The ExPat Diary: Australian Lingo Lesson 3

Well folks, it’s been awhile, so I thought it was time for another Australian Lingo Lesson. This time around we’ll start with the tendency for Australians to shorten just about everything and slap and ‘ie’ or ‘y’ on the end.

Remember Brekky? Yeah, well, its a full fledged trend.

Here are some examples that I’ve heard recently:

Sunnies – Sunglasses

'Sunnies' are so important here that they apparently call for their own 'Missing' signs.

Kindie – Kindergarden

Brizzie – Brisbane (also known as BrisVegas…but that’s for another blog)

Grennie – Environmentalist

Bickie – Biscuit (also, biscuit most often means cookie!)

If you Google 'Australian Biscuit', you'll come up with Tim Tams. I know a woman who takes 20 boxes back with her to the States after every visit here. Yeah, they are that good.

Relie – Relative

Chrissie – Christmas

In other lingo news, after several months of Australian living, I still can’t bring myself to say ‘how ya going?’, even though I’m asked that at least 5 times a day by friends and colleagues. It’s still instinctual for me to say ‘how ya doing’, which I’m told sounds as strange to Australians as ‘how ya going’ sounds to Americans. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it right about the time we’re ready to head back to the States. 😉

Anyway, on to a few more words I’ve been hearing:

Thongs – Flip-flops. Not such a big deal until you hear people discussing their thongs in public. It’s weird.

"Thongs"

Fringe – bangs. Somebody complimented my ‘fringe’ the other day. I had no idea what they were talking about…

Bogan – Bogan is an interesting one. It’s a derogatory term used to describe a lower class person – though I’ve heard several other derogatory term to describe this derogatory term. See for yourself.

Keen – Like. Honestly, I think most Americans know this word, but don’t use it. It’s a great word though, pretty useful.

Layby – Layaway. This one sounds really strange to me.

Root – Ah yes, root. Root is the equivalent of our F word in every sense. And I mean every sense. Don’t tell an Australian that you ‘root’ for a sports team. Just don’t. It means something so very different…

So there you have it – a few more words that you can add to your arsenal of Australian vocabulary.  Use them well!

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