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One of our decisions regarding house sitting was to start with English speaking countries until we were more comfortable with the process of moving about the world. We did want to see the world though, so Australia was a great choice for a house sit.
Now that we are here we are learning that it is easy to communicate about most things, but vocabulary differences are quite amusing. Another thing to consider is all of the British folks who live here. They call them “poms” which may be derogatory, but the Poms we know call themselves that ,too! So some of my vocab list comes from Poms and there you go, my disclaimer!
On our drive down on the bus last month, on the way from Perth to Kendenup, I got my first language lesson when I ordered a meat pie at the gas station where we stopped. The fellow asked if I wanted “sauce”- which I assumed was gravy. When I asked him if it was good that way, he said “depends if you like sauce on your pie”.
So I said “yes” to the sauce. He added fifty cents to my bill and gave me a little blister pack of catsup. I had to get a guy on the bus to help me get the “sauce” out and he told me to spread it around on top of the pie. It was good- the crust was sort of dry like a cracker, not greasy at all. I was surprised to learn later that they are still pretty high in calories. Anyway, I like sauce on my pie.
Some words in Australian:
(Aussie Words on the left)
Foods and cooking:
♦ Sauce or Tomato Sauce is Ketchup
♦ Bolognaise Sauce is Tomato or Spaghetti Sauce
♦ Tea is a drink, always hot, or at snack time, morning and late afternoon- got to have your “cuppa” like the Brits
♦ Biscuit or Bickie is a cookie, usually very English
♦ Iced Coffee is a shot of espresso, lots of milk, ice cream and whipped cream
♦ Coffee and Cake is what you get at a coffee shop and includes any dessert like pastry-People go for coffee and cake to socialize (expensive!)
♦ Mince is the word for ground meat, like beef mince for ground beef
♦ Slice is a kind of thin cake made in a sheet pan and in strange flavors
♦ Castor Sugar is white sugar, finer than ours but not as fine as powdered
♦ Capsicum is a Bell Pepper
♦ Silver Beet is Chard
♦ Beetroot is Beets
♦ Brekkie is Breakfast
♦ A tin is a can as in canned tuna
♦ Lollies are candies
♦ Chook is the word for a chicken (when it is walking around)
♦ Donah (sp?) is a bed comforter
♦ Car Park is a parking lot
♦ Trolley is the shopping cart at the grocery store
♦ “Cash Out?” means “Do you want cash back from your debit card?”
♦ “Pin or Sign?” means “credit or debit?”
♦ Red Gum, Blue Gum, Jarra, Marri, Karri all are Eucalyptus trees of some kind
♦ “Give Way” on a road sign means Yield
♦ “Do Not Overtake” means do not pass ( they have an overtaking lane)
♦ A Lounge is a couch
♦ A Dam is a deep ditch with three built up sides, about the size of a two car garage that hold rain water and sometimes has plants or frogs in it
♦ A Boot is the trunk of your car
♦ A Windscreen is the windshield of your car
♦ A verge is the shoulder or green strip by the road
♦ A Roo is a kangaroo, as you know if you read A A Milne
Great post, always good to learn a new language in a foreign country. Oh by the way the word is doona ?
Very nice article. Enjoyed it very much especially after spending this past summer in Sydney.
Here are a few that comes to our minds:
Thanks for your comment, Volkan. I am sure you have picked up a lot of different English slang in your travels. This list has a few I never encountered in Western Australia! Maybe we will get to Syndey next year and learn some more.
Love it Laurie! Being an Aussie myself it is hilarious just how many different sayings we have that are completely different to other countries. It’s like our distance away from another civilisation all the way Down Under has created a whole new English language! So many times I have said different things when we have been house sitting in the US and people juts look at you, wondering what on earth you are saying.
Oh and a pie and sauce is also know as a ‘pie and dead horse’… yeah not one of our better ones!! 😉
Hi Laurie and Neil,just had a look at your blog – love it!
Yes, we think we all speak “English” but its quite a shock when you live in another country – not just. The actual words but the pronunciation for example ask an Australian to say “aluminum” or “basil”
thanks for being in touch, Annie! It was so lovely to meet you. And glad you love the blog. We are just getting started! We also have a timeline with shorter posts and photos, currently at joyfuljourneying.com/timeline
Hope your travels are going well.
Looking at one of the dams yesterday, it is more like the size of a large lot, maybe 60 feet by 40 feet.
So many more vocabulary words keep coming to mind. Do you know what a “plunger” is? It is a French Press for making coffee.
And one of our new friends is enchanted by the words for our coins- she asked to see a dime. Today I also brought her a penny- she is looking them over with a lot of attention to the details!
Aussies also call what we Americans call a flashlight, a torch.
I loved reading your new vocab. Its almost a foreign language. Mostly happy to read about your adventures.
Wow! That was fast. Glad to see you are keeping up with our writing. Be sure and see the latest post on fb about the lizard fight at our joyful journeying fb page.