Sunday, August 16, 2009

G'Day from a temporary Sheila

One of the many nice things about visiting Australia is they speak English there. Mostly.

It's actually - at times - a lot like the States. Aside from insisting they drive on the left side of the road, but not being able to make up their mind on which side of the sidewalk they should stroll, they use English words as we do, but have very interesting ways of putting them together. Let me share a few idioms used by my friends during our visit, just so you'll know what I'm talking about when they creep-oh-so-naturally into my conversation that won't sound affected at all. Mate.:

"It's a bit 'how's your father (pronounced 'fatha' of course)" - tacky, aging, lipstick on a pig, bawdy, could also mean casual intercourse taken to an extreme. I can't stop using it (not to the extreme) for all and any situation and it's making Cameron nuts. I say it just to say it. He's now insisting on telling me how his father is every time I say it. That won't stop me. I just think he's being a bit how's your father, myself.

"Daggy" - worse than how's your father, it also means a nerd when shortened to "dag". Like Cam. Well, he keeps asking me "Who's your nerd?", so he's my dag.

"Bee's dick" - a very, very, very, teeny, weeny, itsy-bitsy unit of measurement. "The bloody stinga was a bee's dick away from getting me".

"Stinga" - any of the bajillion jellyfish in Australian waters that can - and will - maim and kill you.

"Damper" - it was on a menu and the most I could figure out, it's a biscuit. Really, do I want to eat something called a "damper"? Sounds like a wet nappy. Or something you put dirty clothes in.

"Nappy" - diaper. Wet or dry.

"Tomato sauce" - ketchup. Well, it's descriptive, but not the way we use the term.

"Marinara" - what they *HORRORS* put on nachos (go for the bean mix). And on spaghetti. See, they are a lot like us. When they eat spaghetti.

"Pissing pick handles" - raining really hard. Sounds like it would hurt, too.

"Pegged up" - hung on a clothes line, as in "do you want your wet swimmers pegged up?"

"Swimmers" - bathing suit

"Bonza" - cool!

"Breaky" - also seen spelled "brekky" - breakfast, typically involving eggs and bacon.

"Flat white" - good coffee! Brewed coffee (or espresso) topped with a warm, creamy milk top. Smooth and velvety and mmmmm.

"kip" - a nap, as in "taking another kip, Katie?"

"buoy" - well, same as in the States only they pronounce it "boy"

"Backpackers" - a whole cult of young 20-something travelers that travel the country having way too much fun, carrying all their goods in a backpack and drinking beer. Drinking age is 18 Down Under. One of the backpacking places we passed had rules posted for those staying there. Among the rules? "No nudity in public". Sounds fun. One of the other rules seemed to be the female backpackers were required to wear shorts that were far smaller than any nappy, that required some type of wax treatment and which were unbuttoned in front. Sounds scary.

So, when you ask me about my trip, I'll tell you that I avoided the backpackers and the stingas and that I pegged up my swimmers when I got out of the water. However, I thought I was going to need a nappy when a car coming at me on the left was just a bee's dick away from giving me a permanent kip. All in all, it wasn't the least bit how's your father or daggy, just totally bonza, mate. No worries.

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