Questions tagged [australian-english]

Questions about English used in Australia.

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4
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3answers
456 views

How did the term “bolshie” come to be applied to birds?

This question is prompted by a term in http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/73108561/Council-warning-threatened-falcon-species-launch-fists-of-fury-against-walkers Falcons were bolshie birds, ...
4
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1answer
233 views

What does 'Roodow (wrongly spelled, only the sound)' mean?

In Australia, I have met a lot of people saying a word (sound like) 'roudow' to respond (mostly to end, like 'alright' equivalent) a conversation. I have been searching around but haven't got any clue ...
4
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3answers
636 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: ...
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2answers
152 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 ...
4
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1answer
174 views

“He could do X for England”. Are there similar expressions in other parts of the English-speaking world to this derogatory sentence?

In Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels, I've read the phrase: "He could [do x] for England. It is always derogatory. It is a lovely phrase! Because I can't put my finger on a quote from these ...
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?
4
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2answers
203 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 ...
4
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2answers
109 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, ...
4
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1answer
261 views

Parenthetical commas and foreign English

I advise a friend on her writing, despite not quite knowing an adverb from a proverb (kidding (kinda)). Invariably, parenthetical commas such as the following: Jane, my assistant, opened the door. ...
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4answers
193 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’?
3
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1answer
463 views

Do Australians say “down north”?

I noticed some maps from the southern hemisphere are "reversed" with the south pole on top. Which makes me wonder, are there places in the southern hemisphere where the concept of "down" is presumed ...
3
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3answers
513 views

Is “I'm not racist, but …” more common in Australian English than other dialects? [closed]

Is the phrase "I'm not racist, but ..." more common in Australian English than other dialects? The phrase is used as a prefix to something that's likely to be interpreted as racist, probably because ...
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 ...
3
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3answers
8k views

Meaning of “Cheeky” in Australian Aboriginal English

In Australian Aboriginal English, does "Cheeky" have meanings different from those found in other varieties of English? In the Baz Luhrmann movie "Australia", the word "Cheeky" was used by the ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Regional usage of “Violet” and “Purple”

I am looking to describe a flower such as the one in the following picture for a game: After showing the game to a number of beta testers, I noted that about half of them were fine with "violet" ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Is “cookie” a recent addition to Australian English?

Wiktionary's entry for cookie says a "cookie" is (England and Wales) A specifically American-style biscuit. and Wikipedia's entry for biscuit says Although in Commonwealth Nations, the term "...
3
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2answers
428 views

1902 use of phrase “giving a tiger” in the context of paying homage to the King's coronation

In Mrs Aeneas Gunn's autobiographical 'The Little Black Princess : A True Tale of Life in the Never-Never Land, 1905, she writes about previously celebrating the coronation of Edward VII in the bush. ...
3
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2answers
2k views

What is the origin of the word “copped”?

In the language used by footy (Australian football) commentators the word "copped" is frequent. For instance, if a player gets knocked on the head, say, then the sentence might be "player X copped one"...
3
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3answers
8k views

Is it “re-offend” or “reoffend”? [closed]

I want to know whether there is a hyphen in the word re-offend, or if it is spelt reoffend. I looked in Oxford English dictionary and the word "reoffend" appears, but then I checked Merriam-Webster ...
3
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3answers
4k views

What do Australians mean when they say 'He came a gutsa'?

What does it mean to 'Come a gutsa'? I think I may have the Australian spelling right.
3
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1answer
4k views

“Ridgy didge” — what's that mean? [closed]

Australia day is nearly upon us! And that means it's time to throw another steak on the barbie and say real Aussie things like "ridgy didge". Flaming heck, what's that even mean, "ridgy didge"? I've ...
3
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2answers
2k views

What is the origin and prevalence of the term “server” meaning “wait(er/ress)”?

In a comment on this question, the term "server" is used to refer to the guy working at the register in a pizza restaurant. I have never heard this usage before (in Australia), and was only able to ...
3
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2answers
118 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 ...
3
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3answers
814 views

Is “coin” still used to mean “money”?

To clarify, I'm not talking about money solely in form of metal coins. (As in: I then proceeded carefully to count out the entire 14 pounds 78 pence in coin - Oxford). I'm talking about using 'coin' ...
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0answers
1k views

Distinguishing Australian, English, South African accents [closed]

I have attended courses in English over many years, and as most of my English teachers have an Algerian accent, I have always wondered about the question of accents. I can distinguish an American ...
2
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2answers
415 views

Australians and SR1

This Article in question. Do Australians still use the Spelling Reform 1 (SR1) officially or unofficially? It calls for the short /ɛ/ sound (as in bet) to always be spelt with E. said→sed, ...
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2answers
290 views

Do English speaking subcultures attach different meanings to the phrase “I'm sorry”? [duplicate]

On a recent trip the US, someone explained to me that saying "sorry" meant taking responsibility for causing the loss. Thus you should only say sorry if you intended to fix the situation. (And ...
2
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1answer
618 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." ...
2
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2answers
112 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/?
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2answers
179 views

“brought some horses, real heelers..” : what is “heeler” here?

I quote from An Evening in Dandaloo (1891) by Banjo Paterson: It was while we held our races -- Hurdles, sprints and steplechases -- Up in Dandaloo, That a crowd of Sydney stealers, Jockeys, ...
2
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2answers
5k views

In an Australian context, should “Aborigine” be capitalised?

When referring to an Australian context, as opposed to Aboriginal Canadians, or indigenous people worlwide, should "Aborigine" (and "Aboriginal") be capitalised? I tried googling, but the hits I ...
2
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1answer
166 views

Meaning of “I kissed her for her mother”

I recently re-read E.J. Brady's Down in Honolulu, but this line has stuck out to me: I kissed her for her mother,   I gev' her one, two, three; I squoze her for her brother—  &...
2
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1answer
134 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/...
2
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1answer
412 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?
2
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2answers
514 views

Is “cut and come again” understood outside Australia?

Although I haven't read the Australian children's book "The Magic Pudding", I'm familiar with the phrase "cut and come again" being used in it. Is the phrase understood outside of Australia?
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3answers
1k views

Is “Wrong side business” used in real life?

In the film "Australia", the phrase "Wrong side business" (or "Wrong sided"?) is used as slang for sex. It sounds like typical Australian Aboriginal English. Wikipedia's article on the topic gives a ...
2
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1answer
74 views

Does “three corner” refer to South Australia? [closed]

In the NHK program Somewhere Street (Japanese: Sekai Fureai Machiaruki) on Adelaide, a lifesaver was quoted as saying what sounded like (pideo.net link at 14:25): Born down the road ... after going ...
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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 ...
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4answers
2k views

“I usually knock off at 6”

"I usually knock off at 6", i heard an english gentleman say that. Does it sound odd only to me? In fact, what I heard was "I usually masturbate at 6" Did some research: found a book (i'm guessing ...
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2answers
4k views

Is it unidiomatic to say “an Australian person” or “an Aussie person”?

As mentioned in For people, can you say "a British" like you can say "an Australian"?, you can use "an Australian" to talk about an Australian person. But is it also ok to use "an ...
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1answer
558 views

What does the word “En masse” mean in the following context?

I need someone to help me to define the meaning of the word "en masse" in the following context: the initial aim of internment during the later conflict was to identify and intern those who posed ...
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2answers
315 views

What does an en_GB speaker need to know to write en_AU?

I'm a native speaker of British English, and I often write documentation and copy for an international audience. I understand the differences between British and American English enough to "translate" ...
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3answers
59 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Popular usage of 'c*nt' as a reference to a mate

For those unfamiliar with Modern Australian English (MAE), the British loan word 'Cunt' provides at least two popular meanings. While one of these is offensive, the other's best equivalent would be ...
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1answer
124 views

Global socially acceptable way of acknowledging that I'm being a “pedantic w****r”?

I'm Australian and would not hesitate to call myself a "pedantic wanker" in public (because, well... I often am!). There is a very small chance that someone (most likely elderly or particularly ...
1
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1answer
81 views

Is the phrase “great pickup” a regional (Australian?) thing?

I am someone who grew up in Canada, and been mostly exposed to Canadian, American, and British English. When speaking with some Australians, I've been noticing the use of the phrase "great pickup", ...
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1answer
1k views

Why are we supposed to say the “a” as an “e” in “any” and “many”?

I speak Australian English, but I seem to pronounce the words many and anything differently from how the vast majority of people here do so. I pronounce it using an a sound rather than an e sound ...
1
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1answer
5k views

Are you “Dinky Die”? And what does Dinky Die mean? [closed]

Australia day is nearly upon us! And that means it's time to throw another chop on the barbie and say real Aussie things like "dinky die". Stone the crows, what's that even mean, "dinky die"? I've ...
1
vote
2answers
90 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 ...
1
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1answer
191 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.