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Thread: AUSTRALIAN Culture and Language Help!

  1. #11
    Third Year Ravenclaw
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    xOxLyDzxOx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Right, I'm back, with a few things to say.

    Aussies are thrillseekers. Maybe not all of them, but there's a reason that they say:

    'Bungee jumping is sport for Australians, New Zealanders and mad people.'

    And with all that wide open space, nice cliffs and ocean on all sides you can understand why we like to bungee jump, surf, snow-ski, water-ski and generally anything that comes with a the warning: DANGER. May result in disability or death.

    Yes, Australia is not for the faint-hearted.

    It actually snows a lot, but if we have a bad season, then New Zealand has a good one, and if we have a good one, then New Zealand has a bad one.

    As for beer, well, you just have to watch this. Greatest ad ever. Yes, we love our beer. More than is probably healthy. But hey, you might as well live while you're young, right?

    I've mentioned the playful rivalry, right? Well I was thinking about the footy and just had to laugh when I remembered the crowd chanting as Nick Reidwolt (most overated player in the competition) lined up for goal when Saints played Richmond. They were chanting 'you are a loser'. Except they didn't say 'loser' they used a word that starts with 'w' and ends with 'anker'.

    Also, the cork hat. Now it may look stupid, but I tell you it's a miraculous invention. We used them all the time on out Central Australia trip.

    On the same string of thought: the Thunderbox. For those who don't know, its a box, way down in the back of the backyard, with a loo inside. It is the favourite nesting place of spiders and snakes and if you've ever had to use one in the middle of the night, in winter, no less, you sure can appreciate the miracle of indoor plumbing.

    Australian icons: The Victa lawnmower, The Hills Hoist, the thong (the kind that goes on your feet), the giant inflatable thong (again, the kind that go on your feet) that you take to the beach, Skippy, Victoria Bitter... the list is endless.

    Basically, we are geniuses. Bow down to our might.

    Besides, all the other coutries are starting to get on in years, wheras we are still young and lively. We love nothing more than a party and any excuse for a holiday will do. Like I said, we're still such a young country; still capable of burning the midnight oil while the other countries are tucked up in bed, taking a nanna nap.

    On that note, I'm going for my smoko.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Cassie
    It snows in Perisher, Jindabyne, Thredbo, blahblah. And doesn't it sometimes snow in Canberra? I try to avoid the subject of snow, though. lol
    Pssh, yes. But the few places that get snow are a minority, right?

    I haven't heard half of the slang that people are mentioning here ever, and I only use a couple of the words. Must be coz I'm a city girl, and a snobby one too Slang isn't really my thing.

    I adore that big beer ad. And the ads from the Gruen Transfer are great If anyone's interested in some Australian satire/comedy, look up The Chaser's War On Everything on YouTube. There's a funny clip where they convince Americans that monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal are actually in Australia - a good guide for what not to do. The Chaser will give you a feel for our sense of humour: making fun of everything, but all in a good-natured way.

    A couple of random things:
    - We use the metric system of measurement, not imperial
    - We use Celsius not Fahrenheit
    - Our clothing and shoe sizing systems are different to pretty much everywhere else, I think. Don't have an Aussie character referring to size 0 clothes (unless it's for a baby!) or size 32 shoes (unless it's for a giant!).
    - Our currency is dollars and cents. You can get 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent coins, 1 and 2 dollar coins, and 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar notes (NOTES not bills, and we don't call our coins nickels and quarters etc like Americans do).
    - Has anyone mentioned 'bloke' yet? That's not uncommonly heard. 'Sheila' is more of a stereotype - at least, I don't know anyone who says it, but from the looks of things, there are quite a few people here who speak with much more slang than me, so maybe it's not that rare.
    The barbeque. I have never been to a house that doesn't have a barbeque. It's generally the 'man's domain' - they get very protective and are likely to try and hit you with a shovel if you try and touch it.
    - Haha - the funny part is that when you have people over for a barbie, it's the women who do all the prep, then the men just cook the meat and get all the credit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cass
    Originally Posted by Azhure
    One thing Chelsea forgot is that a swimsuit is also known as 'togs'.

    That's a QLD term, I'm pretty sure. Mostly in NSW we simply call them "swimmers" though. Or you know, a bikini.
    - Okay. Sorted that one out then. In WA, it's bathers.
    - Skipping school is called wagging, in WA at least.
    - Another word we shorten is musician to muso.
    - Also, lots of place names get shortened, as well as people's names and other words. In my part of the country, we have Rottnest Island = Rotto, Dunsborough = Dunno, Busselton = Busso, Kalgoorlie = Kal etc. Also, Brisbane = Brizzo or Brizzy (I don't know how you'd spell that, but I guess it doesn't really matter.)
    - And more on animals: we also have some lovely SPIDERS, like red-backs. And we have black swans (which are the emblem of WA).

    Okay, that's all for this time.

    "I'm gonna go watch the footy - I'm barracking for the Dockers this arvo. Dad's invited some mates over for a slab and then we'll have a barbie for tea." (Just demonstrating some language there, it's not actually true and that is excessive slang for me but probably not for some people )
    -- Chels

  3. #13
    Third Year Ravenclaw
    Bumper Cars in Gringotts
    xOxLyDzxOx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Back again! Sorry, I can't help myself

    On the topic of humour I have to mention Hamish and Andy, who have invented the funniest game known to man: Ghosting. Check this. Hamish and Andy are a hilarious radio duo. We love Hamish and Andy. People ghost teachers at my school. It's hilarious lunch-time entertainment.

    Skipping school is called wagging, in WA at least.
    True for the rest of Aus. I tend to say ditching, but I'm revolutionary

    Also, we got to school from the end of January to the start of December. We have four terms and two breaks between each term. At the end of the year we have a six-week break over Christmas.

    By the way, where is Phia? I thought she'd been right in here by now.

    I was watching the news last night and they were talking about the US Presidential campaign. I tell you what, you yanks sure go all out. Here in Aus they campaign for a little while, we make fun of them and then pick the one we hate the least. Although we just have a Prime Minister, since technically we're still part of the Commonwealth.

    On the subject of 'togs', my grandma still calls them that

  4. #14
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    Snape Hates Me

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Behind a book, South.
    Helenís Guide to Eating Vegemite

    1. Get out the bread you want to eat it with. In my personal opinion it is best toasted. Very importantly MAKE SURE THE BREAD IS NOT SWEET! Seriously, this is a big no-no.
    2. Check your mouth for cuts or ulcers. If you have too many, give Vegemite a miss. Or you will suffer.
    3. Spread the butter on the bread. You can make this any thickness you like.
    4. Get out your Vegemite jar and bask in its glory. This is the stuff black, sticky, weird smelling dreams are made of. It is black gold.
    5. Spread the Vegemite THINLY across your bread. This is very important. Do not act as though it is Jam or Peanut butter. For beginner Vegemite eaters, this could be a very bad mistake. Only hardened Australians can eat large amounts of Vegemite at one time.
    6. Take a bite. Mmmm.
    7. Learn to pronounce this glorious spread. Vedge- e- might

    I also found a list of you know you are a True Blue, AUSSIE when...

    1) You've had an argument with your mate over whether Ford or Holden makes the better car
    2) You've done the "hot sand" dance at the beach while running from the ocean back to your towel.
    3) You know who Ray Martin is !
    4) You start using words like "reckon" and call people "mate".
    5) You stop greeting people with "hello" and go straight to the "how ya goin' ?"
    8) You own a pair of ugg boots.
    9) You've been to a footy match and screamed out incomprehensibly until your throat went raw.
    10) You know the first verse to the national anthem, but don't know what the hell "girt" means.
    11) You have a story that somehow revolves around excess consumption of alcohol and a mate named "Bob".
    12) You've risked attending an outdoor music festival on the hottest day of the year.
    13) You own a pair of thongs for everyday use, and another pair of "dress thongs" for special occasions.
    14) You don't know what's in a meat pie, and you don't care.
    15) You pronounce Australia as "Stralya".
    16) You call soccer soccer, not football.
    17) You've squeezed Vegemite through vita wheat to make little Vegemite worms.
    18) You suck your coffee through a Tim Tam.
    19) You realise that lifeguards are the only people who can get away with wearing Speedos.
    20) You pledge allegiance to Vegemite
    21) You understand the value of public holidays.
    22) Your weekends are spent barracking for your favourite sports team.
    23) You've played beach cricket with a tennis ball and a bat fashioned out of a fence post.
    24) You use the phrase, "no worries" at least once a day.
    25) You constantly shorten words to "brekkie", "arvo" and "barbie"

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  5. #15
    Wow, guys! I'm impressed! Thank you all for your help! I've only had time to skim it, but I never really realized how different it was (I mean you get the Aussie stereotypes all the time, but this is a lot more!). Keep the info coming! I just had a thought and its probably stupid, but here it is: Are there any common Australian names? Like, you know, some names are blatantly American, while say "Fluer" is French. I just needed them because obvoiusly I'll need to names some Australian characters, and I'm trying to keep things as authentic as possible. Any ideas?

  6. #16
    Well, before I get started, Mapoi, can you tell us what age or era you're wondering about?

    -- Chels

  7. #17
    Trio-era stuff would be wonderful! Thank you in advance, you guys are unbelievably helpful!

  8. #18
    ms. leading
    Well, Jessica is extremely popular nowadays. I had about three in my class last year. Yeah, and it suits the time period too, I think. I'll reply with more soon! ~Cassie

  9. #19
    Yes, definitely Jessica. There are also a lot of girls around called Laura, Lauren, Emma, Emily, Sophie, Stephanie, Samantha, Kate, Georgia, Amy, Sarah, Ashleigh...

    For boys, Matt is really common (as in Matthew, but most of them seem to be known as Matt)... what else... Daniel, Reece/Rhys, Mark, Tom, Ryan, Andrew, James, Jarred...

    There aren't that many names that strike me as distinctively Australian, really. For an older generation Sharon, Steve and Kevin are popping into my head, but that's about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helen
    You suck your coffee through a Tim Tam.
    Yuuuuuum. Okay, how to do this:
    1. Take a pack of Tim Tams, the classic Aussie biscuit (they're rectangular, chocolatey, and available in an increasing variety of flavours but original is still the best!)
    2. Grab a Tim Tam, carefully bite off two diagonally corners.
    3. Stick one end in your coffee and suck through the other (it's like a straw, see?)
    4. Quickly smoosh the biscuit into your mouth before it crumbles into your drink.
    5. Repeat! (No, you shouldn't eat too many choc bikkies at once. It's bad for you. But sooooo tempting.)

    I started copying out Helen's list here to make my own comments on them... but basically, every single thing on there is perfect and so true, lol. And all this talk of Vegemite has made me start craving it. I took it school in my sandwich today, which I haven't done for years. Mmm.

    I <3 this thread

    -- Chelsea

  10. #20
    jenny b

    Why am I just finding this thread now?

    Anyway, for popular Aussie names ... Chelsea has named plenty, but here's some more suggestions:

    Female: Megan, Rebecca, Courtney, Chloe, Brooke, Nicole, Cassie, Jade, Madeline/Madeleine, Holly ...

    Male: Harry, Ben, Jack, Luke, Mitchell, Dylan, Sam, David, Aaron ...

    Males usually have short names, or if they're longer, they're shortened anyway. Like Benjamin to Ben, Samuel to Sam, Zachary to Zac. I don't know if they do in other countries, but guys tend to call each other by their last names.

    Also, I don't know if you need any information about school (since it's going to be Muggle ), but our schooling is different from America and England. We start school around the age of five - the first year is called reception - and then you from year one to (usually) year seven at primary school, and then year eight to year twelve at high school. And we say our year levels like that. Year *insert year level here*.

    I'd imagine that holidays and things at magical schools would be the same as Muggle schools. We start the new school year around the end of January, and then have four 10 week terms, with two weeks break in between, so you finish the school year in about mid-December. Then you have a break until the end of January again.


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