A Lesson In 'Australian' For My International Friends
By Craig Harper
Being an international class-room with an Australian bloke (definition to follow) up the front, I get regular emails from some of my international (mainly American) visitors wondering what the heck I'm talking about when I use certain terms and words.
While most Australians are reasonably familiar with American culture and language, having grown up watching American sit-coms, going to American movies and listening to American music... it appears that the majority of Americans (and Canadians) know very little about the Aussie culture, language or sense of humour.
So in an attempt to bridge the conversational gap, I have decided to publish edition one of Craig's guide to the Aussie language. I don't want to overload you in your first lesson so I'll be gentle, patient and brief. If you ever want to integrate seamlessly into the Australian culture, you'll need to master at least some of the following words:
Arvo - afternoon (let's meet this arvo at your house)
Barbie - barbecue
Bingle - motor vehicle accident (I had a bingle on the way to work)
Bloke - man, guy
Bloody - very (it is bloody hot today)
Blowie - blow fly
Bludger - lazy person (that bloke standing near the barbie is a bludger)
Blue - fight (verbal or fist)
Boofhead - likeable idiot (give me a hug ya big boofhead)
Bushie - someone who lives in the Bush
Coldie - a beer (I feel like a coldie)
Chook - a chicken (I'm having a coldie and some chook for dinner)
Daks - trousers (I spilled half of my coldie on my daks)
Dinky-di - the real thing, genuine (he's a dinky-di bloke)
Fair dinkum - true, genuine (Is that fair dinkum?)
Footy - Australian Rules Football
Franger - condom
G'Day - hello; the great Australian greeting (G'day mate)
Garbo - municipal garbage collector
Greenie - environmentalist
Grouse - fantastic, great, very good (we had a grouse time at the party)
Hooroo - goodbye
Mate - buddy, friend (he's my best mate)
Pash - kiss ( I pashed a girl at the party)
Rack off - go away (rack off ya boofhead)
Ripper - fantastic, great (what a ripper game)
Shag - have sex
Sheila - a woman
Sickie - a day off work for a feigned sickness (the bludger took a sickie)
Snag - a sausage
Togs - swim suit
Thongs - called flip flops in the U.S.
Tucker - food (this snag is grouse tucker)
Yakka - work (this shovelling is hard yakka)
Yobbo : an uncouth person (who let that yobbo in here?)
Okay, so that's a very brief snapshot of a few Australian words. Now, see if you can construct some meaningful sentences and integrate some words into your daily conversations (without offending anyone).
The next thing we need to discuss is the Australian propensity to destroy surnames and allocate nicknames. In my country, if someone shortens, lengthens, or in any way, changes your name, they like you.
Most blokes address their mates using a modified version of their surname, so:
Craig Harper becomes Harps
Tony Brown becomes Browny
Pete McDonald becomes Macca
Jeff Thompson becomes Thommo
John Davis becomes Davo
Scott Green becomes Greeny
... and so on.
See how many surnames you can modify (destroy in the name of love) today.
Most Aussies are pretty laid-back, informal cats and if we can abbreviate, enhance or simplify a word or term, we're up for it.
So now if I gradually start to weave some Australian into my blog you may have some clue as to what I'm talking about... Or not.
Okay, that completes lesson one.
Craig Harper (B.Ex.Sci.) is an Australian motivational speaker, qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.
He can be heard weekly on Australian Radio SEN 1116 and GOLD FM and appears on Australian television on Network Ten's 9AM.
Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper