ducks, boars and goats

Australia’s early settlers were mostly a bunch of criminals transported here against their will. When they had served their time many chose to stay on but some set sail for cities such as San Francisco

Not before or since had the Americans seen a criminal element so vicious or all powerful as the Sydney Ducks, the blood stained streets of Prohibition era Chicago tame by comparison to the terror these Australians unleashed on San Francisco.

read about Sydney’s Duck Fashion show here

Two of the more infamous pubs were ‘The Boar’s Head‘ and ‘Goat & Compass‘, the first run by former NSW convict George Haggerty who attracted crowds by getting one of his prostitutes to have sex with a boar on stage. The second, owned by another Sydney ex-con, paid down and out Aussie prospector ‘Dirty’ Tom McAlear to eat and drink excrement to entertain crowds. McAlear made a living eating anything people gave him for 10c, when he was arrested in 1852 for bizarre public behavior he told police he had been continually drunk for seven years and hadn’t bathed in that period of time either.

image found here

According to the reverend Cogham Brewer, writing around 1900, much of a nation’s history, and more of its manners and feelings, may be gleaned from its public-house signs. Here are a few of the more interesting ones….

Bosom’s Inn. A public-house sign in St. Lawrence Lane, London; a corruption of Blossom’s Inn, as it was later called, in allusion to the hawthorn blossoms surrounding the effigy of St Lawrence on the sign.

The Cat and Fiddle. A corruption of Caton Fidele i.e. Caton, the faithful governor of Calais. In Farringdon (Devon) is the sign of La Chatte Fidele in commemoration of a faithful cat, Without scanning the phrase so nicely, it may simply indicate that the game of cat (trap-ball) and a fiddle for dancing were provided for customers.

The Cock and Bottle. By some said to be a corruption of the ‘Cork and Bottle’, meaning that wine was sold there in bottles.

The Cow and Skittles. The cow is the real sign, and alludes to the dairy of the hostess, or some noted dairy in the neighbourhood. Skittles was added to indicate that there was a skittle ground on the premises.

“Soft Serve” by Dan Lydersen

The Hole-in-the-Wall. So called because it was approached by a passage or ‘hole’ in the wall of the house standing in front of the tavern.

The Queer Door. A corruption of Coeur Dore (Golden Heart).

The Ship and Shovel. Referring to Sir Cloudesley Shovel, a favourite admiral in Queen Anne’s reign.

Have my English readers got any they want to add?

Published in: on January 5, 2010 at 7:39 am  Comments (40)  
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40 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Those have to be the most swollen areolas that I’ve ever seen in my life. I love the name ‘The Cock and Bottle.’

    I’d also love to get my hands on that Reefer Beer Madness poster.

    • So Scott…. I guess you’ve never done a google search for “puffy nipples” before?

      Get back to me after you’ve done one 😉

      • Ha!

        Thanks NM, you’ve given me something to Google at work today!

        Holy areolas indeed…

      • Wow, you’re right. I’ve led a sheltered life haven’t I?

  2. ‘Spread Eagle’ is quite an interesting name for a pub. Leaves a lot to imagination. There’s one in UK by that legend, I suppose.

    • I’ve been to a pub called that, on Blackheath in London …..

      • It’s quite common up north. It’s a reference to the Viking’s favoured method of execution (also called “the blood eagle”

  3. I think those breasts are very pretty.

  4. The Sydney Ducks don’t seem vastly different from the legion of Australian backpackers who wend their ways across the globe, today.

    I can feel a post coming on about that…

    • You haven’t posted since November 20 😦

      I do hope you’re not teasing me now….

  5. The low angle shot of Areola Annie, at first glance, made me think of the US NASA space program. I don’t know why, it’s not like she’s wearing a helmet.

    Manfred DeMoon

  6. A man eating shit is actually an attraction!!! I would think any business might be run off by all the vomiting going on.

  7. The Frog and Nightgown. I forget which city…

  8. I’m glad that other people commented on the areolas! The post had nothing to do with those but I couldn’t take my eye off of them. I kept scrolling back to the top. I’ve never seen anything like them. I should get out more often.

  9. I should think that most women know all too well what it’s like to have sex with a Bore.

    Although Areola Annie’s pose is elegant, in order to prepare her puffies for a proper examination, I must administer a little numbing…

  10. I’m assuming that Tom McAlear didn’t have a girlfriend ……. not much of a leap …….

  11. Allow me to try and lower the tone with two pubs near my home town:

    The Hop Pole
    The Fighting Cocks

    I thankyou!

    • Tone successfully lowered by one notch.

  12. One of our football teams here in Oregon are called the “Ducks”. Yeah…ferocious…

  13. “……he had been continually drunk for seven years and hadn’t bathed in that period of time either…..”

    Hmmm….he sounds like me…

    • No he doesn’t 🙂

  14. I was perturbed to read that the boar fucker and the shite eater both had Celtic names. The closest I’ve ever come (pardon the pun) is sleeping with one or two dogs, and eating the turds wrapped only with a big golden M.

  15. Some locals (and I’ll let you make up your own explanations!)

    – The Legs Of Man
    – The Frog And Garter
    – Peveril Of The Peak

  16. I’d like to see one called The Cow and Moon. To go with The Cat and Fiddle. Oh, phew, I think I am again released from my personal black hole!

    • Black hole begone!

  17. Cow and Skittles. Now because of the candy commercials I’m picturing a cow that gives Skittles when milked. 🙂

  18. And thus, a much better history lesson has been learn today, by those who thought that school wasn’t quite the be all to end all.


  19. Let’s all head down to The Cock and Pullet, shall we?

  20. nurse myra you have such weird and interesting posts but honestly you have some excellent commenters over here. i wish i had such a great sense of humor to come up with some of these comments. alas i don’t but i can pretend i’m one of you can’t i?

    • It’s ok Lynn, you’re one of us.

  21. Sherbet and sodomy? Like at the same time? Better put some plastic down.

  22. Now this is a tour I didn’t get when I was in Oz.

  23. Bosom’s Inn. A public-house sign in St. Lawrence Lane

    that picture is awful close to being a pubic house sign.

  24. those are some ugly boobs

    • Really? I think they’re lovely. We need some more opinions….

  25. There are some places like that in Provincetown MA

  26. Yeah good old SF has always had a wild side. I knew it got out of hand but not that crazy. The things people do the entertain crowds.

  27. san francisco is famous for its wild history.
    i vaguely remember reading about a burlesque club incident that happened in san francisco, where some guy (a bouncer?) died while “making love” on a piano. i recall it was after a show, when they raised the piano to the ceiling to clear the stage. he was crushed between the piano and the ceiling. some famous performer was also involved, but i don’t remember that she was badly injured. it was about 20 years ago and it was in the newspaper.

    • sounds like a Gimcrack story doesn’t it?

  28. Another opinion on those boobs?

    Extraordinarily beautiful.

    Gives me very naughty thoughts.

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