Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Australian Colloquialisms

So I have been in Australia for quite some time now and I have had numerous opportunities to bask in Australia's rich culture and become friendly with the denizens of the "Land Down Under".  I feel as though most Americans opinions of Australian people are limited to the actors and actresses we see grace the big screens at our local cinemas, and we know virtually nothing of Australian culture or how people act and behave here.  Fret no more because I am going to give you a crash course on Australian culture.  Basically, the United States and Australia are exactly the same.  We're allies.  We help each other spy on each others citizens.  We both have Kentucky Fried Chicken (see video below)!

That is not to say that Australia and the United States do not have their differences (as you could probably tell from the video, they're not as concerned about potentially racist advertisements, mainly because the culture of Australia is to not take anyone or any group too seriously).  Australia tends to be more laid back than America, and certainly isn't afraid to make fun of itself...

*An Anzac is someone who served in the Australian or New Zealand military*

As I mentioned before, Americans and Australians are very similar.  One difference that stands out the most for a lot of people back in the States are the accents.  Australians, like Americans have different accents depending on where they are from, however since most Americans have little exposure to Australians, they don't see that the "Australian accent" varies quite a bit.  Living here has exposed me to dialects and slang that I never knew existed, and since I did not want to be misconstrued when I spoke (i.e. didn't want to piss someone off by calling them "buddy"), I decided to comprise my own version of an Australian Dictionary.  It's true that Australians speak English, but a lot of the slang they employ is quite different to what Americans are used to.  The following words and definitions are the words I have encountered along with the definition I was given by the person who spoke the word, and I assure you, they are all regularly used words  phrases.

Stubbie - bottle (usually beer)
Bottle-O, Bottler, Bottle Shop - package store/liquor store
Bogan - an unkempt person, someone who does not value academic or monetary pursuits
Savvy B - Sauvignon Blanc (wine)
Shocker - surprising
Heaps - a lot
Esky - cooler/ice chest
Cheers - thank you
Mate - friend
Carpark - parking lot
Park - parking space
Goon - cheap wine
Goon Sack - the bag of wine found in boxed wines
Budgie Smuggler - speedo style men's swimsuit
Feral - a blanket term for someone or a group of people who are off putting because of dress or behavior.

As I encounter new phrases or words I will update the Australian dictionary, which you can find on the right under "Pages".

A little bit of trivia before I go, Ben Folds used to live in the same city as I reside in now (or maybe he still lives here, I'm not sure).  Anyway, after living here for a while, I finally know what he's talking about in this song.

Ben Folds - Adelaide

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