But it seems some Victorians are scratching their heads about the comment.
Professor Patrick Stokes, from Melbourne, Victoria, queried what “an early mark” actually meant.
“Is ‘early mark’ actually an expression? Not mocking Morrison, I’ve just genuinely never heard it before,” he said on social media.
Others in Victoria have never heard it before, causing some people to claim the expression is unique to NSW and QLD.
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I’d not heard it either. https://t.co/gDDGJZHpXa
— Ryan Sheales (@RyanSheales) May 1, 2020
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s coronavirus restrictions would be eased from next week, saying the country has earned an early mark.
Speaking to reporters after yesterday’s National Cabinet, Mr Morrison said Australia had flattened its coronavirus curve, allowing the government to drop restrictions earlier than expected.
“Australians have earned an early mark,” he said.
Mr Morrison said the National Cabinet would meet twice over the next week before announcing relaxed restrictions next Friday.
He said health experts had provided 15 conditions that Australia should meet before restrictions could be relaxed. The country has already met 11 of the 15.
Mr Morrison’s comments have caused quite a stir between NSW and Victoria Twitter users.
Very NSW thing.
— Lisa (@Mrs_Rittenhouse) May 1, 2020
rich, pointless cultural differences between states
— Ben Harris-Roxas 🌊 (@ben_hr) May 1, 2020
When I first heard it after moving up here, I thought I’d misheard. The fact that it comes from getting let out early for academic performance I think in a way speaks to the differences in approach to education in NSW & Vic. That’s not meant as a criticism, just an observation.
— Emily Stokes (@eMtropic) May 1, 2020
Some NSW residents were shocked that Victorians hadn’t heard the expression before.
“I’m stunned people haven’t heard this! Is it a NSW thing?” said one Twitter user.
“I thought this was a universal thing?” said another.
Other Victorians jumped onto Twitter and clarified that they’d heard the expression.
People have also tried to come up with the definition of an early mark, though no-one appeared to be in full agreement.
It was in NSW when I was at school in the 70s and 80s (the same time as ScoMo). Being let out of class early was getting “an early mark”.
— Dennis Koutoulogenis (@dkfcdotnet) May 1, 2020
Yes – taking an early mark is nicking off early.
— Michael O’Brien (@michaelobrienmp) May 1, 2020
Often heard in Fairfax’s Melbourne newsroom of old usually when a section went to edition control well before deadline.
— (@natecochrane) May 1, 2020
An early mark is when you go up for a speccy well before the ball arrives
— online is the virus (@maximum_sincere) May 1, 2020
A quick Google search cleared up the issue. Google described the expression as coming “Chiefly (from) New South Wales in Australia and defined it as “The permission to leave early (from class, school, workplace, etc.) before the scheduled end time; an early finish.”