Speaking Australian

In 1965, in a noble attempt to help the rest of us understand Australians, Alistair Morrison published Let Stalk Strine, a glossary of terms used Down Under:

air fridge: average
bandry: boundary
dismal guernsey: decimal currency
egg nishner: air conditioner
garbler mince: a couple of minutes
marmon dead: Mom and Dad
rise up lides: razor blades
sag rapes: sour grapes
split nair dyke: splitting headache
stewnce: students
tiger look: take a look

“Aorta mica laura genst all these cars cummer ninner Sinny. Aorta have more buses. An aorta put more seats innem so you doan tefter stan aller toym — you carn tardly move innem air so crairded.”

The book went through 17 impressions in one year, a sign the problem had gotten completely out of hand. Just a few months before it appeared, the English author Monica Dickens had been signing copies of her latest book in a Sydney shop when a woman handed her a copy and said, “Emma Chisit.” Dickens inscribed the volume “To Emma Chisit” and handed it back. “No,” said the woman, leaning forward: “Emma Chisit?”



10 thoughts on “Speaking Australian

  1. How much is it? I even had trouble understanding that! Not that several aren’t quite true! We rock!


  2. Quite simple when I read the words out loud. Really difficult reading them. Blogging worldwide from southeast Kentucky, there’s a huge dichotomy in my typed world and what I hear.


  3. “Oughta make a law against all these cars coming in the city. Oughta have more buses. And oughta put more seats in them so you don’t have to stand all the time – you can hardly move when they’re so crowded.”

    …..right? 😐


  4. Sadly, this is what my Grandfather used to sound like… Unfortunately nearly everyone now sounds like they are from Gossip Girl. No offence to Americans, it’s just that since Australian content laws on our TV’s have been cut, the flood of cheaper, American programmes has diluted our once unique accent.

    Strewth mate, fair dinkum them bloody Seppos have made drongos of us all. No wuckers though, mate the sheilas’ll be grouse and sort’em out in no time.


  5. Just thinking that in southern Australia, it would have sounded like Alma Chissit. Australia has many accents (Much like someone from the Bronx sounds different from a Texan)in Melbourne (Melbin) people thought I was from England (Pommyland), but I’m from Adelaide (Adelay)

    “Did you see that minda prang into that stobie pole? He looks like Fritz now”. Only South Australians should understand that


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