Yes, the dingo ate your baby

Yes, the dingo ate your baby

My brother and I had some wacky catchphrases growing up since speaking normally seemed to be a silly way to spend one's childhood.

One of our favorites was "Maybe the dingo ate your baby!" which we would shout loudly at random times throughout the day in our best Australian accents. (Our mother, bless her soul, never had a nervous breakdown despite our best attempts.) And even now, my brother or I will throw out a "Maybe the dingo ate your baby!" around our mom, just to remind her of the joy of raising boys.

The quote comes from "A Cry in the Dark," a late-1980s movie about the disappearance of an Australian baby and the belief a dingo had done away with it rather than the mother. I can't imagine us actually watching a Meryl Streep movie, and we were saying it long before Elaine popularized the phrase on "Seinfeld," so I'm not sure how we picked up on it, but there you are.

Now, it turns out, an Australian coroner has ruled that a dingo actually did eat the baby.

Perhaps this means we finally can put both the story and the catchphrase to rest – though my mother might consider this about 20 years too late.

• Joe Grace is a writer and journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. Write to him at

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