Janie Hubble Designs


By now you have probably all gathered that I live in Australia -‘Oz’ to those in the know.

And because every country has it’s own little quirks when it comes to language I thought I’d share a few of my favourites today. This lesson will also come in handy in future posts in case I inadvertantly slip into the venacular without realising it!

Mel in the Swan Valley (down the way from me) already knows all of these words … so I guess she’ll just yawn at this post, and go off and stitch another bookmark. ‘Onya Mel.

Ahh … there’s the first little Ozzie word for the day. ‘Onya’ … obvious really! It’s really ‘Good On You’. But in true Ozzie fashion why waste time actually saying it all when you can shorten it to just one succinct little sound. As an aside, but  still on topic – Ozzies will lengthen short words and shorten long words if they can. Especially names of people and things. So, if your name is Barry, we’ll shorten it to Bazza or, better still, Baz. You might live in Subiaco (pronounced Soobiakoh) but you’d say you live in Subi (Soooby). Or if you lived in Mosman Park, you’d say you lived in Mozzie Park.  My friend Rosamund shortens her name to Ros (pronounced Roz) but of course we all call her Rozzi … Get my drift?

Anyway on to more Ozzie words and phrases.

We keep chooks (hens) that lay googies (eggs) up the back (in the back yard/garden). Now I know I’m a bit of a dag (endearing term for silly person) but I love nothing better than putting on my bathers  (swim suit) – also known as a cossie over east (east coast of Australia) – having a bit of a swim, and then throwing a few snaggers (sausages) onto the barbie (bar-b-que) and downing a few tinnies (drinking some cans of beer).

Actually I don’t like beer very much, but it worked with the sentence so I went with it. Give me a nice drop of red plonk (wine), preferrably a merlot and I’m a happy little vegemite (pleased).  And I’m a bit partial to a glass or two of bubbles (champagne). White bubbles not red bubbles (sparkling shiraz). Did myself in (got drunk) on red bubbles one night and haven’t touched them since!

Interestingly, most of us ‘educated’ Australians think that we don’t use slang all that much. Wrong! I realised that it’s just part of our normal every day vocabulary when I started to talk to friends over in the US. Often they would ask me what I meant when I said something which I thought was perfectly clear and not at all ‘Australian’.

My daughter Em (Emily), who lives in Montreal, came up with a funny situation just before Australia Day this year (which is Jan 26 for anyone who is interested). Her french-speaking Canadian friend Tash suggested that they do something for ‘Aussi’ Day. She had left the ‘e’ off Aussie accidently when she was typing. Em, who is learning French saw the connection immediately and asked Tash if she meant ‘Also’ Day (‘aussi’ in French means ‘also’). So, the pair of them celebrated ‘Also Day’ on Jan 26, and Australia Day will be forever known as Also Day at our house in honour of Tash.

It’s not until we talk to others in different countries that we realise that even though we might speak the same language, we all have words that are specific to our own regions. I love discovering new words and their meanings – what about you?

Categories: Janie Hubble Designs

5 replies »

  1. We’ve got 11 months to figure out how we’re going to celebrate Also Day here in 2012. Maybe we can get Tash and Em to visit.

    While visiting the Outback years ago, Mike stopped at a middle-of-nowhere pub to buy ice. Ice was a fairly rare treat and revived us in the nick of time when we thought surely we’d dry up and blow away.

    He went in (out of the sun) while I waited in the scorching car–I was on the shady side. He was gone for what seemed like forEver—way yonder longer than was necessary to buy ice, especially considering ours was the only car in the parking lot.

    They guy in the pub could not figure out what Mike wanted when he asked for “ice.” They went back and forth with the word for a while, and then Mike took a different route: “Frozen water, preferably in cubes.”

    “Ooooooooh! You want ‘oyc’!”

  2. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall watching your Mike, with his Canadian accent, asking for ‘ice’ in the Australian outback. Obviously thinking outside the nine dots got him understood eventually. LOL

  3. Hey all, I wasn’t bored – in fact I was quite surprised! Australia is pretty homogenous with our accents and words, it’s difficult to tell what part of the country you are from, unless you start referencing particular places or events.

    However, I am from the Eastern parts of Australia (have only been in WA 18 months) and Janie’s post does show me that there are minute differences in our respective regional lingos.

    swimming costumes – Janie calls them bathers, I grew up calling them cossies or swimmers.

    Champagne – Janie calls it bubbles, I’m used to calling it bubbly

    Suasuages – Janie calls them snaggers, I call ’em snags

    Minute differences 🙂 But differences all the same 🙂

    So in conclusion all I can say to Janie is: Nooise post, luv! Bewdy bonza and I’ll drop in next time I go town!

    (Translation: Great post Janie. I really enjoyed it and we should meet in person next time I go out on the town)