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Why Wasn’t I Told?

Dorrie Evans, the scatty and interfering self-appointed concierge at 96 Lindsay Street, Paddington, was the absolute queen of malapropism on the series Number 96.

Proving extremely popular with the viewing audience, the wit and wisdom of Dorrie (played by Pat McDonald) crept into the Australian idiom during the 1970s.

Suddenly it was the “eppytome” of cool to say “ardamant” when you meant “adamant”, “irrevelant” when you meant “irrelevant” and “miraculate” for “miraculous”. And “It’s a well-known fact” began to preface sentences uttered by thousands of Number 96 viewers.

The man behind the sayings was script editor Johnny Whyte who developed around 40 emasculated words and phrases but limited their use to about three per episode.

Here is a selection of some of the choicest of the Dorrie Evans verbal gems:

  • It’s irrevelant.
  • It was bony fido, I tell you.
  • It’s an affectionate disease.
  • It’s a well-known fact, Herbert.
  • I have always found Americans very laxative in that effect.
  • I’ve got a terrible migrant headache.
  • Don’t be so fascetial.
  • Anyone would think I’m a tulip bulb by the way you keep me in the dark.
  • As consurge of this building I should have been told.
  • I nearly went beresk.
  • I’m at the point of having a cerebral haemorrhoid.
  • Pardon me for protruding.
  • I prefer to remain ambiguous.
  • He is a health fantastic.
  • I am not going to have you sick in bed for a week full of microscopic orgasms.
  • Life is not always a bowl of cherubs.
  • For the last and final time.
  • The prices were exuberant.
  • Don’t rub salt into the womb.
  • I am alleged to believe . . .
  • They’re living in perfect harmonium.
  • We bought a bottle of muskrat.
  • It’s a fragment of your imagination.
  • It was miraculate.
  • I am quite ardamant about that.
  • They are enjoying intimate carnival relations.
  • That’s all my eye and Mary Martin.
  • Be that as it may.
  • Why wasn’t I told?

Pat McDonald died at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney on 10 March 1990 after a lengthy fight with cancer of the pancreas. She was 68.