Yeah g’day mate. Noah ‘ere with the latest blog post.
Australians have a very distinct accent and way of speaking, so much that when a character in an American TV show or film is “from Australia”, their “accent” is exaggerated so much that I don’t even recognise what country they come from. With our strong (and dead sexy) accent comes our own vernacular, something I like to call Strayan – because no real Australian says the “L” in Australian.
If you’re a reader from another country and have been confused as to what your Aussie pal is trying to say to you, here are a few translations for you to help you understand your friend from Down Under.
deadset – A word commonly used by hearty Australians. It is pretty much another word for “seriously” when trying to get your point across. For example: “Beyonce is such a great performer. Deadset.” or “Love and Theft are deadset legends.”
fair dinkum – A phrase used to express a number of feelings, mainly that of surprise. For example: “This Guess wallet is reduced to $50? Fair dinkum!”
durry/fag – Now don’t be offended by the latter of the two; it’s not offensive when used properly in Australia. Basically, these two are another word for “cigarette”. For example: “Can anyone spare a durry?” or “I’m going out to have a fag.”
biff – Despite it being the nickname my best friend calls me (BFFL shortened to biff), this pretty much means “fight” as in a physical scrap. Commonly associated with contact sport. For example: “Nate Myles and Paul Gallen got into a biff in Origin 1.”
onya (may be spelled on ya) – This is a phrase of congratulations, meaning “well done” basically. It is pretty much the shortened version of “good on you”. For example: “You got a new full-time job with the NRL? Onya mate!” This may be followed up with “Sonya”, making it “onya Sonya” which paints the same meaning.
spittin’ chips – A phrase used to express one’s frustration or anger. Not as common as its original phrase “spitting the dummy”. For example: “The Broncos lost to the Eels last night and I was absolutely spittin’ chips.” NOTE: The g is omitted from “spitting” for a reason.
off his/her face – A description of someone when they are completely drunk. For example: “Talia had too much to drink last night and she was off her face.” Not to be confused with “off his/her head” which basically means he or she is crazy.
bludger – Not the flying ball from Harry Potter’s “Quidditch”, but a noun used to describe someone who is lazy. For example: “Jack hasn’t moved all day. What a bludger!”
cozzies – A shortened version of “swimming costume”, and ONLY a swimming costume. For example: “We’re going to the pool in 10 so get your cozzies.”
no wackas – Derived from another Strayan phrase “no worries”. It pretty much means “that’s okay” or “don’t worry about it.” For example: “You forgot to bring my jumper? That’s okay, no wackas.”
servo – Another shortened word, this time of “service station” also known as petrol station. For example: “I need to fill up my car so I’m going to the servo.”
bloody oath – Not a vow sworn whilst covered in blood. The English translation of this would be “Yes, that is correct.” For example: “Tahan’s going to win Big Brother? Bloody oath!”
chinwag (sometimes shortened to chinny) – A conversation, as when someone speaks, their chin moves or “wags”. For example: “So I was having a chinwag with Abby last night…”
With these important words in your belt, it is important to remember to throw in a curse word here and there where you see fit because swearing isn’t as frowned upon as much as it is expected in Australia. End your sentences with the word “mate” and you have constructed yourself a good Strayan sentence.
Another important thing to learn about how to speak Strayan is this: if there is a word that is about three or more syllables and you can shorten it to one or two and still make the same meaning, do it. Why waste your time saying “literally” when you can say “litch”. Traffic becomes traff, spectacular becomes speccy, legend or legendary becomes ledge… you get the idea. When in doubt: shorten that word.
And for sobbing out loud, Aussie is pronounced like “ozzy” not “Awssee”.
– by Noah La’ulu