Almanac (Celebration of) Words: How good is stuff?



How good is stuff?


I don’t mean the debris that fills every nook and cranny of my house. That bursts from the cupboards and toy boxes and spreads itself across my desk—no I hate that stuff. I mean the word. Stuff. An Aussie word through-and-through. I hear it a hundred times a day in the classroom. Often I’m the one yelling it at excited backs as they run for recess, “Pack up your stuff before you go out…”


Stuff is there for every parent to exclaim after living through sleepless nights. Their sleep stolen by the nocturnal wanderings of children, suffering ailments of every design, before having to get up and function as humans the next day. “Geez, I’m stuffed!” Knackered, exhausted, bone-bloody weary; take your pick. The sentiment is perfectly clear and felt with resounding clarity by work colleagues and friends alike.


Stuff seems to make a regular appearance every footy season. When the Pies are already three goals down, with seven minutes to go and one of the blokes in the black and white stripes stands 30 metres out and misses in true Collingwood style, there is the groan of “Awww, now we’re stuffed.” Translation—all hope is lost. The desperation of the situation has reached an all-time high. Don’t bother watching the rest.  (A side use of this exclamation is when an opposition player has clearly taken out one of our own and an impending ‘holiday’ looks likely, “He’s totally stuffed.”)


And my favourite. The Aussie exclamation that is as G-rated as it gets, but lets the recipient appreciate your true feelings. “Go and get stuffed!” Optionally followed with ‘ya bastard’, it’s full of feeling and can be thrown with a friendly smile or a face like thunder to gain the desired effect.


Stuff might not be the chosen word of Keats and Austen, but it’s a word with feeling and meaning. Like your favourite pair of jeans, it can be dressed up or down. Suitable for any occasion, its flexibility is its power.  Remember to enjoy the good stuff in life!




Nicole Kelly’s novel Lament was released in October 2020. Visit to order your copy or you can visit to contact her. Otherwise follow me on Twitter @ruralvicwriter



The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE



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About Nicole Kelly

Is a teacher, mother, writer and all-round lover of words!


  1. I can relate to your essay on “stuffed” Nicole. I won’t say your piece is “relatable” as I think this word is stuffed. I think the best use of the word is in The Castle when Darryl Kerrigan instructs his lawyer Dennis Denuto to tell those seeking compulsory acquisition of his home to “Get stuffed.”

    As a general noun is stuff the new things?

  2. Lovely stuff. I’m stuffed. They’re stuffed. It’s stuffed (the all encompassing phrase for the mechanically challenged).
    Turkeys are stuffed at Christmas.
    Stuffing and duffing.
    I’m stuffed if I know what’s going on any more.
    Think I’ll stuff off now.

  3. Nicole Kelly says

    Oh yes, Mickey – The Castle! Classic stuffed moment.

    And Peter, can’t believe I didn’t write the ‘stuffed if I know’…heard so often around the BBQ at Christmas, as in, ‘How long do I cook this for?’ ‘Stuffed if I know!’

    Or….knocked the stuffing out of him. The versatility continues!

  4. I love it Nicole. What a great sounding and versatile word, used with great effect by everyone from Shakespeare to David Williamson. There’s a scene in The Club where Geoff Hayward (John Howard) is late to training. The seething coach (Jack Thompson) asks: ‘Where’ve you been?’
    ‘Get stuffed!’ is Hayward’s reply.
    This little exchange of dialogue was recited for year upon year at my High School. Everyone except the teachers were in on the joke.

  5. Great stuff, Nicole.

    One of my dad’s most used sayings is: “Don’t worry about it…it’s just stuff”

  6. Daryl Schramm says

    “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Had that said to me a few times.

  7. Nicole Kelly says

    Loving the stuff people are coming up with!

    I heard Michelle Payne’s winning interview for the cup the other day. I forgot she’d told them to go and get stuffed! One of the best in history!

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