A – Z Challenge 2023

The Australian language or”lingo” has evolved from a melting pot of cultures over the past 245 years.

Within Australia accents vary slightly from state to state. For example, Queenslanders who were born in the state as opposed to “mexicans” from down south, tend to finish their sentence with ay. “The humidity has been oppressive, ay.” I remember moving to South Australia from thirty years living in Sydney, New South Wales, and being asked if I was from South Africa.

Some terms differ from state to state. “School cases” in New South Wales are “ports” in Queensland. Swimsuits can be “togs” or “cossies” depending where you live.

There is jargon associated with different occupations and activities, slang for different groups and some expressions that are considered fashionable and even trendy. “That’s how it is” and “Yeah nah”.

Some words and phrases have died out with previous generations. “Flaming galah” comes to mind (an idiot), as does the response when asked how you are feeling, “as crook as Rookwood”. Rookwood is the oldest, largest and most multicultural working cemetery in Australia.  (An aside: add to your Must Do List when travelling: the place has spectacular views and provides a social history beyond compare).

We also tend to be a lazy lot and shorten words by adding an O to the end. So if you are going to the service station for petrol you are going to the “servo” and the bottle shop for alcoholic beverages is the “bottleo”. Visiting relatives is visiting the “rellos”. You’ll get the hang of it……

Australians also seem to be proficient at sprouting both profanities and insults. I recently heard the son-in-law describing a woman as a “prawn” – nice body, shame about the head.  Awful, I know, but I did laugh. Many of our insults are tinged with humour.

I haven’t come up with a format yet but be prepared for some fair dinkum convo come April. See you round like a rissole.

19 thoughts on “A – Z Challenge 2023

  1. Leah :O)

    I always wondered where ‘crook as rookwood’ come from, & personally, I think ‘flaming galah’ should make a comeback lol! :O)


  2. I’m looking for a term similar to the American “Snow Birds” in Australia. Not quite the same as Grey Nomads. Maybe it’s Mexicans who come over the border into Queensland every winter. Looking forward to your Aussie slang. Have some family in Rookwood so the term is familiar.


  3. It’s going to be quite a ride for me! BTW – In St. Louis we have Bellafontaine Cemetery – which may be our version of your Rockwood. I am looking forward to this series, ay – or should I say serio?


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