A handy guide for international event delegatesAussie Slang can be tricky to understand for non-Australian guests, or guests with English as a second language. Too easy – or no worries, as we say Down Unda. Give ’em The Glossary of Aussie Slang and they’ll be right as rain.
The Lingo of ‘Straya
Or, The Language of Australia
First, a bit about Aussie English and how it came to be. Australia started out as a penal colony, settled by the English with convicts from cities like London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle. The Aussie accent is a descendant of dialects in these areas.
Along with the Aussie accent comes a slew of quirky expressions that often reflect the irreverent, anti-authoritarian attitudes of early white settlers and convicts.
Chuck a SickieTo feign illness in order to get out of work.
Not in an Event Planner’s vernacular. Who has time for a sickie?
Early Aussie convicts had a tough time in prison. The harsh conditions imposed on them and the burning hot sun were far from kind. Imagine stealing a loaf of bread and being sent to a remote country impossibly far from home. Crikey! Once you got the hell outta there you’d be cursing any form of authority for the term of your natural life…
Workers and free settlers enjoyed their new sense of freedom away from the rigidity of British life back home, and they too developed a healthy disrespect for superiors.
Did ya see the shirt on that guy? What a tosser.
Thus was born the irreverent Aussie culture.See The Aussie Slang Glossary Now
The Invention of Strine
No discussion of Aussie language is complete without mentioning Alistair Morrison, the inventor of ‘Strine’. In 1964, Morrison was inspired to invent ‘Strine’ after hearing that a Sydney customer at a book signing asked a visiting British author the price, saying “Emma Chisit?” Thinking it was the customer’s name, the author autographed the book, “To Emma Chisit.”
It inspired Morrison (bloody larrikin!) to apply for copyright of a song called
‘With air chew’
Translation: ‘Without you’.
He went on to write a best-selling Strine-English phrase book, Let Stalk Strine.
Source: Australian ArchivesShow me the glossary
Aussie Strine for Event Managers
Truth be known, most Event Managers know a fair whack of Strine, even if they themselves don’t say ‘G’day mate!’ to everyone they meet. The challenge is for overseas delegates and other non-Strine English speakers to make sense of such phrases as:
- “Sorry mate, the missus has been crook and we’re short on staff.”
- How on earth would they know that ankle biters are children?
- What’s the taxi driver doing? He said he’s going to “Chuck a Uey.”
Why not pop a copy of the Glossary of Modern Aussie Slang into their welcome pack? Give ’em a squizzy at our unique lingo Aussie. Bloody oath. They’re gonna flamin’ love it!
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