Australia is basically just America with smaller portion sizes and a bigger problem with alcoholism. We don’t ride kangaroos to school, we very rarely wrestle crocodiles and no one watches Australian movies except for SBS employees and film students.
When it comes down to it, other than geography, there’s not all much that sets us apart from the yanks. Except, of course, our utterly fucked and completely deranged slang.
Australian English is a nightmare mixture of Cockney rhyming slang, a spattering of Indigenous words and some straight-up made-up bullshit crafted purely to confuse tourists.
Luckily, the Australian National Dictionary is putting in the hard yards and preserving our beautiful, ridiculous dialect so that future generations can marvel at hilarious strayanisms like “dagwood dog” and “battered sav“.
The dictionary has had its first major update since ‘Beetlejuice‘ was released (1988, duh), and has copped a whopping 6000 new words and phrases from our oblique and bizarre lexicon.
It now includes such important phrases as “doing a Bradbury“, immortalising one of Australia’s greatest sporting moments, when Steven Bradbury won a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics because literally everyone else on the field fell over.
They’ve included some Abbott-isms, including “captain’s pick“:
“A unilateral decision made by the captain of a team, usually regarding the choice of a team member. In a political context, a decision made by a party leader etc. without consultation with colleagues.”
It also has definitions for a few gems like “bogan“, “pube“, “checkout chick“, “nibblies“, “tradie” and “ranga“.
God bless Australia.
Photo: Getty Images / Patrick Riviere.