Tomayto – tomahto, sidewalk – footpath, trunk – boot, cookies – biscuits… Realize – realise.
What can I say? I’m not just a grumpy old lady, I’m a grumpy old Australian lady who despite superficial appearances to the contrary, speaks and writes a different language.
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to clear up a few things.
Aussie is pronounced Ozzie, not Ossie.
Bloody is almost interchangeable with very.
A bluebottle is what you’d call a Portuguese man o’ war.
Bodgy applies to something thrown together with no regard for quality.
Bunyips are mythical, as are drop bears.
Chook = chicken.
Mates’ rates apply when you discount something for a friend.
Ocker can be a noun or an adjective: He’s an ocker or he’s a bit ocker. Means unsophisticated. Yobbo is similar but with undertones of uncouth, and can only be used as a noun.
Plonk is cheap wine.
Rack off – or Rack off, hairy-legs. Depart, go away, get lost.
Something that’s sitting there like a shag on a rock is too obvious to miss.
The Tall Poppy syndrome is the Australian tendency to cut the highly successful down to size.
Australian thongs go on the feet, not the body. You call them flip flops. Not sure why, since they originated in their current form in New Zealand, where they’re also known as thongs.
A tinny can be either a can of beer or a small aluminium boat with an outboard motor.
We don’t chuck shrimps on the barbie, either, we chuck prawns. Shrimps to us are a different family of decapods, much smaller, and the only ones we see here are imported in cans from Asia – not barbecue fodder at all. We also chuck snags on the barbie – ie sausages.
And while there was a kangaroo in the street here a few weeks ago, and a snake in the display window of one the shops last year, it doesn’t happen in big cities. I live in what some might call Woop Woop.