Summer season loving occurs so quick. In the future, you’re sipping quarantinis in locky d. The following, you’re internet hosting mates for barbies. After we seize that snag, swag or esky, we’re doing greater than celebrating summer season. We’re celebrating it in Australian methods, and with Australian phrases.
We don’t at all times agree on these phrases. Queenslanders have their togs and Victorians their bathers. And we don’t at all times agree with one another. The surfies hate the clubbies, and the bushwalkers bristle at hikers.
However when summer season hits, many Aussies share a love of the outside. So, slip, slop, slap, and don your akubra, cabbage-tree hat or Cunnamulla Cartwheel (our sunburnt historical past is replete with evolving hat kinds). Let’s have fun Australian summer season slang.
The nice Aussie picnic: sangers, splayds and fly-swatting
Australians take care of the summer season in a really Australian approach – irony, humour and idiom. Positive, an Australian picnic is perhaps a nice affair, with sangers (sandwiches), flybog (jam) or splayds (a mixed fork, spoon and knife, a proud Aussie invention). However in Australian English a picnic can also be a phrase for “a clumsy or disordered event”.
To be truthful, a picnic would possibly begin off nice after which flip awkward. Your host would possibly flip the tall poppy and placed on jam (“a pretentious show”). Your friends would possibly act unusual, too. Australian English abounds in phrases and idioms for insanity or folly. Lexicographer Bruce Moore reckons we Aussies invented the in need of x idiom, and various of those are picnic-related:
a sandwich in need of a picnic
a couple of snags in need of a barbie
a few tinnies in need of a slab
a stubbie in need of a six pack.
Flies additionally loom giant within the Australian summer season, and never surprisingly buzz into our idiom — no flies on you is one we’ve even exported. Blowflies are nonetheless these petty bureaucrats who act the stickybeak about trivial points. Well-liked (however actually false) theories even hyperlink the Australian accent to flies — we have to converse with our mouths shut to maintain them out.
Yeah, nah: Aussie slang hasn’t carked it, however we do need to know extra about it
Aussie seashore life: wowsers, surfies and burkinis
Summertime life revolves across the seashore for a lot of Australians. Nonetheless, beach-going hasn’t at all times been easy-living.
We speak about tree-changes and sea-changes today with out a lot fuss. Nonetheless, simply because the Nineteenth-century bush-goers needed to fear about bushrangers, the Nineteenth century beach-goers needed to fear about beach-rangers or larrikin pushes (“gangs”). The latter might be recognised by their straw nan nan hats. The police feared the larrikins. The larrikins feared the solar.
Within the twentieth century, beach-going was a battle between conservative varieties, and people who sought to problem them. Australian seashores had their fair proportion of wowsers within the early twentieth century, and people who swam on censored seashores wore neck-to-knees or Spooners (named after a politician who opposed briefer costumes).
Surf golf equipment emerged to protect these swimmers who sought to keep away from wowserland by swimming at uncommon instances or in uncommon locations. Nonetheless, as social mores turned extra permissive, these clubbies ended up because the extra conservative forces on the seashores.
Clubbies confronted off with the surfie subcultures from the Sixties. Clubbies scoffed on the surfers, whom they seen as gypsies, drifters and bums. Surfies scoffed at virtually everybody, and developed an particularly wealthy vocab for the inexperienced surfer. Grommet or grommie was an Australian tackle the US gremlin or gremmie.
It’s arduous to speak about Aussie seashore slang with out giving a nod to the 1979 e-book Puberty Blues. Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey drew closely on – and maybe launched many Aussies to – phrases like moll, spunk and rack off. A latest survey exhibits variations of spunk (for instance, spunky and spunkrat) as nonetheless the commonest approach Aussies say “enticing”.
Lette and Carey’s e-book additionally introduces readers to distinctive Australian swimwear. They write at one level, “The last word shame for a surfie was to be seen in his scungies,”, which is truthful sufficient. Scungies- also referred to as speedos or budgie smugglers- is probably going associated to Australian scungy (“unpleasant, sordid”).
In newer years, some Aussies have opted for extra conservative swimwear. The burkini is an Australian innovation designed by Lebanese-born Australian Aheda Zanetti. It affords a modest seashore various for Australian Muslims, and safety from depraved Aussie solar for anybody. Even celeb cook dinner Nigella Lawson was noticed in a burkini on a 2011 journey to Australia.
Aussie outside life: Swags, billies and bush
After all, summertime isn’t nearly going to the seashore. Many Aussies head to the bush.
The mystique this phrase holds for Australians is apparent within the whopping 200-plus bush compounds we’ve amassed through the years (not even together with animal and plant names). Two of them significantly seize this particular relationship: bushwalking and bushwalker (as detailed in Melissa Harper’s pleasant e-book, The Methods of the Bushwalker). Australia’s first strolling guidebook With Swag and Billy was printed in 1906. This e-book conjured romantic notions of the bush whereas giving sensible recommendation to up to date walkers.
Swag is a type of convict-era survivors, though it has come a good distance from its convict previous — from “a thief’s booty” to the jolly swagman’s package, to as we speak’s moveable bedding.
We would – armed with our swags and billies – take the phrase bushwalking and bushwalker as givens in Australia. Nonetheless, bushwalking and bushwalker solely entered the Australian lexicon within the Nineteen Twenties – and never with out some controversy.
The primary controversy got here within the type of individuals claiming to have invented the time period. A Sydney walker by the title of Myles Dunphy was satisfied he will need to have invented bushwalker. In 1923, Dunphy compiled a listing of 83 attainable names for his strolling membership – bush stroll was on that checklist. We are saying poor Dunphy – bush stroll in reality seems way back to 1846.
The second controversy got here in asserting what Australians actually weren’t doing within the bush: mountain climbing. Strolling within the bush turned extremely popular in the course of the interwar interval (such because the thriller hikes of the Nineteen Thirties).
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However some rejected using the phrase hike, comparable to this author within the West Australian newspaper in 1932:
We deplore using dangerous American slang to explain what’s eminently English and good.
It was round this time that Australians began voicing their irrits (“emotions of utmost irritation”) at any obvious American incursion into the lingo (regardless that many had already snuck in undetected — like bush!).
So [waves away flies], with this, we provide you with a fantastic Aussie salute and [waves away flies again] want you an excellent summer season — out of these trackie dacks and pandemic pants and into the boardies and cossies.
Howard Manns receives funding from the ARC Particular Analysis Initiative SR200200350 Metaphors and Identities within the Australian Vernacular.
Kate Burridge receives funding from the ARC Particular Analysis Initiative SR200200350 Metaphors and Identities within the Australian Vernacular.