The Antipodean Artisan's Story


I've lived here for such a long time but I still manage to come out with strange 'Australianisms'.

So here's a list of them for you and a list of stange words the Brits use.

Please feel free to add to the list if you are a stranger in your own town,  whether that be the funny dialect differences between North and South or you are like me, and living on the other side of the world from your Home

Please note, I have made comments as to class differentiations.  These are my own observations and lessons learned.  If you disagree, please please tell me.  I have learnt that what is lower class for one social group is perfectly acceptable in another seemingly upper class.  Ahhh the Brits and there class system, it’s ever so difficult to decipher.

AUSSIE - British
Clothing terms are different in most places, but took some time to get used to.  Here are some of the differences.  You may find some  strange, and you might even laugh.... at me or the Brits.
UNDIES - pants
PANTS - trousers
NB: In the UK  pants can also mean something bad, ie; ‘I thought the movie was pants’ or ‘my day was pants’. To the average Brit, this expression is perfectly logical and understandable...... to a foreigner it is very strange.... an Aussie would never say ‘that movie was so undies’ now would they?
TANK TOP - vest (I’m not sure if there is a British translation.  Let me know if there is) Funny when my friend described a man we saw in Italy as "wearing a fur tank top"  ... the visual imagery is very different.
VEST - tank top
JUMPER - ???
THONGS - flip flops (sometimes confusing  for the travelling Brit who finds themselves in Australia reading a sign stating “NO THONGS ALLOWED”)
SNEAKERS - trainers

Random things
After 9 years here I still find myself saying things the Brits don’t understand.  As the Brits aren’t as quick as us to share their confusion, it is usually picked up by a bemused and confused facial expression I have become quite adept at recognising.
YOUNG TALENT TIME (YTT)- A TV programme from 1971 - 1988, Think X Factor circa 1980s. I was completely in love with Dannii and wanted to be her. 

SHEILA - bird/woman/lady
BLOKE - man/chap/gentleman
SPUNK - cute/hot/fit (spunk means a very different thing here which my friend learned the hard way when she said “you look spunky today”)
SPROG - this means the same to us Aussies as Spunk meant to you Brits
CHILDREN/KIDS - Sprogs (again confusing to an Australian when asked “have you got any little sprogs?”, or “are you going to have any sprogs?”)
FIT - exercises a lot as in physically fit (again, confusing for me when I first came here and my friends would sat “isn’t he fit”, and I would think ‘how do they know????)
SOOK - someone who complains ie; whinger
GARBO - Dust man or dust pan man
TRUCK - lorry
ROAD TRAIN - Articulated lorry
STATION WAGON - estate car
UTE - I think they are just utility vehicles here, and HB tells me they call it a pick-up.
GLOVE BOX - glove compartment
GUM BOOTS - Wellies, or Wellingtons
LAUNDROMAT - laundrette
REAL ESTATE AGENT - estate agent
ROSTA - off duty (terribly confusing when I first arrived.  I was looking at the ‘off duty’ to see when I was on duty.... wierd)
FOOTBALL - Aussie Rules
SOCCER - football
MOVIES - cinema (pronounced with a longer aaaa sound than the Aussies do)
DOONA -duvet
TEXTA - felt tip pen
STICKY TAPE - can’t remember, but I know it’s different.  HB tells me it's sellotape.
BAND-AID - plaster or a sticking plaster
PLASTER - plaster (I know it doesn’t make sense) or plaster of paris
BIRO - ball point pen or just a pen
STOVE - cooker
BUSH - there is no Bush in the uk but the most similar thing is Woods
PANTRY - I think this is a larder????
LAUNDRY - utility room
BOTTLE SHOP - off licence or ‘offie’
TOMATO SAUCE - tomato ketchup (this is American and I don’t understand why the Brits use it, so any enlightenment would be appreciated)
SWEETS - desert or pudding (which you use can determine how posh or upper class you are)
DUNNY - toilet or loo (loo if you are posh and toilet if you aren’t)
YARD - garden.  When referring to their ‘back yard’ the Brits say garden.  To refer to someone’s garden as a yard is very bad as it implies they are of the lowest class.  I think this is because a yard was traditionally a small area out the back where the out house was, and if there was only a yard and not a garden, then you were poor and thus lower class.  Please feel free to correct me.
COUCH - sofa or settee.  Settee is more lower class
CORDIAL - squash
SQUASH - pop
CHIPS - crisps
HOT CHIPS - chips
ICY POLE - Iced lollie
FAIRY FLOSS - candy floss
LOLLIES - sweeties
DINNER - dinner in the South West is usually the mid-day meal.  Typically this is a Northern and Southern (not London) thing.  Very confusing when invited around for dinner.  I usually have to clarify “Dinner/Lunch, or Dinner/Tea”.  Some people even refer the evening meal as supper (I think these are the very upper class and everyone else pretending to be posher than they really are )... again confusing when invited over for supper and expecting a light bite and getting a 3 course meal.
DRY WRETCHING - in North Devon this is called ‘urging’.  Urging to an Aussie is what one does on the loo when severely constipated.  Again... imagine the sentence “I’ve been urging all day”.... very different meanings.  The Yorkshire term is 'gipping'..... I know!!!!
WHERE IS IT/WHERE ARE YOU - “Where’s it to” / “where are you to”  WTF!!!!!!  This is an entirely British term used only in Wales and in the South West.  It makes no grammatical sense, but somehow everyone here knows what you mean.  Imagine ordering food in a Restaurant and the waitress asking you “where are you to?”.... yes, I had no idea what she meant either.
MAM - Maid. In Devon Maid is used to refer to a woman. Usually only by the older generation.
SIR - Boi pronounced Bai.... what can I say....
SHE IS/ HE IS - her be/ he be, pronounced er be/ ee be.  Again, a total lack of grammatical correctness, but  it does make impressions easier. 
DARL -“ my lovely”, or “my love”  used as in the sentence “hello darl/my love”