I love being an Australian. Not only is Australia a beautiful, unique country, it’s full of unique, eccentric people who say really weird things in a really neat accent. In honour of all Australians, past, present and future, and in kind jest of all Americans out there, I’ve written a list of the things us Aussies say and what we mean by them.
G’day – let’s start with the basics. It’sAustralia’s contraction for ‘good day’.
Fair Dinkum – Wowzwers, incredible, far out, cool, no way! It’s generally used in a positive sense, or out of amazement.
You lil’ beauty – perfect. I want no more.
Ripper beauty – see fair dinkum and you lil’ beauty.
Pavlova – this is the dessert of Australia (and New Zealand. The jury is still out as to who invented it and I cannot be bothered fighting with them. But the jury stays out.) A large meringue cake, topped with cream, strawberries, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, banana, or whatever other fruit we can find.
Billabong – a natural-looking (but not necessarily so) dam or lake.
She’ll be right mate – the typical Australian is very laid-back and hates stress. It’s our attitude to every problem we face: everything will be OK.
Chinwag – think about it. It’s when you let your chin, wag. Basically, talking.
Dunny – a.k.a. the toilet.
Tho… no, I won’t go here. All I’ll say is we do not say flip-flops, but what we do say is inappropriate to Americans!
Dummy spit – not so much spitting the dummy exactly, although that probably happens when you do the dummy spit. It’s when you throw a tantrum. A really bad one.
What’s a dummy? *Sighs* It’s a…a…a… pacifier (*shudders at the word*) Seriously, guys; pacifier?! In Nomi’s words, ‘it sounds like a Jedi weapon!’
Furphy – a myth, wives’ tale, or lie, proven false. Mum used it once in a blog post here.
Whinge – complain, whine.
Chuck a wobbly – see dummy spit.
Barbie – Barbeque. It does mean the doll too, but we’ve learnt to think about the context.
Nappy – a diaper.
Sheila – female.
Blokes – guys.
Shop – Store. Supermarket. Whatever.
Op shop – thrift store. I think ‘op’ stands for ‘opportunity’.
Crocs and mozzies – crocodiles (not alligators – sorry guys, but alligators are puny in comparison to a truly stalwart crocodile) and mosquitoes.
Jelly and jam – what we call jelly, Americans call jell-o, and what Americans call jelly, we call jam. There is no jell-o in Australia, but there is a type of jam in America. Just to clear up matters!
Vegemite – the best spread ever. Black and salty and tasty and gives you rosy cheeks. Why we sold it to an American brand, I don’t know…
Swag – a roll-up canvas sleeping bag with a mattress inside.
Billy – it’s a kettle that sits over top of, or in, a campfire, to boil the water to make the tea. Australians love their tea.
True blue – through and through. If you are ‘true blue’, it often means you are very patriotic to your Australian country.
What other words do Aussies use? Please tell!