G’day! How ya doin?
To start off, you may think all Australian’s say those cliché “Aussie sayings” like, “G’day” and “put another shrimp on the barbie”, when realistically, you wouldn’t find many people who say them regularly. Actually, let me correct you on that last one – no one says “put another shrimp on the barbie”. Mainly because, here in Australia, we don’t eat shrimp, we eat prawns. And if that comes as a shock to you, I recommend that you do in fact read this article, so you can actually get some info on the best country in the world (Australia) – written by yours truly, an Aussie.
I guess I should introduce myself then. My name is Georgia, and I live in Sydney, Australia. I would also like point out (to those clueless folks who think that Sydney is the capital of Australia) that Sydney it’s not the capital. It is in fact Canberra. From what I’ve learned of Australian history, way back in the olden times (for Australia), they were trying to decide which city should be the capital – Sydney or Melbourne. You see, at the time, the two biggest cities were rivaling each other, and as a compromise, Canberra – a smaller city between the two rivals – was elected the capital of the land down under.
Now, pretty recently I’ve heard a few rather ridiculous assumptions that come in in the form of questions from America, mainly. I don’t want to offend anyone or America as a whole, but some of the crap that you think we do is remarkable.
No, I’m afraid we don’t ride Kangaroos to school. We do in fact speak English here, yes. Well… if you were to come visit us, and especially for the first time, you may want to divulge in to the unique educational experience of learning the distinctive ‘slang’ that is the Australian language. As you will soon discover, Australians are very lazy when it comes to abbreviating and shortening words. It’s even in our accent.
Take some words like flower, or computer. If you’re from America, you do pronounce the “er” at the end of the words. A slight variation, but none the less and “er” sound if you’re British. But us Aussies, we have a very unique accent, and a very unique way of saying words. And, we don’t take to offence. Rather, we embrace our Aussie accent (some more than others *cough* Bogan’s *cough*).
We would pronounce the end of those words with an “a”, for example – “Flow-a” and “comput-a”.
Allow me to enlighten you on a few Aussie slang words that you may or may not have heard of:
Breakfast – Brekky
Avocado – Avo
Ambulance – Ambo
Afternoon – Arvo
Devastating – Devo
Biscuit – Bikkie
Mosquito – Mozzie
Friend / buddy – Mate
I could probably write two whole pages on words that we say. And when I say “we”, I really don’t mean all of us. Although a lot of Australians may use all or most of the “Australian language”, but, of course, there are some who may not say them all, or may not even not say any of them. But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t say at least one of those words.
Getting back on track, I wanted to answer some questions.
You may or may not have heard of Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed is part of my daily life (sorry, not sorry). Whether it’s youtube videos or Buzzfeed quizzes, or even youtube videos about Buzzfeed quizzes.
There is a Buzzfeed article labeled “21 questions America has for Australia.”
Here are a few of those…
The first 2 questions revolve around our currency. Well let me tell you, America, our money is colourful, not because it’s a fashion contest (but if it was we would so win). It’s colourful so we actually know what notes are which, instead of looking at the same boring, green paper note. If we get our wallet out and see a pink note, we know straight away that it’s a 5-dollar note. If its blue, we know it’s a 10-dollar note. (And so on)
And why it’s plastic not paper? That’s so the money can’t tear. I don’t know how many times you American’s find a ripped note, but here in Australia, I don’t think I’ve ever been handed a ripped note.
There’s this question, I see, that says – “Is ANYTHING available in your country?” (In terms of stuff online)
I admit, Australia can’t access some Internet sites, and I’ve experienced this first hand (rarely). But of course there are loads of things we can access. It’s not like we are in our own little world that no one else but us can access online.
The next question, I had to laugh at. “You guy’s ever heard of shirts?”
And there’s a picture of 6 people, most without shirts on, but just basically our casual wear (beach clothes).
I will elaborate on this section for a while, and tell you some things that you may not have known.
Now as you would probably know already, Australia can get pretty darn hot. So you can’t blame us for walking around without a shirt or bikini top or something.
By pretty darn hot, I mean PRETTY DARN HOT.
Summer times, even in the city, can get to extreme, but just imagine how much hotter it is towards the centre of our country (not that many people live there anyway). A semi recent census stated that at least 82% of the population lives within 50km of the coast. (That’s around 31 miles for you American’s).
In Australia, it is very common (mainly in and around summer) to see people walking around with no shoes on.
And if they are wearing shoes, we’re all wearing thongs (flip flops). In Australia, we call them thongs. Laugh all you want, maybe even look at us funny, but if you call them flip-flops here, we’ll know you’re from outta town.
Also, don’t be surprised if you see people bare foot even in shopping centres/malls – especially if it’s near a beach.
The next question: “What’s with the Celsius? Who do you think you are? England?”
Then they have a picture comparing 30 degrees Fahrenheit (snowing) and 30 degrees Celsius (a warm beach).
Well, America, I hate to break it to you, but only you and a couple other VERY small places use Fahrenheit as their temperature measurement unit. The rest of the world is in their right mind (no offence).
Our way is so much easier. It all comes down to the 0’s.
You see, 0 is freezing, because that makes sense. Not 32 degrees. Why are you making it so hard for yourselves?
Question 11 made me laugh. “How are you this bad at baseball? (And why do you call it cricket)”
*Insert crying/laughing emoji here*
Are you for real? Baseball and Cricket are two completely different sports. That’s all I have to say, other than look it up.
Question 17 states this: “How is “high” your SECOND-LOWEST fire danger rating?”
So, as I said previously – Australia is a bloody hot country in the summer, so the bush fire ratings go as follows from the lowest to the highest fire danger rating:
Low-Moderate -> High -> Very High -> Severe -> Extreme -> Catastrophic / Code Red
Depending on the temperature, the day, and the amount of wind in the day, the rating changes accordingly. It basically states the chance of bush fires in that area, on that day.
I’m going to answer the last two questions…
20) “And how is the one creature that CAN’T kill you outlawed?”
Then underneath there’s a picture of a sign showing a rabbit penalty of $30,000.
First of all, you have to know that rabbits are only banned in certain states, like Queensland for example. Secondly, you may be interested to know why they are banned.
So before European settlement in our country, there were no rabbits inhabiting this land. They were foreign to this country until the Europeans introduced them to Australia by the First Fleet in 1788. There weren’t many of them at first, I think there were 24 that were first released, but they bred like wildfire.
The rabbits were destroying our land. That’s basically why they’re banned. They cause trouble. But here in Sydney they aren’t banned. One of my closer friends owns a bunny. His name is Smudge.
And lastly, and one of the most important questions to be answered…
“And seriously…what is the deal with vegemite.”
There are several things I want to say to every non-Australian who has ever tried vegemite and didn’t like it. But I’ll keep it to a minimum.
I see American people on youtube try vegemite. They turn their nose up at it as soon as their tongues touch the stuff. I would firstly like to mention that taking a spoon of vegemite is probably not the way to go, okay? Not even we do that (but if we did we would still like it).
The TRADITIONAL way we eat vegemite, is to spread a little bit on toast with some butter.
Vegemite is NOT used like peanut butter. We spread nowhere near as much on as we would peanut butter.
And, if you try vegemite the right way and still don’t like it, well… not my problem, nor is it any other Australian’s fault. You don’t like it? So–rry. Doesn’t mean you gotta bad mouth it like people do. There’s nothing to say.
You don’t hear me complaining to you about how disgusting Twinkies are. (But of course that’s my personal opinion, which I don’t advertise).
We like Vegemite, and that’s that.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my little article on Understanding Australia; I liked writing it, even though I could have kept going for days. I think it was geared more towards American’s than anywhere else. But even though you guys had some seriously stupid questions, you guys are still our allies on an international scale, so, all I’ve got to say is…
G’day mates! 🙂