American-Australian translations

Seattle Travel Blog

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They’ll complement you on your accent a lot, try to be kind and not mention theirs. They’ll be surprised when you say you are from Australia - since we don’t say crikey like Steve Irwin they assume we are English.

President Teddy Roosevelt was a terrible speller, and gave an executive order in 1906 to make American spelling simpler, such as dropping the "u" in labour, honour, colour and so forth. He also changed "-ise" to "-ize" and wanted to change dropped to dropt, learned to learnt and so forth.

They won’t have whipper-snippers, they have “weed-wackers”.

What they call a “truck” is really a ute. I’m still not sure what they call actual trucks.

You buy "gas" from a "service station", rather than petrol from a servo.

They call textas "sharpies". You really don't want to hear them pronounce aluminium or acclimate. They pronounce bouy as "boo-ee" not "boy".

They call gumboots “rubber boots”, thongs “flip flops” and g strings “thongs”. They don’t know a dole bludger, feral, yobbo or a bogan.

They don’t know what a fortnight is. They don’t even have the concept, being paid twice a month rather than every two weeks.

They don’t know what busker means - they call them “street performers”.   An apartment is only called an apartment if you rent it, if you own it it is called a condo.

They have a 25 cent coin called a quarter (the most valuable form of currency in the US, because most apartments don't have a washing machine or drier, so you need the quarters for the building's common machine), and they call the four parts of a football game "quaters". There are four quarters in an academic year and they even call a quarter of a gallon a "quart". But when it comes to using fractions, they always say "one fourth", never "a quarter".

They call lollies "candy" and hundreds-and-thousands "sprinkles". BYO is called a "potluck". Capsicum is "bell pepper", rockmelon is "cantaloupe", porrige is "oatmeal". They think that chips means "crisps". They don't know what soft drinks are, they call them either "soda" or "pop" depending on what part of the country they are from. They've never heard of fritz. They call their main meals an "entree", even though they are bigger than a normal main.

“Lite beer” means low calorie beer. All their beers are low alcohol. The put their beer in a “cooler” instead of an esky. They don’t have stubbies or long necks, and don’t know the difference between a tipple and a night, or a pony, a middie, a butcher, a schooner, a pot and a pint. They don’t know what a bottle-o or a bottle shop is, and don’t realise that a hotel is a pub. They couldn’t tell you what grog, cleanskin or goon is. Actually, they have an extremely limited vocabulary for all things related to alcohol compared to us.

They don’t understand cranky or crook.

They call chemists “drug stores”. They don’t abbreviate university into uni. They’ve never been to woop woop.

You’ll start to notice that you shorten everything and add an “e” on the end of it when people start in bewilderment. No brekkie, dinky, barbie, daggy, tanty, pokey, pressie, chockie, trackies (or trackie daks), truckie, yewy, vegies or mozzie. There is also no sickie, but that is because no one ever takes days off.

They don’t know what an ambo is - and it is not because of their lack of health care, they call them “ambulance drivers”.

They don’t understand the subtle and varied meanings that bastard and bugger can have. They also think that calling a good friend a bastard is mean.

They call their super “401(k)”. Catchy name.

They don't know that a slippery dip is a slide, but they call a seesaw a teeter totter.
shirlan says:
Yes I did say something to Rosy (Row-zzzzz) on the phone a few weeks ago about a fortnight and she asked what it was.
Posted on: Nov 10, 2008
sylviandavid says:
Great blog...... That's why we travel.... to hear the local words....... It's our favorite thing..... learning/hearing the lingo.... Gag me with a spoon! Sylvia
Posted on: Jan 01, 2008
mellemel8 says:
hahahah thanks for this, it made me laugh :)
Posted on: Dec 12, 2007
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