29 May, 2013

Answer to the Australian English quiz

Thanks for all the great responses to this quiz. It was fun to see people giving it a go. You'll probably have guessed that these are all colloquial words. I've had fun looking them up and giving you meanings, as well as examples of some (actually it's been a serious time-waster this morning, but a fun one).

1. Bonzer    g. great

Eg2006, Philippa Todd, Dangerous Dating, page 110:
The sadness about his father left his face, and he smiled. He seemed pleased to have something positive to do. / 'That's bonzer, Annie. Thanks' he said. 'You're a good sort. And as for Ches, well, he's real bonzer too . . .
It's found in a variety of Australian literature, including Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, 1915. It is a little old fashioned now.
2. Chunder    j. vomit

There is a remarkable number of colloquial words for vomit in Australia, this is but one. I'll spare you any examples.

3. Bludge   h. not doing anything

Eg: "I took PE because I thought it would be a bit of a bludge. Turns out they expect you to run every day!"

4. Dunny  b. toilet, either the room or the fixture itself.

Eg. 2008, Judith L. McNeil, No One's Childpage 95,
There was one leaning dunny down the back and, if you stayed very quiet, on a very still day you could hear the white ants as they chewed the wood.The bottom boards were already eaten through, and I avoided using the dunny at all costs.
As an aside, would you believe that someone's made a toy called a "dunny"? Check it out here.

5. Flog  d. steal

This is a fascinating word to look up. When I was a kid "Did ya' flog that?" meant, "Did you steal it?"

6. Possie   k. position

Eg. 2009, Andrew Bain, Ethan Gelber, Cycling Australia, Lonely Planet, page 346,
It′s in a good people-watching possie and if you have an early dinner between 3pm and 7pm you get a 40% discount.

7. Ridgy-didge   a. genuine, original, honest

Aussie synonyms: fair dinkum, dinkum, true blue, for real, dinky-die

It also means "fine". 

Eg. 2001Bryce CourtenayFour Fires, Volume 1, 2010, Large print edition, page 278,
Sit them in the dam, wait for the fire to pass over, everything will be ridgy-didge.

8. Ropable  i. angry

Eg. 2009, Sean Dooley, Cooking with Bazpage 115,
The phone rang a couple of hours later and it was Di. I have never heard her more ropable in my life; it is the only tongue-lashing I ever remember getting from her and it was excoriating.

9. Sickie  e. malingering

It's a sick day you take when you don't feel like going to work or you've had too much to drink the night before. This is, in fact, a common word in the UK too. At this website I discovered that the first Monday in February is informally called the "National Sickie Day".

10. Tucker  c. food

"Ta for the tucker." Translates as, "Thanks for the food." Yes, "Ta" is another Australian slang word, though it's used frequently, possibly I'd use it more frequently than any of the rest of these words. "Thank you" is just too formal for Aussies much of the time.

11.  Yakka   l. hard work

Almost solely used as "hard yakka". We even have a clothing brand called, "Hard Yakka". According this this website, the word derives from an indigenous word from a tribe native to the Brisbane area.

12. Doovelackie (correct spelling according to The Macquarie Dictionary)   f. thing

This one caused the most comments from Australians. It has many synonyms: doover, whatchamacallit, whomajigger, hozza meebob, thingamajig, thing. 

Here is one place to look up these words (plus many others!). Compared to many of these sorts of resources, it's fairly clean (if you skim over the references to vomit by various names).

No comments: