Redneck Australian politician, Pauline Hanson, was asked on a TV show, "Are you xenophobic?".

She replied in the immortal phrase with a pronounced nasal twang, "Please explain".

Now Australians use this phrase in everyday speech when someone says something incomprehensible.

The phrase was also made part of that legendary (but now banned) rap song, "Backdoor Man".

In essence, the phrase is simple request for clarification. Please denotes civility and Explain is what one does to be accountable in a democratic country. One should also explain the meaning of value-laden words when used against people in a perjorative sense.

The expression in Australia has become a cliche that most people don't immediately associate it with Pauline Hanson, and in fact the phrase has become a noun in its own right. Examples include:

Essendon captain James Hird has been sent a 'please explain' from the AFL regarding comments he made on umpires (from the Essendon Football Club website)

The ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) has sent a "please explain" letter asking why Sofcom did not say whether it would seek shareholder support (article in the Sydney Morning Herald)

(Indonesian) Minister for Political Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono sought an official "please explain" from Singapore (article in Melbourne's The Age newspaper)

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