioli which she tosses in to the audience.

The funny thing about Dame Edna is that she is really a man, the lesser known comedian and performer, Barry Humphries.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-18 21:01:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Forgot to mention that she is called \'dame\' which is an honorific title, typical of aristocrats, hence the reference to \'dowager\'.

Note the reference to flamoyant in teh text above, this is a reference to her fairly over-done, outrageous style of dress.


The man behind the Dame
By Ken Gewertz
Gazette Staff

Dame Edna Everage, the mauve-haired, gladiola-flinging megastar currently holding court at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, has become a celebrity of such magnitude that many assume her to be a sort of eternal presence, like the constellations.

Those who attended an event at Kirkland House last Friday, March 9, had an opportunity to learn otherwise. Barry Humphries, an Australian actor and entertainer, explained to an audience of several hundred how he happened to create the character of Dame Edna and how she has evolved through the years. Humphries appeared as part of the Office for the Arts Learning From Performers Program.

(A caveat: Dame Edna does not recognize Humphries as her creator, characterizing him in interviews as nothing more than her incompetent and annoying manager whom she\'s stuck with as the result of a long-term contract.)

According to Humphries, however, Dame Edna was born in 1955 when Humphries, then a dilettantish student at the University of Melbourne and an aspiring actor, was asked to write a skit for a Christmas show. Melbourne was gearing up for the 1956 Summer Olympics and was short on accommodations for visiting athletes.


read more in Google:
http://www.google.ie/search?q=cache:KkZOMSo2VSsJ:www.news.ha...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-12-18 21:03:30 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.dame-edna.com/biography.htm

See website for a great picture:-)

xxxLia Fail
Spain
Local time: 22:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 86
Grading comment
Thank you. :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  nyamuk
1 hr

agree  Stefanie Sendelbach: sounds good!
1 hr

agree  Charlie Bavington: sums it up nicely. Barry Humphries also has a charcter called Les Patterson, the "Australian Cultural Attaché" - something of a slob, quite frankly! Just for extra info, it adds nothing to the answer!
2 hrs

agree  Chris Rowson
7 hrs

neutral  chica nueva: don't think she is a drag queen. As far as I know, it is just a stage persona. A female impersonator would be more accurate, perhaps.
9 hrs

agree  Amy Williams
13 hrs

agree  Gordon Darroch
14 hrs

agree  Natasa Mazar
14 hrs

agree  John Bowden
15 hrs

agree  Refugio: and in no way aristocratic
15 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -3
babe from the bush & dowager of style
Aristocratic icon from the hinterland


Explanation:
Being from the bush means to be from the hinterland. In the US they would say to be 'from the sticks'

In this case the bush is the far reaches of the commonwealth.

Additionaly there may be a play on words here as Edna is/was actually a bushy(hairy) man in a womans attire and persona.

nyamuk
United States
Local time: 14:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 58

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Charlie Bavington: sorry, you are mistaken. The "bush" is specifically the Australian outback, not the far reaches of the commonwealth in general.
43 mins
  -> Is Dame Edna specifically from the Outback? Are bush journalist all from the Outback? Are Australian Aboriginals related to African Bushmen? Are bush fires only in the outback? Is your certainty based on a consultation with a dictionary?

neutral  chica nueva: the bush means the forest in Australia and NZ, I would say.
8 hrs
  -> bush can refer to any remote settler community of the former british empire, sadly cognitive dissonance has allowed not a few people to ignore both the history and utility of the word.

neutral  Gordon Darroch: IMO the main reason for using the term "bush" is alliteration - Dame Edna's not a real character, she can be from wherever in Australia the writer wants her to be from. So put the claws away, it's Christmas after all:)
13 hrs

disagree  John Bowden: Backing up Charlies' comment - yes, nyamuk, Dame Edna *is* specifically from the Outback/(Australian) Bush - in this context it's got nothing to do with "bush fires", "African Bushmen" etc.
13 hrs

disagree  i8a4re: Aristocratic? No.
14 hrs
  -> Nor is she stylish, a babe, a dame, nor a she.

neutral  Amy Williams: Totally with Gordon - no claws :)."cognitive dissonance has allowed not a few people to ignore both the history and utility of the word."..??-it's just an introduction on Parkinson, for goodness sake.'Bush' is used merely to denote 'Australia'.
2 days 13 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
gorgeous creature from the outback / grand dame of style


Explanation:
dowager = elderly woman of imposing appearance from the upper classes (of British society)

SYLLABICATION: dow·a·ger
PRONUNCIATION: dou-jr
NOUN: 1. A widow who holds a title or property derived from her deceased husband. 2. An elderly woman of high social station.
ETYMOLOGY: Obsolete French douagière, from douage, dower, from douer, to endow, from Latin dtre, from ds, dt-, dowry. See d- in Appendix I.

This gorgeous creature emerged from the Australian outback to become the high priestess of style, the epitome of style, the most stylish, elderly, aristocratic lady in the universe!

This is all very tongue-in-cheek, because Dame Edna is neither gorgeous or stylish! (Man in drag and pretty in your face vulgar!)


jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlie Bavington: well put, possum !!!
34 mins

neutral  chica nueva: Edna is both gorgeous and stylish, in her own way. Apart from that, agree with this answer.
8 hrs
  -> She thinks she is gorgeous and stylish.....and interviwers play to this...I think that's part of the joke!

agree  Amy Williams
11 hrs

agree  John Bowden
13 hrs

agree  Refugio: Exactly, part of the joke
14 hrs

agree  i8a4re
14 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Pippin Michelli: Emphasize the "widow" aspect - it jokingly implies that her original claim on the title is now lost like the aristocratic husband of the dowager (who might only be a commoner, herself); also remember that "Everage" in an Australian accent is "average".
17 hrs
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2 days 30 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
babe from the bush & dowager of style
Babe from the Bush, Dowager of Style -> self-styled names; the bush = an area of land where...


Explanation:
I think these are self-styled titles Dame Edna has given herself.

[She is a dowager, perhaps in the style of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. These are larger than life, rather intimidating individuals,with an established role in English cultural life, I would say. Barry Humphries is playing with this role.]

I don't watch Edna myself, but she is/was a mainstream cultural figure (stage persona) in NZ and Australia, family entertainment on mainstream TV. She has been around for many years, and everyone here would know her name and appearance. Big mauve hairstyle, bejewelled glasses, gowns. She is a cultural icon. She has a down-trodden assistant for her shows, her bridesmaid, Madge.

Babe from the Bush identifies her as specifically Australian. Dowager reflects her British roots, I guess.

'bush' - this has a particular meaning in NZ and Australia (in NZ it tends to mean the native forest (eg beech),but in Australia 'the bush' is more open, I think (eg eucalypts)):

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
the bush (area of land) (especially in Australia and Africa) = an area of land covered with bushes and trees which has never been farmed and where there are very few people

Collins Concise English Dictionary:
bush = (1,2,) 3 a shrubby woodland or uncleared country.(4)
[See also: bushman = 1 a person who lives in the Australian bush (2,3)
bushranger = (1,) 2 in Australia, an outlaw who makes the bush his hide-out]

Hope this helps with the specifically Australian cultural background. [NZ has a Barry Humphries equivalent, the Topp Twins, twin sisters who have developed both female and male stage personas - again, mainstream family entertainment, comic skits on the NZ way of life.]

Those Northern Hemisphere people were so rude about Edna...


    Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
    Collins Concise English Dictionary
chica nueva
Local time: 10:59
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 83

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Amy Williams: "Babe from the Bush identifies her as specifically Australian" - yes.
15 hrs
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