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Cricket Commentators Get It Wrong

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910725.  Mon May 21, 2012 10:25 am Reply with quote

If anyone has watched a test match between Australia and some other country at the West Australian Cricket Ground (WACA) you will hear the commentators refer to the breeze that crosses the ground in the afternoon as the Fremantle "Doctor". This is incorrect. The correct name is The Fremantle Docker. It originated in the 1800's and was the afternoon sea breeze which enabled the trading ships under sail to make port and dock. Until the breeze come up they would have to wait offshore. The local Australian Rules Football team is quite rightly called the Freemantle Dockers. I want cricket commentators to call it correctly as the Freemantle Docker or say the "Docker" is in.

Oceans Edge
910729.  Mon May 21, 2012 10:43 am Reply with quote

Hello Tipple, and welcome to the QI forums!

The term 'Fremantle Doctor' is the one used by local Western Australians. In fact The Australian Bureau of Meteorology calls it the Fremantle Doctor, I'm thinking that sorta makes the name official like.

Perth's reliable afternoon seabreeze, commonly referred to as the 'Fremantle Doctor', provides cooling relief from the east to northeast winds on hot summer days. The breeze initially arrives on the coast then progressively extends inland often decreasing the temperature on hot days below 30ºC within a few hours from onset.

The Australian National University calls it that as well:
Fremantle doctor

A cool sea breeze which brings relief on a hot summer’s day. A wind blowing inland late in the day is a welcome feature of the climate in Western Australia’s south-west. Like Fremantle, many towns have given it a local name. Albany, Geraldton, Esperance, Eucla and Perth all have their doctor, a reference to the ‘healing’ effect of the breeze.

As for the history of the name of the this lovely onshore breeze, according to the Sunday Times of Perth the "Origin of term for the sea breeze in Perth still unknown". (Sunday Times: Perth, W.A.), 23 Feb. 1986, p. 49,. Although I haven't been able to find the text of the article itself online.

So I'm thinking, with so few references to 'Fremantle Docker' (I couldn't find any) and so many references to 'Fremantle Doctor' (including some meteorology text books) and which would be in keeping with the naming of other 'healing winds', you're gonna have a fairly difficult fight on your hands getting the name changed.


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