wouldn't shout if a shark bit him

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English[edit]

Patrons drinking at the bar of the Quilpie Hotel in Quilpie, Queensland, Australia, circa 1921

Etymology[edit]

A play on shout, which can mean either “to scream” or “to buy drinks”.

Verb[edit]

wouldn't shout if a shark bit him

  1. (Australia, idiomatic) To be frugal or miserly.
    • 1988, James Oram, G'day America: The Paul Hogan Story, Topsfield, Mass.: Salem House Publishers, ISBN 978-0-88162-360-4, page 25:
      'Yeah, he's as silly as a two-bob watch. And mean. He wouldn't shout [buy a drink] if a shark bit him.' 'Too right, he's got snakes in his pockets. Anyhow, how's the punting?' 'No luck, mate. []'
    • 2007, Andrea Mayes, Shearwater, Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin Books Australia, ISBN 978-0-670-07098-5:
      'Must be Martin's shout,' says one of them. The others roar with laughter. It's always Martin's shout but he's never there when you need him. 'Martin wouldn't shout if a shark bit him,' Harry explains to the tourist, filling up his glass.
    • 2010, John Pullinger, The Last Jeep to Baclaran, Fremantle, W.A.: Vivid Publishing, ISBN 978-1-921787-04-1:
      Weasel was noted for the outlandish stories of his sexual and other exploits in Australia and the Philippines. No one believed him and he was generally considered a pain in the arse. To make matters worse he was known to have a "death adder" in his pocket. "Wouldn't shout if a shark bit him", was the general opinion.
    • 2014 August 14, J. D. Frodsham, Fool's Mate, Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, ISBN 978-1-4969-8708-2, page 66:
      He was a fat, balding, bad-tempered man, with a deserved reputation for stinginess. "Bastard wouldn't shout if a shark bit him," Dusty used to say, punning on "shout."