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Sorry Mum, Australia is Weird

January 3, 2010

The dosh

What are we, kids playing monopoly or something? It’s even made of plastic too. And people (myself included) will harp on about how our money can survive the washing machine. As though putting a $20 note through the washer is a common occurrence.

Australians with arachnophobia

I spent my first night back in Sydney on Christmas Eve harassing a spider (I may have been slightly intoxicated). I chased it around my bed squealing in delight, ‘I’m in Australia’. Yep, there’s nothing unusual about having a spider in your bedroom.

Arachnophobia is an abnormal fear of spiders and a stack of Aussies suffer from it. You’d think that maybe we’d have some kind of Steve Irwin-esque behavioural trait ingrained in to our subconscious as a coping mechanism but no … for lots of Aussies spiders are scary. It’s freaking weird! Not the spider part (I like spiders, they catch pesky flies) but the arachnophobia part. Growing up surrounded by arachnophobics meant by the age of six I was a spider-catching extraordinaire. Someone had to catch the hairy critters and take them outside (don’t worry I never killed any). But it’s madness that a spider sighting can lead to Aussies attempting to leap from moving vehicles or knocking over food and chairs at the dinner table. My mum included.

Our common garden birds

My first morning in Sydney on Christmas day, I walked out of the house carrying a garbage bag full of pressies (see time efficiency below) when two birds came flying over my head. The screech they made was horrendous and I actually dropped down to my knees, and muttered something along the lines of, ‘holy f*** I’m in Australia’. These birds were Rainbow Lorikeets and they are stunning. They have the kind of colours that most people would pay good money to gawk at it in a zoo but here we are dodging them. They’re so common, my friend who lives down the road hand feeds a few Lorikeet regulars from her windowsill every morning.

Time efficiency

A friend of mine asked me about servos in London. I replied there are no servos in London. When it comes to employment, Australians are known for being hard working and efficient. Well, this applies for our conversations too. So a petrol station is a servo. Other time efficient words we have are:

Words that end in ie:

present = pressie, biscuit = bikkie, chocolate = chockie, Christmas = Chrissie, lipstick = lippie, position = possie, mosquito = mozzie and breakfast = brekkie.

Words that end in o

vegetarian = vego, bottle shop = bottle-0, registration = rego, garbage collector = garbo, ambulance driver/ paramedic = ambo and afternoon = arvo.


champagne = champers, McDonalds = Maccas and chicken = chook.

However, there are exceptions. We tend not to use too many abbreviations in one sentence. Rarely will someone say something like, ‘can I have a chockie bikkie while opening my Chrissie pressie?’ Even saying ‘I’m going to the bottle-o this arvo’ is a stretch. And surprisingly, we don’t go to the l00 (that term is a bit vulgar). Instead we use the bathroom, or toilet.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2010 9:50 pm

    I think we use ALL of the ir words in London – but none of the ‘o’ words. There were loads of words I used to find amusing when my aussie mate lived with me for 5 years 🙂

  2. July 8, 2010 1:15 am

    Thanks for using my rainbow lorikeet photo – you could give credit to the photographer or a link to my site.

    • July 26, 2010 1:29 pm

      Sure thing Geoff, did you take the photo? Let us know if you would rather we remove it.

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