Sunday, July 24, 2011

Learning the Lingo

Bottle brush (after the workshop ended)....

Workshop number 5 is finished, and was Bonza (excellent). Great artwork happened, met faboo people, and we had an especially Ripper Rita (fantastic) time with our super hosts, Derek and Celia. They are truly "fair dinkum" (the genuine item), couldn't ask for more thoughtful, generous and fun people to hang with. We admire and love them both!

Tomorrow we are off to Brisneyland, of Bris Vegas, or Brizzie as the folks in Sydney refer to it. What fun we have had so far!

Even though this journey has not been so much about sightseeing, we have been deeply immersed in conversations with many Australians, and have been studying the language intensively. It is wildly colorful and exotic to us. Here are a few highlights so far:

Aussies tend to shorten long, multiple-syllable words and add an O. So we get "lingo" for language, "relo" for relatives, "ambo" for ambulance, "arvo" for afternoon, "smoko" for a tea or smoking break from work, "doco" for documentary, "dero" for a hobo, tramp (from derelict), "garbo" for garbage, "nasho" for National Service", and so many more. An electrician is a "sparky", carpenter a "chippie".

We love how people say "good on ya" when you have done something well, or when they are wishing you well.

There are many colorful ways to say that somebody is dumb or crazy: "he has a kangaroo loose in the upper paddock", "she is a few prawns short of a barbie", "a sandwich short of a picnic", "one brick short of a load", etc.

When you are suddenly surprised or amazed you can say "stone the crows!"', or "cut off my legs and call me shorty!", or "God strike me fat!" if you are a skinny person. If something is simple and easy to accomplish (you push a button and something magical happens) you can say "Bob's your uncle!"

Doing something quickly can be "in two shakes of a lamb's tail" or more often "in two shakes", or in "half a tick" (as in the ticking of a clock).

We love the great descriptions of various things: "mad as a cut snake", "cross as a frog in a sock", "grinning like a shot fox" (smugly satisfied), "dry as a dead dingo's dodger". A drunk can be a "two-pot screamer". Female genitals are called "fanny" or "mappa Tassie" (map of Tasmania).

A chicken is a "chook", and being ill is "crook", and people are sometimes "crook as a chook". Having sex can be to "root" or "have a naughty". Someone who talks too much is an "ear basher". To "whinge" is to complain or whine. You might be given a prezzie (gift) and you can only hope it is not bodgy (poor quality). Some Aussies get their "tucker" (food) at "Maccas" (McDonalds). A microwave is a "tuckerfucker".

And now, for fear of being thought an ear basher and making you whinge, I'll just say "Hooroo" (goodbye).

Oh, and be sure to check out Daniella's blog too!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Sydney, AU

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