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Aussie Slang

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G'Day! Aussie slang is a whole different language that can confuse many tourists from all countries. If somebody was to ask you if you wanted dead horse on your dog's eye, you would probably think they were insane. In fact, they would be using rhyming slang and asking if you would like tomato sauce (ketchup) on your meat pie.

Rhyming slang is said to be of British Cockney origin and first arrived in Australia with the first convicts. The convicts employed the use of rhyming slang to prevent the authorities from understanding what they were talking about. This type of slang uses two or more words with the last word rhyming with the object being referred to. A variation is to use two or more syllables instead of words. It gets even more confusing for the non Australian when this rhyming slang is shortened to the first which doesn't even rhyme at all. For example, elephants trunk rhymes with drunk but is shortened to elephants and Wally Grout rhymes with shout but is shortened to Wally.

Australians also love to shorten their words which provides another type of slang. I bet you becomes betcha. Good day becomes g'day. Crocodile becomes croc, and so on. And this shortened language is used by everybody, everywhere. If asked at a hotel whether you would like some brekkie, how many tourists would know they are being asked if they would like some breakfast? I know that there are many times I have had to explain to people that prezzies are presents/gifts. When Australians shorten words, they shorten them to one or two short syllables and then usually add 'ie' or 'y' to the end. Double 's' is often replaced with 'z' as in prezzies or mozzies (mosquitos) when words are shortened.

The other Australian slang favourite is colloquialisms. These are of British, Australian, and Aboriginal origin. There are so many colloquialisms in Australian slang that cover just about any situation that it is almost another language entirely. Some favourite examples are: spit the dummy, don't come the raw prawn, full as a state school hat rack, mouth like the bottom of a cocky's cage, wouldn't be dead for quids, fair dinkum, and you've got buckley's.

For Americans, there are so many confusing differences with the different types of English that it can be very confusing, and these differences are not only in the pronunciation and spelling. There are also many different words of all kinds. Here are a few examples:
Biscuit - Cookie
Lollies - Candy
Capsicum - Bell Pepper
Rock Melon - Cantaloupe
Fairy Floss - Cotton Candy
Chips - French Fries
Mince - Ground Beef
Jelly - Jello
Jam - Jelly
What is even more confusing is that the same words can have completely different meanings in Australia. A fag in Australia is a cigarette, not a homosexual male. Pissy in Australia means small and weak or it could mean drunk whereas in America, it means angry.

Australian slang is a language in itself and the next four pages will help you follow a conversation with an Australian.

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