The ExPat Diary: Australian Lingo Lesson 1

One of my favorite aspects of living in a new place is picking up local lingo. For example, when I moved to Boston I learned a galaxy of wonderful new words including:

Wicked – very, extremely

Bubbler – water fountain

Pocketbook – purse

Jimmies – sprinkles

Frappes  – sad excuse for a milkshake

Pisser (Pissah) – awesome or misfortunate, depending on the context

More than just a catchphrase, it’s a cottage industry of novelty t-shirts and coffee mugs. Now that’s Wicked Pissah!

I knew that moving to Sydney would provide me with an equally dazzling collection of words and phrases that I could use to impress family and friends and perhaps even become better understood here in Australia. I have been collecting them over the past few weeks so without further adieu, here is your first lesson on speaking like an Australian:

Stuff up – mistake

Bang on – precisely

Brolly – umbrella

Verballed – verbally assaulted

How you going? – How are you?

Have a whinge – to complain

Nappy – a diaper

Car Park – Parking lot

Lollies – Candy

Prezzy – Gift

Mobile – Cell Phone

Side note: Foster’s, which we Americans had been led to believe is ‘Australian for beer’ (thanks to propaganda) isn’t actually found in many pubs here. Foster’s is mostly exported –  completely shattering everything I thought I knew about Australia.

Australian for Beer (but not in Australia)

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoyed your first lingo lesson. Why not ‘have a go’:

1.) I will not be _____________ by you, good sir!

2.) It’s ___________ eight o’clock.

3.) The Texas Rangers will probably ______________ about losing the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

4.) Halloween is the perfect time for ____________.

5.) The ______________ at this mall is pretty full.

6.) I have no idea what a “cell phone” is, why don’t I just call you on your ________.

Answer key: 1.) Verballed 2.) Bang On 3.) Have a whinge 4.) Lollies 5.) Car Park 6.) Mobile

So, how did you do? Please accept the appropriate Wicked Pissah from me depending on your score. Oh, and stay tuned for more lingo!


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