Are you a newbie in the Australian terrain or planning to visit the land of plenty? Are you all set with the packed bags and dreams and hopes? But there is one little thing that I bet you have not taken into account, just like most of the travellers travelling to Australia. That is familiarising yourself with the local language!
Brace yourselves for a new English type.
Australian English is not just any English. It is not just an accent that you can imitate. And mind me, the Australian colloquial speech can perplex even English speakers! It is somewhat similar to British English where you stress on the last syllables while speaking a word. Like water becomes watuh.
Common words differ from American English.
The same word will be pronounced differently in the Australian accent. Not only that, the slang for the words in American English will be different in Australian English. That holds true even for everyday commonly used words.
The Australians use a lot of slang terms and expressions that are unique from the world. The legend goes that the Australians were troubled by blowflies. So, to prevent these flies from going into their mouths, they started speaking with clenched teeth and this accent was developed.
The Aussies like to cut a word short as much as possible. It is obvious because speaking with clenched teeth is a difficult job. Try for yourself.
Here is a list of 10 common slangs that can be a lifesaver.
Any guesses what this might mean? A fruit? No? Blank?
Arvo is the slang for the afternoon.
We call any uncultured person a bogan. So, if you find yourself in a bar and overhear someone calling you a bogan, yes, he or she is abusing you.
And who are the actual bogans? They are people who wear a flannel shirt, have a mullet, missing teeth, homemade tattoos and the smell of marijuana.
You can think that they look like countryside farmers in the US.
What the whole world refers to a liquor shop, we Aussies like to live dangerously. That is why we call liquor shops Bottle-O.
So, next time you are out with friends and someone exclaims, “Oi, Bottle-O!” then he or she spotted a liquor shop.
When you are eating at a ‘eat all you can’ buffet and have to tell someone that you are now full and cannot eat more, how will you say it? “I am very full.”, right?
In Australia, you will say “I am chockers.”
Any White Collar fans in the house? No? If you have not seen it, then do watch that one. Seriously, one of the finest FBI themed drama series and a really good story.
Anyway, the protagonist, Neal Caffery had a best friend named Mozzie. Mozzie used to irritate everyone. Do you know what else irritates everyone? A mosquito.
So what is a Mozzie? It is the slang of a mosquito.
The Oxford Dictionary defines ripper as either a tool used to break something or a murderer who mutilates the victims. Ever heard of Jack the Ripper?
But, when you are eating at a restaurant in Australia and someone says “This latte is a ripper!”, do not mistake him. He is not referring to a murderer in his latte. Instead, he wants to say that latte is really great!
If you are in the USA, what will you call a person who is not well? Unwell? Sick? And how will the person apply for a day off? “I am taking a sick day.” Like this, right?
But we do not do that here. When we are not well and have to take a day off work or any other task, instead of saying “I am taking a sick day”, we say “I am taking a sickie.”
So, sickie = sick day.
I think the whole world has the exact same word for responding favour or greeting or anything that a person does for you. We all say ‘thank you’.
And Australians, as you know, have to do everything differently from the world. Therefore, in Australia, we say “Ta” instead of ‘thank you’.
People are involved in various trades. In a professional language, trades are also called as businesses.
But Aussies do not count owning a local grocery shop as a business. It is trading. You open up a shop every day, sell goods, close it and go home in the evening. That is trade.
And what do we call people who are engaged in trades? A tradesman? No! We call them Tradie!
This gets on the nerves of Americans mostly. See, when we were in school, I guess everyone is taught the meaning of root as the lowest part of any species in the plant kingdom. Then we grew up and learned that root also means to yearn for something. You know, like “I am rooting for you to win” or “We root for Eminem to turn up on the stage of a concert.”
But you might want to be careful using that word in Australia because root here means having sexual intercourse. Now imagine yourself sitting in a bar with a group of Aussies where James is going to play an important match tomorrow and you are saying “I am rooting for you, James.” It is going to give off the wrong impression.
Well, that’s all folks!
These right up were the 10 most commonly spoken Australian slangs that you should definitely know if you are new to Australia, are planning a trip to Australia or are going to meet a couple of local Australians for the first time.
Tell me in the comments below what is the strangest slang that you
learned here in Australia.
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