The feedback has flooded in after a confused Michael Pascoe asked
Crikey readers for assistance clarifying just exactly what Eddie meant
when he said “What are we going to do about Jessica? When should we
bone her?” Interestingly, it was our male readers who

seemed to be most interested in “boning”, responding to the call in large numbers.

Ralph Carstairs writes:

Michael Pascoe was right
the first time. According to modern-day youth, boning means f-cking.
None of the more than several mates of my boys has ever known it to
mean anything else and laughed at the suggestion that it meant to sack
someone. Why don’t they just own up to being a mob of footy hoons.

Jenny Morris writes: I’m glad someone has seen fit to
explore the etymology of the verb “to bone.” This aspect of the
Llewellyn affidavit predictably received much nudge nudge coverage in
the print media, so obviously it’s a question on everyone’s minds. Like
Michael Pascoe, my first take on Eddie’s desire to “bone” Jessica was
the metaphorical. While I believe the word ‘boner’ maybe used as a
euphemistic noun, these are not words I use, and they are not used in
polite conversation…Then I wondered, was it a reference to some
indigenous charm or spell casting – didn’t Collingwood once experience
a pointing of the bone? A bit indirect for Eddie the Axe, though. My
brief sojourn on a goodle search (with filter) revealed only one use of
the term “bone” other than for part of the skeleton. And that was in a
US student’s blog about losing her virginity. So, perhaps Eddie could
be asked to enlighten us?

Andy Macbeth writes: Have a look at the attached link. Your colleague is absolutely right re

Gil Carter writes:
Surely Eddie’s lyrical turn of phrase is just an anglicised version of “pointing
the bone”, as practised by the Aborigines?

Richard Hurford writes:
I was perplexed by the quoted
reference to “bone Jessica” and thought on first reading that it
referred to something else. Maybe it is a contraction for “point the
bone”? You know, the old, Aboriginal, death curse thing.

Jim Spithill writes: I can offer the following
insight. About 15 years ago I was involved in coaching in a school rowing
program. The final training session on the evening before the Head of the River
on the Barwon
River saw one of the crews
crank out a remarkable 250m sprint, the best they had ever done and they knew
it. When I later asked one of the 16-year-old male crew members what he thought
of the piece he described it as “boney”. Enough

Andrew Ray writes: As a reader from south of the Murray (and with an
interest in words!) I also have not heard “boning” used in the sense of sacking.
Michael’s suggestion about derivation from an abattoir seems to have some merit.
In relation to rhyming slang, isn’t the rhyming version for phone (in the sense
of a noun, not a verb) a “dog and bone”? I have some vague recollection that the fact that a
dog’s male appendage incorporates a bone may have given some standing to other
possible meanings. Why don’t you ask Eddie Everywhere for his

Tony Andrews writes: Perhaps Eddie’s circle of friends mean “to kill off” as in “to point the bone”?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey