The Phrase ‘no worries’

I first came across this teeth grating phrase when I went ‘travelling’ as a youth.  I use the inverted commas because although it’s called travelling it’s really a massive pub crawl up the east coast of Australia with a stop over in Thailand undertaken by late teen kids who want to get away from mum and dad but don’t fancy entering the world of work just yet.

So you save up some money working in a gastro pub and you go travelling.  And you spend 6-12 months living almost exclusively amongst fellow brits and the odd Dutch person (who you tolerate because they always have drugs on them for some reason and are the only other nationality that gets british humour) in backpacker hotels that sell Marmite and Boddingtons to make you feel at home whilst you reverse charge call your Dad every week to see if he can wire you more money to do white water rafting.  Then you come home and proudly declare you’ve been travelling and your mind is broadened and your granny thinks you’re great.  She has visions of you as a sort of Benedict Allen figure trudging up the skeleton coast in 60 degree heat surrounded by dead bedouins.  Incidentally, apparently Benedict Allen was faced with hunger and near death in the Amazon and took out his machete and killed his loyal dog that had chosen (unwisely) to follow him on his trip and then ate him.  Now thats bloody travelling.  Not going to some pubs in Queensland and shagging a girl from Gerards Cross.

Anyway, went on this island and asked to borrow some mosquito stuff from this hippy guy.  Who says ‘no worries’ in that sort of stoned hippy speak that people who went to Public School and go to Queensland to find themselves and grow their hair long seem to adopt. To which i said ‘er, is that yes?’  he said : yes man, squirt away.

Anyway, *no worries* then spread like wildfire through the backpacker population whilst back home Neighbours had become the number one soap which meant a whole generation of students picked up the phrase and then started talking with that really annoying Australian habit of making your speech inflection go up at the end of every sentence.  And then suddenly in the early 90’s every bastard was saying No Worries. And each No Worry was like nails down a blackboard but i learnt to live with it.  Like Tony Blair.

But it seems so wildly innapropriate for a late noughties frame of mind.  I mean there are worries.  There’s loads of fucking worries.  The recession.  Our leadersbeing a bunch of lying cheating bastards (if you’ve ever had a VAT inspection you’ll know that as a member of the public you don’t get to, er, forget that you ran through £5,000 worth of moat expenses or, er, change your desingated house 3 times a year….by accident), or Prince Charles, or global warming, or the sinister death of most of the bee population, or Gordon Brown, David Cameron, The rise of the BNP, 3 million people on incapacity benefit, 8 traffic wardens for every copper (who are all indoors filling out gender complians forms), car tax, tax, tescos, school fees, gas bills, dropping your iphone down the toilet, etc etc ad finitum.

so you see the phrase should be ‘Worries’.  Hi can I borrow a your mosquito stuff : worries.

there are no longer no worries.

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