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Questions tagged [australian-english]

Questions about English used in Australia.

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7
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5answers
5k 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 ...
2
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2answers
457 views

Pronunciation of the letter “c” or “ce” in Australian English

In an Australian TV program the disease "encephalitis" was pronounced "enKephalitis." Is there a rule about the pronunciation of the letter "c" in Australian English?
3
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1answer
38 views

Is “crib bag” the Australian equivalent of “carryall” in AmE?

I have seen bags labeled "crib bags" on Australian websites. I never really understand what they are precisely or whether "crib" refers to the material or the shape of the bag. It seems the bags that ...
2
votes
1answer
650 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." ...
15
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5answers
23k 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?
9
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1answer
10k views

Is “early mark” only used in Australia and New Zealand?

What countries is "early mark" used in? It means being let out of something, typically school, early. onelook.com only reports it being mentioned in Urban Dictionary, and it doesn't have information ...
4
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3answers
652 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: ...
4
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1answer
92 views

Origin of the saying 'It's a soda'?

We say that something is easy (in Australia at least) by saying that 'it's a soda?' What is the origin of this please? Why soda?
0
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0answers
57 views

Are “one” and “won” homophones in Australian English?

My friend and I are both native speakers of Australian English. He thinks "one" and "won" sound different and feels "a one-liner" sounds wrong and should be "an one-liner". He does think the two ...
2
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2answers
3k 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 ...
3
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4answers
198 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’?
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
321 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, "...
-1
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1answer
28 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.
2
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1answer
165 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/...
1
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3answers
63 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 ...
0
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2answers
8k 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
281 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
120 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
105 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.
4
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3answers
15k 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
1k 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
10k 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
355 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
41 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
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2answers
189 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?
16
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5answers
5k 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
6k 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
23k 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 ...
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
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2answers
513 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
19k 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
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2answers
295 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...
15
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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 ...
1
vote
0answers
91 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
votes
10answers
25k 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
8k 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.
6
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4answers
360 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
114 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
70 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
97 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
87 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
5k 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 ...
9
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4answers
47k 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
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2answers
212 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
369 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
57 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
111 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, ...