Gary, it’s Noice
How do I explain this to an American? I need some help.
Regular readers of this fine publication know that I have a beautiful girl (about to turn 21) studying and playing hockey in the college system in the USA. She’s been there for 2 years and has teamed up with a fine young American man. We approve. Nice. Or should I say, Noice.
Unable to get away from her Aussie roots, and we hope she never does, she’s got her housemates listening to Aussie 80s music, she’s made a pav, and they love Tim Tams. A little while ago she uttered the expression “Noice, Garry” in response to something good that happened. Curiosity about the phrase got the better of the boyfriend, and he asked her to explain. She didn’t know where to begin with words that would make sense to an Aussie, let alone an American, so she has asked me to prepare something for him next time we are on the phone or Facetime.
Ok, here goes … let me know what you think of this a logical explanation. Once upon a time there was an awesome Aussie Rules football player named Garry Lyon. He played 226 games over 13 seasons at centre half-forward for the Melbourne Demons, captaining them for six. He was named in Melbourne’s ‘Team of the Century’. Now, we change sports to the gentleman’s game. Our greatest ever wicket-taking off spinner, Nathan Lyon has taken 343 wickets, and will overtake the great DK Lillee this summer to become our third best-ever wicket taker, only behind Ooh-Ah, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Nathan is often called the ‘GOAT’, an acronym for Greatest Of All Time in regards to his off-spinning prowess. However, calling someone the GOAT on the field is going a bit too far, so our old wicket-keeper Matty Wade, started calling him ‘Garry’, in humorous reference to the Aussie Rules guy from the 80s and 90s. Even though they aren’t related and hadn’t met each other, Nathan’s nickname of ‘Garry’ stuck firm. Firm.
Now, whilst not our greatest ‘keeper, Matt Wade was one of our best non-stop talkers (and sledgers), often just talking to fill air with white noise in an attempt to mentally disintegrate the opposition. Almost after every ball that Nathan bowled in test matches against South Africa in 2016, and even if the delivery wasn’t very good, Matt Wade would utter the words “Noice Gaaaarryyyyyy” in encouragement and affirmation of his talented teammate. Whilst in normal conversation the word ‘nice’ would be the same in Australia, England and the US, when emphasis and hyperbole is required from the Land Down Under, we have a tendency to exaggerate a word or two. Hence ‘Nice’ becomes ‘Noice’, paying homage to the bogan that lies dormant in just about all of us. So much so, that on the third ball of Nathan’s first over in a test match against Pakistan in early 2017, the entire crowd had a secret plan to scream out ‘Noice Garry’ in homage to the man, but he spoilt it by taking a wicket … and everyone joyously cheered instead. Go figure – the Aussie way.
Just like the saying ‘Doing A Bradbury’, (I’ll leave Annabelle to try to explain THAT to the yanks), the coined phrase “Noice Garry” is now part of our language. There are Facebook pages dedicated to these two words, Memes praising both the man and the phrase. T-shirts, hats and costumes. Especially over the summer months, Australians are more likely to say Noice Garry than they are to just say Nice. Apart from his legendary status as a cricketer, this two-word idiom has seen the GOAT elevated to cult hero status in Oz.
There you go America, clear as mud. I hope we win The Ashes and everything’s Noice.