Unique Australian language

  1. I've become aware that our use of the english language, Aussie style, is sometimes disconcerting to those who are not Australian, have never lived here, or know of our unique way with words.

    On more than one occasion I've had to explain to moderators just what a particular word means or that the use of a particular word,- here in Oz, - is not derogatory or "bad". On the contrary, we here in Oz speak plainly and sometimes bluntly. But.... that is how we are. Never any intent to insult or offend others. Just our everyday, common language.

    One example is the word; bugger. It's a word used in such context as;
    Oh bugger off! = Get lost
    I'm buggared = I'm tired
    Bugger that! = No way!
    Just to quote a few.

    Since part of each persons purpose on planet earth is to help educate others, I hope this brief lesson in Australian language, serves to enlighten others who are unaware of our unique language, and might serve as encouragement for further personal research for knowledge and understanding of same.

    My fellow Aussies, please feel free to add to the list! Let's educate and hopefully, remove any misunderstandings and potential for offence being taken by others here on allnurses. We're a unique mob here in Oz, and we need to help others come to know more of our ways! Including how we speak!
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    O.K.,

    So what is COOEE??? Hello? Hi? How are you?
  4. by   Grace Oz
    Cooee = all what you wrote! lol
    It's called out with a lilt in the voice. Also, In the bush, you cup your hands around your mouth and call it out when alerting someone to your position. Alternativly, it's called out by the person/s searching for someone in the bush. When seeking to obtain someones attention.
  5. by   sirI
    Gotcha, Gracie.

    Kinda like calling the hogs down here.

    SOOOOIE!!!!! Same lilt in the voice. Gotta have your technique down pat. LOL!!

    No, I don't think it's the same thing. hahahahhaha

    This is interesting. Thanks for the thread.
  6. by   Grace Oz
    I've Cooee'd a few hogs in my day, and they weren't the 4 legged kind either! lol
  7. by   joannep
    You cooee your children to retrieve them when they are in the playground, or wherever. It is handy for finding out where your husband is ... you can't find him anywhere in the house, so you stand by the back door and "Cooee", and he shouts back from the garage with a stubby in his hand, "yes love?". Easy way to find him.
  8. by   joannep
    Q:What is a stubby?
    A:The elixer of life.
  9. by   kcalohagirl
    When I was a *lot* younger, my older sister dated a guy who grew up somewhere in the outback. He talked about the "roo bar" on his pickup truck (which he probably called something different, as well, but I can't remember what). For the longest time, I thought it sounded like rhubarb, and couldn't figure out why you would have that strapped to the front of your truck.

    Roo bar = grille guard.

    That made so much more sense.

    *grin*
  10. by   Grace Oz
    The truck he had was most likely a UTE...... with a ROO bar similar to this! They're used to help deflect Kangaroo's when/if you collide with them out in the bush or on outback roads. The Roo's usually come off second best!
    Here's a modern UTE.....
    A uniquely Aussie car. UTE being 'short' for: Utility of course!
  11. by   Grace Oz
    Quote from joannep
    Q:What is a stubby?
    A:The elixer of life.

    Stubby = and a favourite of many Aussies

    Then there's the Darwin stubby......
  12. by   joannep
    Thank you Grace for the photos to go with the Stubby, they look perfect! I'm thirsty already.
  13. by   kcalohagirl
    Thanks for the photos of the "ute". Always good to have the visual in the head to go with a story. *grin* When I lived in Honolulu, I knew a bunch of Aussie sailors (yacht kind, not navy kind) but for the life of me, I can't remember specific idiomatic differences. Well, a "fillit" instead of a "fil-lay" as we americans like to call it, but that's the only other one I can think of right now.

    Oh, and instead of a "round" of drinks, as it is in the US, it is a shout. Those yachties did a lot of drinking, can you tell. *grin*
  14. by   vrhodes
    Cooee can also be used to say something is very far away, eg ''The pub is not within cooee of my work'''.

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