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How to Speak Awestralian

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by Lesley Mitchell (subscribe)
Author/lecturer/Intuitive/Natural Therapist/Artist/Soap-Maker/Chef. WEBS: or Also find us under RenascentBathBody or RenascentCollege on eBay, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram
Published January 26th 2012
AKA - How to speak strine

It's the funny accent that most Aussies (short for Australians) don't seem to think they have. Sure in some parts it's stronger than in others, however if you're planning a trip to Australia, here's some great tips on the Aussie lingo so you won't be left behind the shed if the roo has bolted.

Some strain the accents, others just use words that are as common to an Aussie as vegemite, yet may leave an outsider wondering if they have entered another universe.

The cultural diversity of accents across various countries, in most cases reflects varying social identities. In the UK, social class determines the accent. In USA varying locations and races speak with varying accents.

Then along comes Australia: we have no variations according to region, race or social class. Rather, our accents are dependant on our ideology. Take the example of two children that grow up next door to each other, whom end up speaking entirely different versions of Australian English. Each chooses different accents and words. Such is the cultural diversity of modern Australia.

Let's bring you up to speed firstly with the accent. Mostly its taken as a drawl on most words, however just as some times a sentence can go on for ever, other times the words as so tight and strung together that you may not realise one word actually represents an entire sentence.

Upon arriving at a barbie (BBQ), you may be asked didyabringyagrogalong.
Translation: did you arrive with some alcohol.

In other cases, Aussies tend to refer to common items with strange terms, usually these are terms of endearment.

We're happy about this:
Anklebiters: children.
Beaut, beauty : that's great, terrific.
Bloody oath! : true, sounds great.
Built like a brick shit house : large strong bloke (man).
Corker : something terrific. "she's a bit of a corker eh".
Good onya : well done, good work.
Grinning like a shot fox : pleased with oneself, happy, smug.
Larrikin : a man who is having fun, harmless prankster.
Mate : buddy, friend.
Offsider : an assistant, person who helps out.
Oldies : parents - "Nah, I dunno, I'd betta check with the oldies".
Rapt : thrilled, delighted.
Rip snorter : an excellent time - "geez, mate, that was a rip snorter barbie".
Spunk : a good looking person.
Gimme a bell: telephone me.

Things we would rather not know about:
Blow in the bag : to have to take a police breathalyser test.
Booze bus : police vehicle used for as above to test drunk drivers.
Cactus : dead, not working ("this bloody car is cactus").
Cark it : to die, no longer work.
Chunder / Chuck : vomit.
Cranky : in a bad mood, angry, disappointed (also ticked off, ticked).
Crook : sick, or poorly made.
Spit the dummy : to get annoyed and angry at something / someone.
Furphy : to tell something that is not true.
Mongrel : untrustworthy, unpleasant person.
Skite : to boast or brag, sing ones own praises.
Technicolor yawn : vomit.
Up yerself : to think highly of oneself - "he's really up himself".
Whinge : complain.

Big Smoke : a large city.
Bush telly : campfire (telly = television).
Shoot through : to leave/depart.

Things we do:
Then there are terms for actions we do:
The great Aussie salute: brushing flies away from your face.
Chuck a sickie : take the day off sick from work when there's nothing really wrong with you.
Flat out like a lizard drinking : overwhelmed, busy.

Dipstick : an idiot, someone who you don't see eye to eye with.
Doovalacky : a fun term when you cannot remember the name of something. Also: Thingummyjiggy, whatchmacallit, whatsit.
Kangaroos loose in the top paddock : mentally inadequate, mad, deranged (often used because we don't like how someone acts or talks, it is not always a term used to imply they actually have a mental deficiency) ("he's got kangaroos loose in the top paddock").
Other terms meaning the same: a few sandwiches short of a picnic, a few planks short of a fence, Not the full quid.
Pig's arse! : I think you are not telling me the truth.
Stonkered : no solution, tired, exhausted, defeated, cornered, perplexed.

Bities : insects that may bite.
Bitzer : mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that).
Blowie : blow fly.
Bluey : bluebottle jellyfish.
Mozzie : mosquito.

Bail out : leave, usually angrily also: take off.
Having a blue : fight ("he was having a blue with his mate")
Made a blue : made an error.
Bogged : Stuck, usually in mud, deep sand (a car).

Cossies, Togs, Bathers : swimming costume.
Budgie smugglers : men's speedo style bathing costume.
Daks : trousers.

Food & Beverges:
Amber fluid : beer.
Bog in : to start eating, to eat food with great enthusiasm - Also: tuck in, dig in, often said to encourage the commencement of eating.
Icy pole, ice block : popsicle, lollypop.
Lollies : sweets, candy.
Vejjo : vegetarian.

We often don't worry about many things:
She'll be apples, mate: It will be fine / OK / Alright.
She be right mate: It will be fine / OK / Alright.
No probs : It will be fine / OK / Alright (there is no problems).

Just really don't fit into a category:
Franger : condom.
Pash : a long lingering, deep kiss; "pashing on".
Scratchy : instant lottery ticket (that you scratch off the silver bar).

Travelling terms:
Back of Bourke : a long way from anything.
Beyond the Black Stump: a long way from anything, out the back of nowhere (there is actually a black stump location, this term refers to no where in particular).
Brisvegas : Brisbane.
Brizzie : Brisbane.
Never Never : the Outback, the mid centre of Australia.
Woop Woop : madeup name for any small location,generally far from anything. eg "they live in Woop Woop".

OK let's go:
You've got the basics of some of our words, enter the accent, you may have to read these out loud, (best to drawl them a bit) have a go and see if you are prepared for your aussie visit:

Baked Necks: A popular breakfast dish. Others include emma necks; scremblex; and fright shops.

Emma Chisit - a question requesting the price of an item.

Cheque Etcher: Did you obtain. Try: `Where cheque etcher hat?' or `Where cheque etcher dim pull, sonny? Where cheque etcher big blue wise?'.

Cheque Render: An ornamental tree with blue flowers.

Doan Lemmyaf: I do not want to have to. Try: `Arm jew kids in bare jet? Emeny times die affter tellyer. Now doan lemmyaff to speak dear Ken'.

Garbler Mince: Within the next half hour. Try:: `I'll be with you in a garbler mince'.

Gunga Din: Locked out (if you're having troubles, read like you've had too much to drink). Try: I gunga din, the door slokt. Hancher gotcher key? Air, buttit spoultered on the inside. I tellyer I gunga din. Car more nope-nit.

Have you got terms you use or have heard of some and wondered what they meant, add them in here, we'd love to hear from you.

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Why? Visitors and Aussies alike find it amusing to brush up on their strine
Your Comment
Well, itzakrienshame,do Yareck'n i sound like that when i Yakon?We must sound like Yobbo's. Though I dont give a tinker's cuss really. Great article thanks
regards Robyn
by Karen (score: 2|231) 3526 days ago
Heaps good!
by lsjdf (score: 0|6) 3522 days ago
Effen brilwy'nt mate! bluddy oaf!
by sueca (score: 2|113) 2914 days ago
SO funny!!!
by Jenni (score: 0|4) 3529 days ago
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