Aussie slang and abbreviations are notoriously wild, nay confusing. I have lived in Perth my entire life and didn’t know what the fuck togs were until someone who lives in Sydney had to explain they are, in fact, just bathers. While one may argue that living in Western Australia practically constitutes being overseas, you can imagine how certain words and abbreviations make very little sense to folks who don’t live Down Under.
One such person is American comedy writer Amelia Elizalde (@ameliaelizalde), who took to Twitter to share her thoughts and feelings on one such piece of Aussie slang.
“Found out that ‘arvo’ is Australian for ‘afternoon’. When will it end,” she wrote.
found out that ‘arvo’ is australian for ‘afternoon’. when will it end— amelia elizalde (@ameliaelizalde) November 20, 2022
I may not have known what a tog was (can you have a singular tog or is it togs? I still don’t know and I kind of don’t give a fat rat’s, I’m sorry) but “arvo” is so normal. Like: see you this arvo! Or: we had to put the dog down on Monday arvo, sorry mate.
As you can see, she’s a verse icon who can be used in both serious and casual contexts. Sometimes “afternoon” is simply too much and the situation doesn’t require so many syllables and letters.
I reached out to Amelia to yap about why Australian abbreviations seem so weird to non-Aussies. Her answer? A deeply courteous drag.
“Obviously I say this with immense respect and fear of the Australian people: it makes me laugh!!” she said.
As Kath & Kim has proven, we are a ‘yumourous people. It’s true.
Amelia also weighed in on our knack for abbreviating mundane shit, including one absolute banger: “sanga”.
“The idea of abbreviating EVERYTHING, not just phrases but the word ‘sandwich’ … It just sounds like you’re all very busy high-ranking executives at the skate shop,” she continued.
“The combination of like, so rushed you can’t speak in full words yet absolutely clinically chill at the same time … It just does it for me.”
I’d literally give anything to be a high-ranking executive at like, Beyond Skate. Something truly awe-inspiring about a power woman in a sharp little Cue blazer and clickety clackety heels rolling into a meeting on a skateboard.
Amelia also said she reckons there’s a point of cultural difference between the US and Australia when it comes to using abbreviations.
“I also think in America those kinds of abbreviations are seen as feminine or juvenile, so the idea of an entire country all using them is fun,” she said.
“It’s like you all went to a sleepover.”
A nationwide abbreviation convention could absolutely be a plot in The Sleepover Club (RIP).
Obviously, Amelia’s thread turned into bloody chaos and loads of Aussies decided to pipe up with their own thoughts and feelings about abbreviations.
“The arvo is for hangin a uey past the bottleo for a sixer and grabbin a bachelor’s handbag from woolies to go sink piss with a few deadset drongos after a day of hard yakka, pretty self explanatory really,” one user commented. Tea!
“Arvy is equally acceptable,” another said. No offence but it absolutely is fucking not permissible.
“Know someone who calls a funeral a funo,” The Bell Tower Times replied.
A truly fitting tribute to nan, that one.