Friday, 16 March 2007

Speak Aussie, mate

“One of the strongest prejudices that one has to overcome when one visits Australia is that created by the weird jargon that passes for English in this country.” – Valerie Desmond

The best part about having to take public transport to the CBD every day - more than an hour and a half each way (ugghh) - is that I get to drive Sylvia to the train station. The next best part is soaking up the Aussie slang ...

Here on the Frankston to Melbourne line, you will learn that budgie smugglers is a generic term for a man’s Speedo bathing suit and that if he cracks a fat in it, he’ll be in some serious trouble. You'll find that if the guy beside you were to come the raw prawn, he'd be bullshitting about something, to which you could say pig’s arse! (I don’t believe you!). He might then reply fair dinkum which means yes, it’s really true! Chances are, though, he has a couple of kangaroos loose in the top paddock, ESPECIALLY on this particular train line.

You'll learn that a bludger is a lazy person while a bogan is a slacker who takes little pride in his/her appearance and spends his/her days getting pissed. A cockie is a farmer but also, curiously, a cockatoo parrot and a cockroach. Then there are drongos and dropkicks, who are stupid people, and dags who are usually loveable but goofy.

A slapper is a girl who comes across as slutty and desperate. A Bondi cigar is a turd in the sea where you're swimming. When you’re out camping you’ve got the bush telly (a campfire) and your bushman’s hanky (holding one nostril and blowing the other out onto the ground) whereas somebody new to surfing is a shark biscuit.

Pretty much every Aussie word is something that can be shortened, leaving with you little nuggets like cozzie (swimsuit), barbie (barbecue), bizzo (as in mind your own bizzo), blowie (blowfly), ambo (ambulance driver), chewie (chewing gum), chokkie (chocolate), Chrissie (Christmas), mozzie (mosquito), kindie (kindergarten), postie, (mailman) oldies (parents), and sickie, as in let’s chuck a sickie (take a day off work).

And not only is their slang fantastic, their sense of humour is awesome, if a bit warped. Only Australians, I'm sure, would name a community pool after a dead prime minister – that would be Harold Holt - who drowned in the ocean, while he was the prime minister.

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