Australians may speak English, but between their accent and slang, there were many times I had absolutely no idea what was going on. For example…
1. Fair Dinkum
While sitting in the sauna at RACV in Torquay I overheard one sweaty man say this phrase to another sweaty man during their conversation. Obviously I was confused, but it turns out it was nothing weird. According to an Aussie dictionary it means: “True, genuine; an assertion of truth or genuineness. “It’s true, mate, fair dinkum.”
While complaining about my lip chap melting in my bag to an Aussie chick, she told me she has always used Papaw (pronounced like paw paw) on her lips. She said it comes in a tube so it won’t melt like my chapstick did, and it’s great for everything from ‘nappy rash’ (diaper rash) to dry lips. However, she couldn’t actually explain to me what papaw was. It wasn’t until later in my trip, while at the grocery store, I happened to spot it and low and behold, papaw = papaya.
P.S. I bought it and it’s great. Super into the papaw.
This is a weird one. When you see rocket on a menu, it means arugula. Also, for some reason Australians like to lengthen the word beets to beetroots. And just to confuse you more…eggplant is aubergine and zucchini is courgette. Why? Who knows.
4. Rubber Duckie
A rubber duckie in Oz is not a little yellow toy you might take into the bath with you, but rather a small boat with the inflated rubber tubes on the sides. It’s what we Canadians might call a dingy…so in this case I actually don’t know which is weirder. Oh and they called a tube you would pull behind the boat a biscuit. Yep. So here’s me getting pulled by a rubber duckie, on a biscuit.
Australian’s love shortening things. For example you might head out for some Macca’s (Mcdonald’s), get bit by a mozzie (mosquito), and shop at Salvos (Salvation Army).
And you might do all that in the arvo…AKA the afternoon. Confused yet?