Words and Sayings Unique to Your Country/Culture

Digz

MyPTSD Pro
When I'm writing posts, I often find myself saying very Australian things and I sometimes think, 'Oh, I wonder if people from other places will know what I mean, if I phrase it that way?' It got me to thinking about how even though we speak English in Australia, we speak with a lot of Aussie slang language and have many very Aussie sayings, which might even seem inappropriate in some other countries, but in Australia that's just how we speak! Like in Australia, our 'mates' are our friends and our Gf/Bfs are our partners, which is kind of the wrong way around when thinking about the meaning of words. So, I thought it'd be fun to start a thread to find out about the variation in the language, depending on where you live and the types of sayings or words unique to your part of the world.

Here is a list of a few words/saying unique to Australia to get started:


Terms:
Arvo = afternoon
Barbie = barbecue
Snag = sausage
Cold One/Tinny/frothy = Beer
Bottle'O = Bottle shop (alcohol can only be sold in specialist
alcohol shops here)
Brekky = breakfast
Lunch = meal in middle of the day
Tea = Dinner in the evening & the hot drink known as tea
Budgie Smugglers/Dickie Benders = Men's underpants shaped/sized bathers
Dunny = Toilet
Bloody = Very
Bloody Oath = Can mean either 'yes' or 'very true', depending on context.
Bush = The forest or a country area
P*ss = alcohol
On the p*ss = drinking alcohol
P*ss up = a party or gathering where a group is drinking alcohol
Blowie/national bird = blow fly
Bucks = dollars
Deadset = that's correct/accurate or as a question signifying disbelief,
like saying, 'really?'

'Flat out like a lizard drinking' = really busy
'Could eat the arse (ass) out of a low-flying duck = really hungry
'Too easy' = a friendly way to say doing something is not a problem
'No worries' = it's not a problem or don't worry about it
'Sympathy is between sh*t and syphilis in the dictionary' = sympathy won't help the person, or, they don't deserve sympathy
 
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arfie

MyPTSD Pro
when did ya'll start speaking english in australia?

attempted humor aside. . .

i just used one of the words unique to the north american sunbelt. "ya'll" is a contraction of "you all."

another is coming in last night. "a blue norther" is where the wind shifts direction to bring cold air in from the north. shiver me timbers. . . that wind cuts like a knife. here on the north american great plains, the wind is a force to be reckoned with.

"keep your heels down, cowgirl" speaks of making it easy to fall out of the saddle so the horse doesn't drag you involuntarily.
"hopping like a cat on a hot tin roof" speaks of being very uncomfortable.
"hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk" kinda speaks for itself.
 

Digz

MyPTSD Pro
We owe a lot to Alf from Summer Bay. "Flamin galah" being a typical Alf-ism.
Good old Alf.... although I don't know many Australians that actually say 'Stone the flamin' crows' too often. 🤣
when did ya'll start speaking english in australia?
Well, you're actually quite accurate, we generally say we speak 'Australian' 🤣 Or in Australian, we say that we, "crap on in 'straylan lingo' 🤣
 

Friday

Moderator
Or in Australian, we say that we, "crap on in 'straylan lingo' 🤣
LMAO… To get the American accent to work right? It’s “Strine” 😉

Otherwise it sounds like there’s a stray LAN party happening somewhere.
As much as we mumble-blur-contract wanna coulda woulda shoulda mightave all y’all comin aight? Our vowels & emphasis are wacky. Because we don’t chew our R’s, and do tongue click or press our L’s, where the rest of the English speaking world gets lyrical we get stop start clunky.

((Sigh. I spent 12+ years in speech therapy, to learn to speak “correctly” depending on what continent we were living on, or which side of the US. You should see me drunk, when ALL my accents come out to play.))

Was one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings, though… from his time in WWII pacific… that’s become a bit of a family motto (you wanna do anything best-right?!? See below.)

American Ingenuity
Brit Know How
Strine Sense
 
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Friday

Moderator
I often find myself saying very Australian things and I sometimes think, 'Oh, I wonder if people from other places will know what I mean, if I phrase it that way?'
<cough> We’re not gonna mention my own slang. It’s a clusterf*ck from all the places I’ve lived, often wildly out of date, and I don’t even notice I’m doing it. Worse, I don’t always know it’s not actually English. However???

I sometimes translate scripts from bad English into good English. (I know. Irony abounds.) The idioms that have stumped me the worst, so I had to seek outside WTF is this?!?

Castles in Spain (Pie in the sky)
Bicycle Chicken (Tough)
Crap you along! (Piss off)
Whore Mother (f*cking awesome)
 

Digz

MyPTSD Pro
LMAO… To get the American accent to work right? It’s “Strine” 😉

Otherwise it sounds like there’s a stray LAN party happening somewhere.
As much as we mumble-blur-contract wanna coulda woulda shoulda mightave all y’all comin aight? Our vowels & emphasis are wacky. Because we don’t chew our R’s, and do tongue click or press our L’s, where the rest of the English speaking world gets lyrical we get stop start clunky.

((Sigh. I spent 12+ years in speech therapy, to learn to speak “correctly” depending on what continent we were living on, or which side of the US. You should see me drunk, when ALL my accents come out to play.))

Was one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings, though… from his time in WWII pacific… that’s become a bit of a family motto (you wanna do anything best-right?!? See below.)

American Ingenuity
Brit Know How
Strine Sense


In Aus, it's like we're too lazy to ever say full words, so as many words as possible are abbreviated, so a conversation (a convo) can be unknowingly complex for somebody who is used to proper English!
Australia = Straya Football = Footy Chocolate = choccy Biscuit = biccy..... Chocolate biscuit = you guessed it! Choccy biccy!! 😂

So, "I'm going to have a chocolate biscuit at the football this afternoon" becomes.... "I'm gunna have a choccy biccy at the footy s'arvo"!!!

And that's not even touching on our love of rhyming slang, where phrases that rhyme with the original word is used in the place of that actual word.... like 'China plate' which means 'mate', and 'dog and bone' which means 'phone'.

Language is so crazy!! Yet fascinating! And us Aussie's really like to take perfectly good English and ruin it!! 😂 😂
 

Digz

MyPTSD Pro
One of my fave (favourite) youtube videos that very clearly demonstrate just how much we Australians love to abbreviate literally everything!!!


What is hilarious about Australia is that we have to abbreviate or change so many words and names, even if it makes the name longer to say... so someone called Dave would be Davo or someone with the last name Smith would be Smithy.... it makes absolutely no sense, yet it happens all the time!! 😂 🤪

One of my fave sayings.... 'they couldn't organise a shag in a brothel'. 😜 😆
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
Well, you're actually quite accurate, we generally say we speak 'Australian'

in the us, we say we speak american and don't see much benefit in speaking english. that is increasingly true for hispanic america, also, starting with calling the language, "espanol" instead of "castellano." do we even care what they choose to speak in europe?

in our first continental congress in 1774, the official language was one of the items in the u.s. people with english blood were already a minority here and the english language only won the honor by a single vote. the second in popularity was german. i have had many a native german express gratitude for having lost that contest.
 

Digz

MyPTSD Pro
Actually we don't have an official language in the USA, a fact that never fails to burn the buttons of the anti-immigration "learn to speak English" crowd.
That's interesting. Ours is officially English, albeit our own specific dialect, but it really is debatable whether it 'should' be the official language. We are such a multicultural country, and technically historically the original language was the many varying dialects of our First Nations people. We too unfortunately have the same 'speak English' crowd in Australia, which I find sad and unaccepting. Our country is made much better by having a diversity of citizens, in my opinion. :)
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
@somerandomguy
thank you for that tasty tidbit. OF COURSE i had to look it up and, sure enough, you are correct. sometimes it is good to be wrong. as an amateur linguist, i would love to see americans --canada to argentina-- become more relaxed in their approach to language.

in case anybody wants the story on how this rumor became a "fact" routinely taught in school:

 
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