Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 304 - The Letter Z.....Australian Speak

When we informed our Foreign Exchange student Association's Local Representative of our choice of an Australian child, we justified our decision by saying it was only for five months and she speaks English.  How hard could THAT be?  He replied kindly, "You call THAT English?"  Little did I know that he was right.  We have found that Australians are unconsciously in love with the letter Z.  They trunk the first Syllable (or as my english teacher used to emphasize Syl LAAAAA  ble) and then add the letter Z to it, making their Australian version of the english essence bastardizing it.  For example....Mosquito becomes Mozzy, Underwear are Undies pronounced Undeez, Australians are self-proclaimed Auzzies, and the flannel shirts they wear are Flannies.

I've learned we put our spare tires in the boot of the car, we call the trunk, and the bonnet that we lift in the front of the car to check our oil is known as a hood in American English.  The bench is where I cook and place my groceries, which we call the counter.  They put r's where there are none and don't pronounce the r's that are there.  Burger becomes Bahgah and Worg is spelled Wog and means the type of food found in the Mediterranean.  Tucker (pronounced Tuckah) means good food and that the food we think we are eating at Outback Steakhouse Restaurant is really American!

We're not allowed to drive in Australia because we don't have an Australian license (I need a fact check here on this one) and besides that we can't figure out how to drive on the other side of the road.  I guess we as Americans are smart enough in the northern hemisphere to figure it out in London, but our brains just turn upside down when we travel south of the equator to countries like Australia and messes us all up.  I mean down, ohh see I'm so confused just thinking about it.

The Winwood Family Flags
My student, affectionately known as Samzie now for obvious reasons, keeps asking for her thongs.  I explain she can't wear those here!!! Phew, relief, she means her FLIP FLOPS, not the no butt (or no bum in her English) underwear (undies translated for all you Auzzies) with a single string.  So I leave you with a translation of some of the words that a bushman, bloke, mate posted for those of us who fail to understand...



Australian English — American English

Ad or advertisement (ad break), TV — Commercial (commercial break)
Autumn — fall
Bag — sack
Barrack (for your team) — root
Bedside cabinet, cupboard or table — nightstand
Beetle — bug
Biro (a brand) — ballpoint
Blackboard — chalkboard or blackboard
Blackboard duster — chalkboard or blackboard eraser
Bloke (or fella [fellow]) — guy
Booking — reservation
Bum (backside or bottom) — butt
Bushfire — forest fire, wildfire
Bushwalk/bushwalking — hike/hiking (NZ — tramping)
Bucket — pail
Caretaker — janitor
Carrybag — tote
CBD (Central Business District) — downtown. Australians will also say they are 'going into town' — meaning going into the centre of the town (the CBD).
Chemist shop — drug store
Chook shed or yard — chicken coop
Clever — neat ('neat' in Australia is only used to mean 'tidy/well organised')
Conference — congress
Curtains — drapes
Cyclone — hurricane
Dad — pop ('pop' in Australia means grandfather, but more commonly referred to as 'grandad')
Deb (debutante) ball (formal coming-of-age dance for girls [and boys] of a certain age; run by community organisations, such as a Masonic Lodge or Rotary — not specifically related to schools — with proceeds going to charity) — school prom (closest equivalent)
Diary or journal (for recording appointment times and/or the day's details) — date book or (daily) planner
Dinner suit or 'black tie' or tails (coat with 'tails') — tux (tuxedo)
Doona — duvet
Door frame — door jam
Drawing pins — thumb tacks
Dummy — pacifier
Film (film star, film producer etc) — movie (movie star, movie producer etc)
Finish — quit
Flat or unit — apartment
Footpath, pavement — sidewalk
Footy — football (In Australia, what sort of football it is depends on where you are. In Tasmania, Victoria, southern NSW, SA, WA, & the NT it'll probably be Aussie Rules [AFL]; in Qld and central & northern NSW it'll be rugby ('union' or 'league'), however soccer is also referred to as footy, and it's increasingly played in primary schools, as well as professionally. Rugby has also sneaked into Victoria, but it only has a toe-hold.)
Freight (or postage) — shipping (in Australia, 'shipping' is only used when an actual ship is involved; postage is via the postal system, freight is via other carriers)
Friends or mates (usually a bloke's friends) — buddies
Fringe — bangs
Greeting card — note card
Grid iron — American football
Ground floor (floor level with the ground) — first floor
Guillotine — paper cutter
Guinea pigs — hamsters
Holiday — vacation
Hang around together — hang out together
Jokes — gags
Jug - pitcher
Lawyer/solicitor — attorney
Lift — elevator
Lucerne - alfalfa
Medicine — drugs (in Australia, when the general public talk about 'drugs' they're referring to illegal drugs — only members of the medical profession refer to medicine as 'drugs')
Mozzy — mosquito
Newsagency — newsstand (In Australia, the person running the newsagency — the owner and/or manager — is called a newsagent. An Australian newsagency business primarily sells newspapers & magazines; and usually basic stationery, greeting cards, and often lottery tickets.)
Noticeboard — bulletin board
Pay tv — cable tv
Pegs — clothes pins
Portaloo — portajohn (brands, but used as nouns)
Primary school — elementary school
Prime mover (semi-trailer) - tractor
Postcode — zipcode
Powerpoint — wall plug
Queue — line
Real estate agent — realtor
Reception (motel/hotel) — lobby
Resign — quit
Ride-on mower - ride-on tractor
Roadtrain — 'trailer truck' or 'big rig' etc
Rubber (for pencils) — eraser
Rubbish bin (& rubbish tip) — trash can or garbage can (& garbage dump)
Sacked — fired
Sandpit — sandbox
Semi-trailer (truck) - semi-trailer but also tractor-trailer
Sent — shipped
Shop — store
Shopping centre — shopping mall
Shopping trolley — shopping cart
Skip — dumpster
Sunbake — sunbathe (U.S. & U.K.) (The difference is very appropriate if you think about it. Australia has the highest incidence of skincancer in the world — so 'bake' instead of 'bathe' is very appropriate.)
Survey — poll
Tap - spigot
Teatowel - dish towel
The pictures (as in let's go to the pictures) — the movies
Tick (the box) — check (the box)
Track (eg Kokoda track is the Australian term) — trail (eg trail riding is a U.S. term)
Trolley (as in shopping trolley) — cart
Turf (turf farm) — sod (sod farm)
Send (sent) — ship (shipped)
Spa — jacuzzi
Tap — faucet
Torch — flashlight
Verandah (groundfloor; if it's raised up, it's a balcony) — porch
Wardrobe — closet
Weatherboard (timber clad housing) — clap board
Whinge — complain
Whiteboard — dry erase board
For emergency services in Australia, you dial 000 (triple zero), whereas it is 911 in the U.S.

Clothing-related words

Australian English — American English

Duds - clothes
G-string (bum floss) — thong
Jumper — sweater
Nappy - diaper
Sandshoes or gym shoes — trainers, track shoes or joggers
Strides (not common) - slacks, long pants (trousers - English)
Thongs — flip flops (jandals — New Zealand). Australian thongs are made of a rubber sole and a single v-shaped strap that connects at 3 points to the sole — between the big toe and neighbouring toe, and either side of the start of the heel. This simple but eminently practical design originated in traditional Japanese footwear (where you can even by warm socks especially designed for wearing with thongs). Thongs are not sandals! Thongs do not have a strap at the back tying them onto your feet! These are only worn by non-Aussies who grew up in cold climates, who didn't develop sufficient muscles in their toes to be able to keep thongs on. (It's probably this lot that insist on calling Australian thongs 'flip flops'.) Sandals are also worn by Aussies who are pretending they're dressed up. There are all sorts of sparkly colours available these days, so accurate colour co-ordination of outfits is possible. 'Double pluggers' is the nickname for thongs that have two plugs on either side of the foot connecting the strap to the sole — they're stronger than 'single pluggers'. ('Pluggers' for short; but this really is bogan-speak.) Dunlop commenced production in 1960 and they made the very best thongs, they took forever to wear out and were virtually bindi-proof, but unfortunately Dunlop stopped manufacturing these tough tropical gumboots a few years ago. Like many imported terms such as the U.S. equivalents for 'fringe', 'barrack' and 'bum bag', 'flip flops' doesn't conjure up pleasant mental pictures in the minds of most Aussies. They're perhaps mostly likely to think of a bloke jogging along a nudist beach or some equally undignified sight...
Tie — neck tie
'Togs' - the most common term for the gear you wear swimming, in most of Australia, except for in Sydney & surrounds, where they like to make complete goats of themselves by referring instead to 'cossies' (short for bathing 'costume'). Some Australians use the very mundane term of 'swimmers' or 'bathers', also. Togs is probably the one word that is used by most Australians to refer to swimming gear, but it has more regional variations than any other commony used term.
Tracksuit (trackie dacks etc) — sweat suit
Ugg (ug or ugh) boots — generic Australian terms, short for 'ugly' or 'ugh' (as in 'yuck, that's beauty-challenged footwear), used to refer to footwear made from 100% sheepskin (tanned sheepskin on the outside, sheeps wool on the inside).
Undies (underpants or pants) - panties, underwear (knickers - English)

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