Saturday, 21 September 2019

Understanding Oz

I migrated to Australia with family both as an adventure and work. We spoke the same language but soon found out there were many nuances that soon made us doubt what we heard. I worked in an office and was not that much affected apart from the odd words like "Smoko, Brekky, Tucker and Uie" meaning Smoke, Breakfast, Food and Make a U-turn in the road.

These unique words invented by earlier migrants established themselves in peoples minds. Words like Swag for roll up bed used when travelling; Tucker has been accepted as meaning food although in the outback Bush Tucker would refer to eating insects berries or leaves because there's nought to eat before you reach town.

If you meet someone you haven't seen for some time you would say "I haven't seen you for Yonks" and he might reply "Let's have a Stubby" meaning have a beer at the pub together to chat.

Your wife in settling in may be invited to meet with the neighbors friends and told "Bring a plate". the last thing to do is is take half a dozen plates thinking your neighbor doesn't have enough. She means, bring a plate of food to share all around...friendly like!

Australians are patriotic, however giving an Aussie salute is merely to wave away the flies that buzz around you in the heat and your forehead is sweating. Regardless of the heat if you work in the country you will find all work stops when someone calls out "Smoko" and the Billy is put on when a kettle or or pot of water is boiled so everyone stops work and has a cup of tea. Most workers have their own mug but there's usually one spare if you're new.

At the end of the day you may well feel "Rooted" meaning tired so you go to the pub with your mates before you go home, to have a "Coldie" of beer or two but you don't sit down but hold up the bar in case you or it falls over.

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  1. An American-born friend on a visit back to Chicago kept his friends there entertained (and mystified) by talking Aussie to them, e.g. 'I'll just nick down to the servo with the Esky and get some ice for the slab.'

  2. I love hearing about slang from different parts of the world. It reminds me of terms that I think are pretty common until someone from outside the area asks "what was that?"

    LOL, now if you excuse me I have to leave this jawn and pick up wooder ice, go Iggles. 😆

  3. Language is a delicious thing. I love how it changes, how different countries and regions that speak the "same" language sound nothing alike, how different books and different trends add words to the dictionary, how learning someone else says something can bring us closer (if we want).

  4. I loved reading the meaning of all those terms, and smiled at the thought of a wife taking a stack of plates, not knowing she is meant to take a plate of food to share.

  5. This is lovely!❤️ I loved reading about the meaning of all those terms. Language is a wonderful thing isn't it?

  6. Interestingly many local mainstays came into use for the convenience and accepted as there is a tinge of humour in its use or 'invention' Good show Robin!


  7. I love the nuances in languages around the world. I learned the word “caio “ in Ethiopia meaning “bye!” before I realised it was Italian. The Italians had failed to colonise Ethiopia- so settled there and ingrained their language into Amharic!