I laughed when I read my friend Anita’s recent facebook status report: “having fun using words like kerfluffle, bungle (as a noun), shambolic (as in shambles), rectitudiness, verballing, and of course tradies, unis, bikies, footies. . .”
Anita, an American, moved to Australia last summer. As a journalist, part of her job is communicating with government officials and other journalists, so she is an interpreter of the various kinds of English, too. In her last position, she spoke Spanish, so she’s up to the challenge.
When we arrived to visit them, Anita and her husband began translating for us. For example, they advised that “You don’t root for teams, you barrack for them.” Rooting means something quite different from our definition and is probably not mentioned in polite society…….But we’re all friends here. Most Aussie words and phrases do make sense (sometimes you have to think about it), even if they aren’t the words we normally use. Sometimes it’s the pronunciation that throws me.
I’ve been reading letters and later emails from Aussies for years and thought I knew what they were saying, but hearing it in person I found myself saying or at least thinking “What?” I need a hearing aid of a different kind.
The people I most easily understood were transplanted English people. Maybe it’s from my years of watching Masterpiece Theater.
Two of my favorite words are “brilliant” for everything wonderful and “shocking” for terrible, which I heard from my friend Monica when we were stopped in a massive traffic jam in Sydney. Another good word is “chuffed,” which seems to mean excited, proud or happy, which I’ve heard Down Under and even from fellow English blogger Paula who writes beautiful posts. She’s on my blogroll as Locks Park Farm.
A “good on you!” to Janelle of What Makes Me Laugh for her funny post on Aussie-isms. Click here: It’s Not Weird, It’s Not Wrong, It’s Just Different. She wrote several funny, insightful posts on her recent trip to Australia. Don’t miss them!
Jan of Planetjan had fun with the language and other differences when her English friends came to visit her in Los Angeles. Here’s one of her funny posts on the subject: Back to Reality.
In New Zealand…well, let’s not go there right now, except to say that egg is pronounced eeg, as in eek, and left as leeft. Instead, I’ll hand you over to native New Zealander Kiwi Bloke, who has lived in Australia, Canada and even Texas, for all things Kiwi. He’s Kiwi Bloke on my blogroll and is multi-lingual in the English language.
Why don’t you tell me your favorite language choices? Cheers!
3 responses to “Aussie Speak”
I’m up for exploring more Aussie-isms and more of Tasmania if you are! Thanks for explaining some of the other great sayings and meanings of the Aussie language. Good on ya!
Thanks. That’s a deal. I don’t know how to say that in Aussie.
And I should have written “g’d onya.” Sob. I’ve already lost my accent. Cathy
This post is cracker and bonza at the same time. Fair dinkum the Aussies do have a particular vernacular.
You are spot on matey potatey.
Cheers (She’ll be right)
You’ve left me speechless, I’m laughing so hard. Cathy
Agree with kiwi the post of Cathy it’s quite funny but i didn’t laugh that much. However even if most of the Aussies words are quite funny i still need to learn a few of them because i need to go there for business purpose. And it will be a good guide.
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