7 June 2006

More, because I am like that

I am overwhelmed, truly. I realise that 52 comments is a slow day on the internet for some people, but it was awfully exciting for me. Thank you to everybody who took the time to comment. I began answering but can't possibly keep up, so please just know that I loved reading every single contribution, and have answered some things below.

And now for your enjoyment, here are some more that I thought of the instant I hit 'publish' last time.

Strayan words

nappies: diapers
dummy: pacifier
op shop: thrift shop, charity shop
porridge: oatmeal
ring: call (someone on the phone)
spew/chuck/chunder: vomit
bathers: togs/swimmers/cossie [abbrev. swimming costume]/swimsuit. This one varies regionally. We say bathers, my NZ aunt says togs, Bec & Kim may wish to pitch in here with the Sydney version
jumper: sweater
holiday: vacation
boot: trunk (of the car)
brolly: umbrella
trolley: cart
soft drink: soda/pop
chips: crisps
hot chips: chips, french fries
rubber: eraser (the bane of my year as a schoolgirl in the US. "Can I borrow your rubber?")
queue: line
lift: elevator
takeaway: takeout (food)
cot: crib
bum: butt
arse: ass (similarly, arsehole) Ok back to family friendly blogging ...
doona: duvet
bushfire: brushfire/forestfire/wildfire
brackets: parentheses
fullstop: period (a period is something else entirely)
icy pole: iced lolly/popsicle
flannel: facewasher/washcloth
calico: muslin
muslin: cheesecloth (?)
trainers runners sneakers plimsolls all regional variations but my personal favourite is brothel creepers
garbage: rubbish
trash can: rubbish bin. When I lived in ID (see, I can do it too if I concentrate) my two host brothers thought this was hilarious. Their college friends would come over and they'd say "Hey Suse, come and tell Brad/Todd/Chuck where you would put this piece of garbage!" and I would perform and they would laugh and pat me fondly on the head from their great height (everyone in ID is 6'4").

Strayan phrases

Put it in the too-hard basket: to give up (A commenter pointed that out. I didn't realise it wasn't universal. My basket runneth over currently.)
Flat out like a lizard drinking: to be very very busy indeed
Drive the porcelain bus: to vomit (into the toilet)
Technicolour yawn: vomit
No worries/Not a problem: it's fine
Spit the dummy: throw a major tantrum
Chuck a wobbly: again with the tantrums
It's all gone pear shaped: when things go awry. This one is English but it's well used here.
Melt my wax: surfing term, as in a surfer would spot a hot chick [as opposed to hot chips] and say she really melts my wax. Could be out of date by now, I have not been a surfie groupie for some years.

I've also noticed differences in some past tenses. We say knitted and fitted and spat. As in "He rang me up to say that the new jumper I knitted him fitted perfectly but then the cat spewed all over it so he spat the dummy and put the whole thing in the rubbish bin."

There are indeed class-based accents in Straya. Just try saying "noice, roolly roolly noice" in your best Kath & Kim accent on a tram full of eastern suburbs private schoolgirls in their straw boaters and feel the atmosphere freeze.

Regional differences are also developing. People from Adelaide and Perth sound somewhat different to eastern state folk, sort of New Zealandish but not quite as ludicrous. (Kiwis really do say fush and chups, honest). And everyone says we Victorians have an accent. (We don't of course). I can't even begin to describe the accent of a Queenslander. More Strine than Strayan I would say.

Personally I grew up with two very English parents and then married an Englishman so many of my words/pronunciations are English. My friends all think it's hilarious that I sit on a settee instead of a couch or sofa, and I only recently stopped hoovering and took up vacuuming. And I put bandaids on my children's scabby knees rather than plasters these days.

Now, to answer some commenters questions, a jumper is a sweater. What you call a jumper (a sleeveless dress?) we would call ... um, a sleeveless dress. Or a shift dress? Perhaps a pinafore?

A vest in England is a sleeveless undergarment, known as a singlet here. Long sleeve ones are called spencers.

I'm sorry I have no idea what a duchess is, except what you become if you marry a duke I suppose.

We just don't do dried meat so there is no jerky/biltong equivalent. We have refained tastes here y'know.

And a rusk is a baby's teething biscuit, an adult would never have one with her tea unless she was terribly premenstrual and the pantry was bare.

We do say reckon a lot, but I reckon everybody does, eh?

And of course, it is the ENGLISH who say flip flops. The Kiwis say jandals. My apologies.

16 comments:

sueeeus said...

Ooh, do I get to be first?! I always wondered why they called tennies plimsolls when I lived in England. It was class 4, and I didn't know what they were talking about. I don't know when I figured that tennies were tennis shoes, and that you didn't have to play tennis to wear them... So confusing. SO. The important thing here is that my beloved is in that phase where he chucks a wobbly and spits the dummy, sumthin' fierce. Ha!

Anonymous said...

One more item. I've read a few British chick lit books (my dtrs) and have watched a few shows on PBS. I notice the Brits always refer to apartments as "flats". Now in the west (especially San Francisco) a flat is a two (or rarely) three story building with a "flat" on each level belonging to different families--rather like a vertical duplex. They are roomier than "apartments" having living room in the front, dining and kitchen next and two or three bedrooms in the "back". In San Fran these homes were right next to each other.
Apartments are anything from studios to small one or two bedroom units and there could be up to four or five on each floor. There is only one "flat" on each floor! Wonder where that term came from?
Barbara

laurie said...

very entertaining!! i think i may adopt a few of these just for the fun of it!!! i'm a school teacher and from now on i'm on Summer Holiday!!!

Alison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

In NSW the article one wears in the water is almost always "swimmers" - as in,a parent-to-parent conversation: "I've got their floaties, kickboards and towels, have you picked up their goggles and swimmers?", or "hurry up and get those wet swimmers off and jump in the shower before you freeze!"

We do dabble with some of the other variations, my husband often says "cossies" (pron. cozzies), and of course for boys it is almost always, "have you got your speedos?"

jorth said...

What a list - I'm terribly impressed!

Michal said...

Hey,
I'm an NZer and I dont think that our accent is ludicrous..I grew up with a Scottish Grandmother a British Stepfather and an NZ mother. I have a lot of English words Vests instead of singlets and Settee as well to name a few.

I think our accent has Scottish vowel sounds. Seems to be alot more Nzers with Scots and British heritage than Irish for instance.

For some reason people think its ok to have a go at NZ accents I'm not sure why....Australians who roll all there speech together into one long word are pretty dam ludicrous too if you ask me?!

chest of drawers said...

Oh my god! This post is funnier than the last!

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Still fixated on swimwear - I know you mentioned budgie smugglers, but have you also got 'sluggos' for Speedos?

And on a related subject - have you got g-string in Australia = thong in the US (I know I should just read back through everything but I'm easily distracted...)

Oh, and Kiwi Michael? Get a grip, dude. And put an 'n' in your damn in future if you want your expletives to be taken seriously!

(sorry Suse, hope this doesn't inspire any cross-Tasman narkiness on the rest of your blog!)

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Ooops! another one just sprang to mind for the cranky Kiwi: I've got NZ rellies and have worked with several Kiwis too and they have all pronounced the plural of 'woman' as 'woman' instead of 'women' pronounced 'wimmin'. My personal theory is that this lack of distinction between one woman and many women is related to the fact that 'sheep' is its own plural...

(that should really get Michael going)

Cate said...

Apologies if I missed this one, but do everyone a favor and explain that folks from the US should refrain from mentioning "fanny packs" in favor of the Australian term "bum bag". I have a friend that got in a lot of trouble over that one.

Michal said...

Thanks-for the feedback. My name is Michal-not Michael.

And none of it got me going !

By the way I live in Australia and have done for ten years-I have a Australian born daughter. And many Australian relatives.

People from the US really do live in too small country...

Belinda said...

Too funny!

On my first trip to California I stayed with cousins who would get me to say over and over "Foster's Australian for beer", and for their further amusement answer their phone with "G'day".

I was also asked by a young woman if we celebrated Christmas in Australia! I assured her that a vast majority of us were not kangaroo-walking heathens.

Karyn said...

bonnet: hood

I am from Victoria, and for at least a year after I moved to Brisbane people continually asked me "Oh, are you English?"

I finally realised if I started appending "ay" to the end of all my sentences I could begin to be accepted.

"Geez mate, ya firin' up the barbie this Sat'dy, come 'round we'll get blind ay"

That sort of thing.

Also here in QLD they say "Port" when they mean backpack/school bag/suitcase. There are no milk bars, and it's WOOLIES ok, not Safeway.

lol. I always love these slang arguments.

Gina E. said...

Enjoying all these posts; the differences between the Septic Tanks and the Aussies speech is always a great topic. Just one bone of contention; in your first post on the subject you state that 'most of us' don't like our leader. Speak for yourself my dear - he has been voted back in for a few years now, and still tops most of the polls, so 'most of us' actually do like Mr Howard.

Susie Sunshine said...

"Flat out like a lizard drinking" and "technicolor yawn" have been added to my Yank vocabulary. Thanks!!!!