FOCUS ON LANGUAGE
To key Australian slang words and phrases
“A” is for:
Aussie – the term Australians and foreigners use to describe the people down under.
“B” is for:
back o’bourke – in the middle of nowhere in the remote countryside;
banana bender – the term for residents of the tropical Queensland State, which once had a reputation for backwardness (supposedly the only skill of Queenslanders was to put the bend in a banana);
Bunyip – Australia’s version of the Yeti of Snowman;
bush – anywhere away from the city in Australia’s vast countryside.
“C” is for:
Captain Cook – Popular rhyming slang connected with the English explorer who discovered Sydney (“Take a Captain Cook” means to take a look);
chunder – vomit, or as it is also known in Australia, a technicolored yawn;
cooee – a bush signal that you are lost.
“D” is for:
dinkum, fair dinkum, dinky di – they all mean the same, which is honest, genuine, truthful, the real thing;
don’t come the raw prawn – don’t try to fool me;
drongo – an unintelligent and worthless person.
“E” is for:
earbash – to talk nonstop.
“F” is for:
fair go – to give someone a break, a fair hearing;
fair crack of the whip – a fair go.
“G” is for:
galah – a noisy parrot and used to describe someone who is noisy and makes no sense;
g’day – a traditional Australian greeting.
“H” is for:
hoon – a hooligan.
“I” is for
icy-pole – frozen lolly water or ice cream on a stick.
“J” is for:
joumo – a journalist.
“K” is for:
king hit – a punch delivered without warning.
“L” is for:
lair – a show-off;
larrikin – a ruffian.
lamington – sponge cake covered in chocolate icing and coconut.
“M” is for:
mate – the word heard most often, which can refer to men and women and is similar to saying, “Hello Sir;”
Mexicans – a term used by Queenslanders to describe other Australians who head north to take advantage in retirement in all-year warm weather.
“N” is for:
never-never – the remotest part of the countryside.
“O” is for:
ocker – a boorish Australian;
Outback – a remote part of the bush.
Oz – the term for Australia.
“P” is for:
Рот – an English person.
push – a gang of larrikins or ruffians.
“Q” is for:
Queenslander – a style of tropical homes.
“R” is for:
rat’s coffin – a meat pie, but don’t worry, there’s no rat meat in them.
“S” is for:
sheila – Australian for woman as in, “She’s a good sheila”;
strine – Australian slang.
“T” is for:
tucker – food;
two pot screamer – someone unable to hold their drink;
two-up – an Australian gambling game played with coins.
“U” is for:
ute – a pickup truck.
“V” is for:
vegemite – a sandwich spread, which many Australians carry around the world with them.
“W” is for:
walkabout – an aboriginal term meaning to wander;
whingeing Рот – the worst sort of Pom.
“X” is for:
XXXX – Four X, a popular Australian beer.
“Y” is for:
yakka – work;
yobbo – an uncouth and aggressive person;
“Z” is for:
zack – a five-cent coin.
By Brian Williams
Match each colloquial saying with its meaning.
1. to have a clean-up
A-8; B-5 or 9; C-16; D-11; E-10; F-1; G-14; H-3; I-4; J-6; K-2; L-7;M-15; N-5 or 9; O-17; P-12; Q-19; R-13 S-18