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…