Australian or Aussie English

The first thing that Lewis the Lion noticed as he stepped on to Australian soil at the airport in Brisbane was this sign:


The Australian way of saying ‘hello’ or rather ‘Good Day!’

So straight away he knew that one of the ‘magic words’ was slightly different!

He discovered that like New Zealand English, Australian English is very close to British English but with few different words and a slightly different accent (where everything seemed to rise up at the end of a sentence to make it sound like a question!).

He found out that the accent was different in the main because when the colonists arrived in New South Wales in 1788, they came predominantly from Ireland and South East of England (although there was a mixture of different British accents too). The first generation of children created a new dialect that then became the language of the nation.

Lewis the Lion noticed that some Australia English we even use in British English today and wondered how much of that was to do with some of the Australian soaps (like Neighbours and Home and Away) that have been beamed into UK living rooms over the last 25 years?!

Nonetheless, Lewis the Lion listened very carefully to the Australians whilst he was in Australia and here are some of the words and phrases (in alphabetical order) that he picked up.

Australian or Aussie English – British English

Alu foil – tin foil
Arvo – afternoon
Aussies – The Australians

“Throw a shrimp on the bar-b!”

Bar-B – barbecue
Bonza – brilliant
Bruces and Shielas – boys and girls
The bush – forest or country area
Capsicum– bell pepper
Chooks – hens
Cossie– swimming costume
Creek – stream
Croc – crocodile
Doona – duvet

A toilet in Australia is familiarly known as a ‘dunny!’

Dunny – toilet
Egg plant – aubergine
Eski – cooler box
Glad wrap – clingfilm
The outback – remote, sparsely populated area
Oz – Australia
Pommies – The English

Lewis the Lion outside ‘Roo’ Heaven

Roo – kangaroo
Shrimp – prawn
Sunnies – sunglasses

Aussie Sunscreen

Sunscreen – suntan lotion
Surf – waves

Flipflops are called thongs

Thongs– flip-flops
Tucka – food
Zucchini – courgette

Some Aussie Expressions

Argy-Bargy – a bit of pushing around
Chuck a mono – to do a wheelie
Chuck a wobbly – to get mad
Cooking with gas – being productive, it’s going well
Dead beat – exhausted
Fair dinkum, mate – I agree, mate or fair play, mate
Fair dinkum? – Really?
G’day, mate. – Hello or Good Day, friend
Give you a dink – Give you a ride on your bike
How yer goin? – How are you?
No worries – No problem

‘Beaut Fruit!’

That’s a beauty. – That’s a good one.
Too right – I agree, exactly
She’ll be right, mate! – It’ll be OK.
Strewth! – Give me strength!
You little ripper! – Well done! You’re a star!
Zonked out – worn out

Pronunciation differences

Data – sounds like dah-ta
Yoghurt – sounds like yoh-gurt
Any word ending in -er = sounds like it ends with -a.

Anything that can be shortened usually is and this applies especially for names.

The voice rises at the end of every sentence so that it sounds like a question.

Lewis the Lion thinks it’d be fun to try to say these words and expressions with the best Australian accent you can do! Why don’t you give it a go with a friend?!

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