What is a SPEAKAROO?

Is it a speaking kangaroo? Is it Australian for 'speak about'? Is it the Aboriginal word for 'kangaroo'? What is it?

First of all, an affix is an addition to the base form or stem of a word in order to modify its meaning or create a new word.

Secondly, the affix -aroo (also -eroo, -aroonie, and -eroonie) is an informal and often humorous intensifier of nouns or verbs.

So, a speakaroo is a fanciful formation which means a chat.

The word ending -aroo is most common in Australia, New Zealand and America. Examples include jackaroo or jackeroo (from the proper noun Jack), meaning a young man working on a sheep or cattle station in Australia in order to gain experience (the female equivalent being jillaroo); a flopperoo, meaning a complete flop or failure, especially related to theatre, cinema or TV audiences or critics; and a smackeroo (US), meaning a hard smack, a kiss or a sum of money. 

Possibly influenced by the older buckaroo (US), meaning a cowboy, the acceptance of the affix -aroo in Australia and New Zealand may have been helped by the use of kangaroo (from the Guugu Yimithirr word gangurru, referring to grey kangaroos) and wallaroo (from the Dharug word walaru). 

The extended forms -aroonie and -eroonie (adding the diminutive suffix -ie, see also -y) have been current in the US since the 1960s, and seem to come from Middle English (Scots).

And finally, SPEAKAROO was a multinational and multilingual dinner conversation group held twice a month at a local Indian restaurant. Since SARS CoVid-19, the group has moved online, with dinners held from the comfort of home. JOIN US for the next online COOKALONG SPEAKAROO during which we will all learn to cook the same Indian dish. Join the private SPEAKAROO Facebook group for events information.