Australian Accents & Australian Slang

About a month ago I met an Australian at a party – I love Australians, and it seems like I tend to run into more that my fair share of them – I think I’m drawn to them? Something about their accents, and their sunshiny, laid-back nature, and, well… their accents! When I was in junior high I decided I wanted to move to Australia when I was old enough – just for a year – so I could get an accent like Olivia Newton-John. I could listen for hours, if someone from Australia is talking. Seriously!

So anyway, I met this Australian at a party, and I was telling a story about some guy and he made a comment about how maybe I just needed to spoon with this guy. And I cocked my head to one side and said, “what?” and he said, “Oh, don’t you say that here?” and I just looked at him blankly, unsure of what he meant, and so he launched into a description of spooning, as in laying in bed, side by side, and I laughed and said, “Oh, yeah! Of course! I thought you meant something else” and he laughed. And I felt like a dork, but it was all good.

I mean, the colloquialisms and slang can be so different! Hollywood and the movies are the great equalizer, and they spread the latest/coolest/dorkiest slang all over the world, but still there are differences, and I love comparing and sharing all that with my friends in other countries. It’s fun! And this guy agreed, and we were trying to come up with examples, and I swear the only one I could come up with was “to root” – and I mean really! Here, to root for someone means to hope they do well, but in Australia its slang for having sex.

Why on earth was that the only example I could come up with? And still, here it is a month later, and still I can’t come up with any others? I know there are other funny examples, and I know I’ve discussed them with friends and laughed over them, But still, the only one that stuck is “to root?”

But back to Olivia Newton-John, I got to meet her last year – briefly, backstage at MTV’s Rock the Cradle. I was shooting a documentary, and she was lovely. And yeah, I’d still love to go to Australia and spend enough time there to pick up just a hint of that accent. It’s the best accent in the world, as far as I’m concerned! And hopefully I’d pick up a bit more of the slang as well…

2 Replies to “Australian Accents & Australian Slang”

  1. Oi Cheryl, Thanks for this blog. Leaving soon to spend time with a very special person in Australia and me new mates! One word I’ve learned not to confuse is “fannie”. In the US, we mean ur butt…in Australia, it means your front (female front, of course)…lol…so now you have “to root” and “fannie”…1/2 the equation. So put on your double pluggers, wife-beater, and your choice of bush whackers ors stubbies ( wearables or drinkables) and you’re on your way…see you later, mate!…(there is no gday)…Dame

  2. Yes Damian! You got it! Fannie IS indeed one of those words that I'd heard of, and found funny, but then couldn't think of when i wrote this post! Thank you for that!

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