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SPARROW FART STAMPS

sparrow stamps


From a chapter called “His Eye Is on the Sparrow Fart,” Dawson reports, “You’ll have to get up pretty early in the morning to find anyone who celebrates the expression 'sparrow fart' more than New Zealanders. They’ve put it on a postage stamp. “If you wake up at sparrow fart, are away with the fairies, get stuck in boots and all, or are prone to throwing a hissy fit, you are, like the latest issue of New Zealand Post stamps, a classic Kiwi,” the New Zealand Post [Office] said on July 4, 2007. “The new stamps have an added twist—people can rub off the black mark to reveal the definition of the expressions.” (The other ones mean throwing yourself enthusiastically into an activity, traveling far away, and losing your temper.)

“Post Stamp General Manager Ivor Masters said, “[W]e developed the list by going through loads of books and dictionaries and then whittled the list down to what we felt were still most commonly used. There are many more out there and this list is the tip of the iceberg.”

“When I contacted Mr. Masters two years later to see how the sparrow’s fart stamp was doing, his office responded that the issue had sold very well to both collectors and regular stamp users, but since the stamps were sold as a full sheet, ‘it is impossible for us to identify sales of the ‘sparrow fart’ themselves. We did receive a couple of letters with reference to sparrow fart but no more letters than other stamp issues. The term sparrow fart is quite common in New Zealand and I would say it’s generally accepted as part of our language.’ In other words, hardly anybody objected.”


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