an insight into australian slang
Auzzie urbane myth
The kentucky fried rat is a more general urban myth but The head being bounced
on the roof of the car story is a fair dinkum urbane myth.
Barry Humphries, the australian comedian who's characters 'Dame' Edna Everidge, and
'Sir' Les Patterson have contributed more to humour (australian and british humour anyway)
than any other comedian alive. The book 'The Travellers Tool' by Sir Les Patterson is
alive with overblown eupemisms. Expressions like 'Lonely as a bastard on father's day' and
'shift yer freckle' are prime examples of his work. The beauty of these charming little
parodies on Australian slang is that they have actually worked their way into general
conversation. Can't keep a good idea down.
Where would we be without Paul Hogan. For a start we probably wouldn't smoke as many
ciggarettes as we do and we'd probably have a better reputation abroad. But we'd also
never have that legend of the guy who painted the sydney harbour bridge over and over
again - (I mean physically you know, like up on scaffolding with a shit load of gray
paint) becoming australia's best know comedian. We'd probably never have heard of Delvine
Delaney or Strop either without him.
We'd never have the expression to 'Bung on a whammy'
either without Garry McDonald, aka Norman Gunston.
Roy & HG-isms
I don't know that much about Roy, but I do know that HG's dad has been hanging out with
my Grandmother for more years than I can remember. Gordan, HG's dad's real name was the
first person to ever hire me to do anything. I helped him build a fence for the glorious
sum of $5 per hour. (Ahh memories of Hahndorf). Well that's my claim to fame in australia
Roy and HG are a pair of Auzzie blokes who don't mind following on with the Barry
Humpheries tradition of over-occering everything and throwing in a ton of vaguely
homo-erotic content (not poofs, just mates etc). They
are single handedly responsible for the perpetuation of such expressions as 'The wedding tackle', 'Bed flute', 'Horisontal folk dancing',
'Caper', cries of 'Barra' for no reason
Words as variables
Euphamisms as variables
10 painted signs are enough to conduct conversation in my house for hours
Some fair dinkum, ridgy didge, slang
- Mate. Distinct from the more enthusiastic Maaaate,
anyone and everyone is a mate. Ours is a very egalaterian society that way. But, be
warned... misuse, or worse, overuse of the word mate is a major crime in Australia,
committed mostly by sales people. Never trust someone who shakes your hand and says 'Good
to meetcha mate.' with a smile. Keep an eye out for people like this and never trust them.
- Maaate. Almost Mate's evil twin, Maaate is often heard in
pubs when two people who don't generally say Mate decide to take
- Cobber. A cobber is like a mate but
no-one ever really calls anyone cobbber but it's perfectly okay and reasonable to say G'day cobber to someone who's a mate.
- Digger. The diggers fought in world war one. Sucked in.
- Webber. A kind of barbecue involving a sort of kettle lid
and specially bought charcoal and fire. There's a Webber in almost every Australian home
and anything cooked in a webber tastes great mate. The
only real disadvantage to this bastion of barbecueing devices is that no matter what time
you start cooking anything in a webber it's never ready to eat untill about 11pm. Hence
the phrase ready by eleven.
- Poof. The word Poof has a special place in the australian
lexicon. It is further evidence that there are no derivative terms in australian slang
because to bother to say anything to someone is usually considered a sign of respect. (ref). To be called a poof, nancy, blouse, pillow, woofter, or
whatever does not usually imply that you are being called a homosexual. Australians were
amongst the first to achnowledge that in order to get the party started you have to put
the faggots in charge of the music, so to speak. The strong thread of ironic
homo-eroticism which underlies most australian humour is evidenced over and over again
amongst for the most part heterosexual males. There are theories which attempt to explain
this I assume.
- Not poofs, just mates
- Wedding Tackle
- Bed Flute
- Horisontal Folk Dancing
- Spearing the Rabbit
- Tastes great mate
- Bung on a whammy
- Shift the dog
- Take the piss