All things Australian

Australian Things:

I’m trying to master the Australian accent but it’s harder than I thought.  Some of the words sound like a heavy Boston accent.  Words ending with the ar sound, it sounds like ah instead (example: car vs cah; park vs pahk).  But the vowel o sounds like ho  (example: no vs. n-oat).

Americans – I’m going to take a shower, Australians – I’m going to have a shower.

Americans – Charged with drunk driving, Australians – Charged with drink driving.

Tea tree oil is manufactured in Australia from the melaleuca tree. Pure oil normally sold at high prices in America are half the price here.  Rubbing alcohol or antiseptic alcohol is not available in any drugstores or supermarkets. I asked and kept getting referred to the pharmacy, they didn’t understand rubbing alcohol when I tried to explain it either. Hmmmm. . .

Another strange thing about Australia is the TV show schedules. Instead of starting at the top of the hour or on the half hour shows start 20 minutes after the hour ending 10 minutes before the hour. This can be very confusing without the TV Guide Channel.

Sushi bars in Australia served cooked fish and only raw salmon. They offer rolls and sashimi but it is with fried chicken or tuna salad mostly. The tuna sushi rolls they offer or tuna salad meaning canned tuna and mayonnaise. This is served at every sushi bar we have been to.  Pubs are bars and sometimes a pub will be named as a hotel. The reason for this is the building was once a hotel that has been converted into a pub.

Cooked sushi rolls
Cooked sushi rolls

Cheese – Tasty cheese is a flavor or type of cheese in Australia I haven’t seen anywhere else.  I’m not a cheese aficionado but I do know a few of the basics – cheddar, brie, American, Swiss, mozzarella, Muenster, etc. Tasty flavor  I wasn’t familiar with until I saw it here in Australia. It has a strong taste to it without the bite of cheddar. It’s hard to explain but I can tell you it wasn’t one of my favorites.

Tim Tams are a staple in every grocery store and mini mart in Australia. They are the most addictive cookies I’ve ever had. These chocolate cookies covered in chocolate come in many different flavors from chocolate to mango. My favorite is the dark chocolate.  Arnott company has been producing Tim Tams and various other cookies and crackers in Australia for decades.

Vegemite is a popular condiment in Australia. It smells horrible but many people eat it straight from the jar. It’s a bitter yeast paste that is served smeared on bread. I don’t understand it but it’s everywhere. I tried it once a long time ago and still remember it being terrible.

Meat Pies – Minced meat (ground beef) is mixed with a thick brown gravy and placed in a perfect mini pie with a flaky crust. Meat pies are filled with different things but the minced meat is the most common. The other popular pies are steak and mushroom, steak and bacon and in some areas of Australia – scallop pie. Banjo’s bakery is a huge chain throughout Australia, this is where I’ve had some of the best pies. Most of the bakeries serve them and we have eaten a lot of them.

McDonald’s has a few nicknames in America, the one I know is Mickey D’s.  The nickname for McDonald’s in Australia is Maccas (MAC-kas).

McDonalds aka Maccas
McDonald’s aka Maccas

Hungry Jacks is the Australian version of Burger King. It’s the same company but named differently in Australia. Same menu as America.

Even though English is the first language here, some of the words Australians use are different from Americans.

Lollies – this means candy.  Instead of candy shops there are lollie shops in Australia. I learned this term the first time I went into a grocery store.

Sunnies – sunglasses

Nappies – napkin or wet wipe

Chips –  fries

Rego – car registration

Schoolies – high school graduates

The Lot – This term “the lot” means everything  (example: I’ll have a burger with the lot or I’ve lost the lot).  I’ve seen it used on menus and in the newspapers.

"the lot" means "everything" in Australia
“the lot” means “everything” in Australia

Pokies – pokies is a nickname used in Australia for a poker or slot machine. It can also be used as a reference to a casino or gambling establishment.

Pokies - a place to gamble or slot or poker machine
Pokies – a place to gamble or slot or poker machine

Fizzy drink –  This is another name for soda. In America it’s sometimes referred to as soda or pop. Bunderbung soda has a lock on the biggest soda manufacturing company in Australia.

Bunderburg Sodas
Bunderburg Sodas

G’day – Hello

Mate-  Sir, friend, addressing a male

No worries – This can also mean “you’re welcome” or “no problem”.

Good on you –  This can mean a two things; good job or you’re doing the right thing.

Doona – This is another name for a comforter or thick blanket.

Mozzie – a nickname and common word used in Australia for mosquitos. I’ve never seen the word mosquito used here – only mozzie.

Heaps – many (there are heaps of restaurants)

Pub – bar

Eskie – cooler

Factual tv – reality tv

Instead of traffic lights Australia’s full of roundabouts. These can be really confusing because you have to make a decision while driving in a circle when to get off of your proper exit. Mind you driving on the wrong side of the road from America with local traffic behind you.  Not to mention they drive on the opposite side of the road from America.

Opposite direction from America
Opposite direction from America

Bowling is a leisure sport in Australia. The difference is, Australians bowl outdoors and barefoot sometimes.  Their version of bowling is completely different from America. Australians bowl on a lawn without a lane or pins.

Bowling lawn
Bowling lawn

Paw Paws ointment – This ointment takes up entire shelves in pharmacies and drug stores throughout Australia. It’s known to cure itchiness, rashes, burns, cuts and scrapes.  If you don’t see this on the shelf – chances are you aren’t in Australia.

Paw Paws ointment
Paw Paws ointment

Street signs are different in every country, here are a few I’ve seen around Australia.

The most Australian thing I’ve seen here is the native kangaroo. There are so many species of marsupals in Australia and all of them are cute and cuddly. Seeing the kangaroos in person was the ultimate highlight. The wildlife sanctuaries all around Australia have kangaroos and wallabies to touch, feed and cuddle.

If I had to choose a country to live besides my homeland America, it would be Australia hands down. I’ve never felt safer and happy with all the comforts of home than I have in Australia. By the looks of things in America, living here wouldn’t be such a far out idea. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the news reports. Reporting stories in Australia isn’t nearly as stressful and redundant as the news reporting in America. The few times we had American news stations (Fox and CNN) it was always the same story being discussed for hours and hours, sometimes days and days. Not being exposed to that all of the time in Australia really helps relax the mind and fears. I will truly miss you Australia!

3 responses to All things Australian

  1. Aussies in Toronto says:

    Schoolies is actually the big vacation/party you have at the end of high school after the HSC! It’s kind of like “Spring Break – woohoo!” in the States


  2. Aussies in Toronto says:

    Another thing I really liked that you mentioned was about the difference in news coverage between Australia and North America. It is so true – in North America they do spend a lot of time discussing the same news item over and over and it really can be stressful!


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