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Questions tagged [australian-english]

Questions about English used in Australia.

3
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4answers
173 views

What is the difference between ‘Is it free’ and ‘Is it on the house?’

One of my friends said, ‘Is it on the house?’ in Australia, but some felt a little awkward. Do Australians not usually use the expression, ‘on the house’?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Idiom: Origin of the phrase “a bit how ya going” to mean questionable or 'not quite right'

In Australia, where I live, it is not uncommon for people to describe something as "a bit 'how ya goin''" to mean that it's a little bit dodgy, or not quite right. An example is "Hey don't you have ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Origin of “not for quids” phrase

At various times I've supposed the informal Australian phrase “not for quids” (which apparently is analogous to “not at any price”) derives from quid, which refers to sovereigns, or guineas. At ...
0
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3answers
217 views

Expressions about a phone call and its quality

I was listening to a radio program and there was an interview going on over the phone between the anchor and the listener. But I heard a disturbing sound from the phone call and the anchor said, "...
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0answers
11 views

Opertunities for IELTS individual [closed]

I recently attempted my IELTS exams, and scored overall 6.5 band. Listening 7.5 Reading 5.5 Speaking 6.5 Writing 6.5 Due to this 5.5 band in reading I can't apply for canada express entry program. ...
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1answer
24 views

the wording specific to Australia [closed]

Please tell me the wording specific to Australia. ・Carrying on like a pork chop ・Chuck a sickie etc. thank you.
15
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4answers
21k views

Why do Aussies use “cactus” to mean “dead,” “useless,” or “broken”?

This bloody washing machine is cactus! Glossaries / dictionaries of Australian slang (like this one, and this one) list cactus as meaning "dead, useless, or broken." How did this usage come about?
2
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1answer
97 views

Australian English: neighbor or neighbour?

Several sites (say, https://www.grammar.com/neighbor_vs._neighbour, https://proofreadmydocument.com.au/writing-tips/differences-between-american-and-australian-english, https://au.answers.yahoo.com/...
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3answers
53 views

Why do U.S. Americans say “a good value” (using indefinite article “a”)

Take this example from the Airbnb website: "What would have made this listing a better value?" This souds absolutely horrible and incorrect to my Australian ears (I would omit the "a"). I've also ...
2
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2answers
493 views

What is the meaning of “I’ll be up you for the rent”?

In this video at 1:43, Ray (the guy on the right), says something like: "And if I ever hear you having your eyes lifted or something done to your chin I'll be up you for the rent too by the way." ...
0
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2answers
7k views

what does ranger redhead mean for Australians?

I heard this reference on the Bravo TV show "Watch What Happens : Live" when Andy was speaking to the Housewives of Melbourne. They were giving phrases to the guests that were things Australians say, ...
7
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1answer
203 views

What connection (if any) is there in Australian slang between 'dinkum' and 'dink' (meaning a ride on bicycle handlebars)?

In an answer to the recent question, What is the American equivalent of a "backie"? site participant Chappo notes that in Australia the word dink is sometimes used as a noun to mean "a lift ...
3
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2answers
116 views

Multiple pronunciations of “where”

I've been an Australian English speaker my whole life but this was pointed out to me recently. Apparently I've been pronouncing "where" differently or incorrectly? Most of the people around me ...
1
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0answers
73 views

What is the history of the Australian slang word “sleeps” (meaning days)?

What is the history of the Australian slang word "sleeps" (meaning days)? I lived in Sydney many years ago and the term was not used then.
5
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4answers
4k views

Is 'yeah-nah' a uniquely Australian idiom?

There is a response in Australian English that means "Yes I hear you and empathise with your situation, but no this course of action won't work for me." [Yeah-Nah] I assumed this was a normal part of ...
4
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3answers
14k views

What is a “hens party” and where is this phrase commonly used?

Where does the term come from, where in the world is the term used? I came across the usage in this article, with this paragraph as quoted: Keara O'Neil was on a shopping trip to find bridesmaid ...
7
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3answers
935 views

Is Waltzing Matilda comprehensible outside of Australia? In Australia?

I'm American, but it seems to me that when I’ve encountered Australian speech or writing, I didn’t have much trouble understanding it. The words are mostly familiar to me. So what’s going on in the ...
1
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3answers
9k views

Use of “as good” and “as well”

Are these two sentences correct? This is as good as ... This works as well as ... Edit: This one is as good as the other one. This one works as well as the other one.
0
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1answer
261 views

How do you pronounce the word “array” in Australian English?

I am learning accents (differences in pronunciation), and I was wondering how to pronounce the word "array" in Australian English, and how it's pronounced in other variants of the language. Is it AH-...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

On the double meaning of evaluation

I know that evaluation can refer to both the process and the result, but when you say something is an evaluation of another thing, like fact is evaluation of claim (forgive the choppiness, the ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Australian English: developed or developped?

According to https://proofreadmydocument.com.au/writing-tips/spelling-tips-the-doubling-up-rule/ and https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/resources/view/resource/20/, we should spell the past ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word?

Usage: "I would not like to eat that pie as it looks all festy since you dropped it on the ground." Is the colloquial Australian term 'festy' actually a word? Also, is it used elsewhere in the world?
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5answers
4k views

Origin of “It's a fair cop”

After coming across the following questions, Origin of “All right, what's all this, then?!” and Origin of “Well, well, well. What do we have here?”, my curiosity was piqued to try and discover the ...
32
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9answers
5k views

Is “best” still a superlative in “best friend”, as in can you have more than one “best friend”?

I was speaking to a 15-year-old native English speaker (in Australia), who referred to someone as her "best friend". Later, she revealed that this wasn't her only best friend. She had four best ...
11
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2answers
22k views

Is Australian English closer to US English or British English?

It would seem obvious to me that Australian English is closer to British English due to the historical events that led to English people living here. But it seems when differences occur that US ...
3
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2answers
595 views

Is “Announceable” as a noun an Australianism?

I just heard of the word "Announceable" being as a noun. This word was announced as a Word of the Year candidate in 2011 by the Macquarie Dictionary. An example from 2010, albeit using sneer quotes: ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Why did Australian English change from spelling words like 'honor' to 'honour'?

I know there are other questions comparing the US and UK usage of o and ou in words like colour. My question is specifically in regard to Australian English. I was always taught that here in Australia ...
5
votes
2answers
510 views

Equivalences between Australian English and American English

Where can I find a good source (book or web page) of equivalences between Australian English and American English? I am looking for ordinary words, clothing-related words, food-related words, etc.
10
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7answers
18k views

How to express someone's height in metric

If someone is 169cm tall, what is the most common way of saying their height in metres and centimetres in American/Australian/British English? I'm not interested in converting metres (meters) and ...
0
votes
2answers
163 views

Usage of the word “spunk”

The word spunk is used to describe an attractive man. Can it also be used for a female? This is an Australian English word. E.g. : He's not really a spunk. I mean he's nice but...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Date as a synonym for anus

In the Song "Ten Foot Cock And A Few Hundred Virgins" Tim Minchin uses the phrase "it's a sin to take it up the date, even if it's great, even with your cowboy mate". I'm not a native English speaker -...
15
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5answers
2k views

Do native speakers of major English varieties actually say “a software” or “softwares”?

So I've looked up the word "software" around, and I've learned that -ware words are uncountable, and there's even a claim at the Wiktionary entry for this word that "a software" or "softwares" are a ...
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0answers
78 views

Why “idea-R-of” in Australia

I am not native english speaker English is my 2nd Language When I moved to Australia I noticed people here adding the letter R in between words that ends with vowel and the other that starts with ...
9
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10answers
23k views

What could be the equivalent term in British or Australian English to the American English word “hillbilly”?

In Wikipedia, “hillbilly” is defined as: … a term referring to certain people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its ...
5
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3answers
7k views

Where does “I'll go he” come from, and is there more to the phrase?

I understand the meaning of the saying "I'll go he", but does anyone know where it comes from? The researcher here seems to think that there is a couple of words left off.
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4answers
334 views

What's the origin of “dinkum”?

Dinkum as a noun means work, especially hard work. As an adjective, like fair dinkum, it means honest or genuine. Other than saying it's chiefly Australian and New Zealand, the OED simply says "...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Why is it okay for word initial /ɪ/ to sometimes be voiced as a /ə/ but not always?

For example what is the rule that says that, "Enough" (ɪˈnʌf) can be pronounced as /ənʌf/ But for "Introduce" (ɪntrəˈdjuːs) the /ɪ/ can't be pronounced as a /ə/?
0
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1answer
68 views

Help in deconstructing a sentence [closed]

This was a question posed by a friend. I'm myself curious of the answer. I apologize for the explicit content (I left it as is to remove ambiguity). I pretty sure that 'a yuppy fu@k' is a compound ...
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2answers
77 views

What does the phrase “chuck something in” mean?

I was doing the bilingual subtitling for a video recorded last year, on the first day of same-sex marriage debate in the lower house of Australia. There was a marriage proposal from an MP to his ...
0
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2answers
78 views

How come Australians refer to Aboriginal citizens as 'Aboriginal peoples', not 'Aboriginal people' [duplicate]

I've noticed in a lot of proceedings that Aboriginal citizens in Australia are referred to as 'Aboriginal peoples', not 'Aboriginal people' - is there any specific reason?
3
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3answers
4k views

In which countries would “tags” be understood to mean “License plates and stickers that show the registration is currently valid”?

On our sister site a user recently used the term "tags" in relation to taxis in China. I thought it might mean some kind of official authorization to operate a taxi. But upon clarification I was ...
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4answers
45k views

How common is pronouncing the past tense of beat as /bet/?

Personally, I pronounce the past tense of "beat" (to win at a game) as /biːt/, to sound identical to the infinitive. However, I have heard a few people under the age of 30 and from either the west or ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

What is the UK equivalent of 'murica and 'straya?

There is a pejorative phrase in the United States for country hicks that has recently arisen: 'murica Implying that that user of the phrase doesn't pronounce their words properly and doesn't ...
0
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2answers
319 views

Metalanguage and Sentence Structure (help!!) [closed]

I got my assessment back on Friday, and my teacher said I need to work on metalanguage and sentence structure. I don't understand what she means. I have looked on the internet for past 20 minutes ...
0
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2answers
44 views

Is saying “But if I try I can't remember” good English?

Is saying "But if I try I can't remember" good English? I feel like there is something wrong with this sentence (apart from the use of "but" at the start of a sentence - it's a song lyric). However,...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Arcing up: cats or electricity?

In Australian English slang, the expression "to arc up" means "to become upset or angry" (Wikitionary), e.g. "he arced up at his boss after being denied a promised pay rise", or "it was just a joke, ...
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vote
1answer
188 views

What are roach motels (the insect trap) called in Australian English?

In Australian English, what are the insect trap known as "roach motels" called? Wiktionary and Wikipedia (also this link) don't mention what it's called in Australian English.
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3answers
7k views

Does the English language have an official Academy? [duplicate]

For some languages, there are academies that decide topics such as grammar and spelling of things, for example, for the Spanish language, there are 22 academies in 22 different countries, all making ...
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0answers
46 views

What does it mean “do entertainment stories”

Actually I’m biggest fan of sia and I usually enjoy watching her interviews. anyway I watched the nightline interview, and she said “you don’t really do entertainment stories really that much.” and ...
11
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3answers
10k views

Origin of “cracked the sh**s”

I heard someone use the expression "he cracked the shits" today which is universally recognised (at least in Australia) to mean "lost his temper". It struck me that it is a strange expression and the ...