Found Glossary of Australian English

by Alissa

A list of terms that may be really useful in Australia, or may just mark us as ignorant foreigners with a hopelessly dated vocabulary.

Octavia’s latest favourite book about Oz–YES! Multiple sources have confirmed that they call it OZ!–came from another recent thrift run: A Visit to Australia. We have yet to find another children’s book littered with more Australian cliches per page–a wombat, a platypus, koalas, kangaroos, surfing, the Sydney Opera House, opals, the Blue Mountains, cricket, and numerous Australianisms (Ozisms?) italicized throughout. We’ve read it faithfully at almost every meal since we purchased it. At this point, we’re down to about 3 cents per reading, which feels like a fair price.

The glossary in the photo above comes from inside the front cover—-something practical to add value to the story of Ted, 9-year-old surfer/wombat surrogate caretaker. A few of these I’ve heard before, but my hands-down favourite is, “She’ll be apples.” It will be okay. Isn’t that nice?

The problem is that two of the three Australians we’ve tried it on had never heard it before. The third, the only one over 50, got a far-away look on his face and said it was a very old-fashioned expression, maybe something his parents or grandparents used.

One of the younger Aussies, Ty (-ler? -son? -rone?), has been helpful, both linguistically and for general information on Oz. He is very easy to understand, which I’ve learned from other sources may be because he comes from Perth, and also–I asked–because he makes a real effort to make himself internationally clear. At dinner last week, he mentioned that the first syllable of each word is the most important, and any following syllables are optional. Hence his name. This is good news. With the blossoming speech patterns of Octavia, we’re in good practice for this habit already. Who knew she was gearing up for Oz by calling them strawbs?

Strawberry season in Ontario is in full swing. Today I wished that it could always be June in Ontario. The fruit of this particular earth is so tangy, so sweet, so delicate. We’re eating as many strawbs as we can before this season is over forever.

I think I may need to start a campaign to bring back She’ll be apples. Who is with me?