Thursday, June 05, 2008

Australian Kulcha

UPDATE: - Australian Kulcha demystified:

1. You know the meaning of the word "girt".

This is a reference to the National Anthem - "Our land is girt (surrounded) by sea"

2. You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.

Stubbies are a brand of working man's shorts and a type of beer bottle. A "Darwin stubbie" is a realy BIG style of beer bottle.

3. You think it's normal to have a leader called Kevin.

Well, apparently we did last November when we voted him in as Prime Minister.

4. You waddle when you walk due to the 53 expired petrol discount vouchers stuffed in your wallet or purse.

There is a scheme here where two of the major food chains will give you a 4 cents per litre discount at selected petrol stations (average 60 litres to fill a tank, so a couple of bucks off about $80 these days) but they only last a few weeks. You of course store the docket away in your wallet for use the next time you fill up, but then invariably forget to use them in time.

5. You've made a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering the garden.

A bong is a device for smoking marijuana that works a bit like a Turkish hookah - you use the garden hose and a plastic bottle half filled with water in its construction in the event you are too cheap to go buy a real one.

6. You believe it is appropriate to put a rubber in your son's pencil case when he first attends school.

Because here the term "rubber" refers to an eraser.

7. When you hear that an American "roots for his team" you wonder how often and with whom.

Because here "root" is another term for sex. Hence the joke about the male Koala - He eats roots and leaves....

8. You understand that the phrase "a group of women wearing black thongs" refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.

Thong here means the summer footware also known as a flip-flop.

9. You pronounce Melbourne as "Mel-bin".

Some people anyway - the correct pronunciation is like mell-born

10 You pronounce Penrith as "Pen-riff".

Ditto - properly pronounced as pen-rith

11. You believe the "l" in the word " Australia " is optional.

That it, pronounced more like "Aus-tray-ya"

12. You can translate: "Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas."

Translated: Daryl and Sharon played AC/DC (the music band) on the way to MacDonalds.

13. You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.

Well, we do that. You have Vegas, we have the Big Bannana. Nobody seems to know why though. They are actually tourist attractions, but are rarely visited, even by tourists. And of course bigger is better. The Big Merino (sheep) is an hour or so drive from here in Goulbourn. (aka "Goal-bin")

14. You call your best friend "a total bastard" but someone you really, truly despise is just "a bit of a bastard".

Faint criticism can be like faint praise.

15. You think "Woolloomooloo" is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.

Pronounced "Woo-loo-moo-loo", an Aboriginal term. We have a lot of very strange placenames because we seem to be infested with planning dingbats who think its cool to use Aboriginal terms.

16. You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife.

Well, yeah, actually. Its always good to have the best of something. Even something nasty.

17. You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin.

I don't know that it makes sense, but that's the way it is. No sillier perhaps than having a nickel being bigger than a dime though.

18. You understand that "Wagga Wagga" can be abbreviated to "Wagga" but "Woy Woy" can't be called "Woy".

Both are aboriginal names - the duplication implies plural (Wagga is crow, Wagga Wagga is many crows). And we like words with two syllables - Wagga is OK, Woy just isn't.

19. You believe that cooked-down axlegrease makes a good breakfast spread.

A reference to the national food and icon for Australian children (now owned by the US based company Kraft) - Vegemite. Its actually a beef extract reduced to a thick dark brown paste that can be spread on toast. All Australian children are raised on it. Nobody from overseas can stand it.

20. You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis.

Kiwis are a bit like Canadians - similar but somehow not up to our standards.

21. Hamburger. Beetroot. Of course.

Of course. Only not for me. I don't like beetroot, but you have to especially ask to have it left off a "plain" hamburger ordered from the local fish and chip shop. You still end up with sliced lettuce and tomatoe.

22. You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.'

Yep. But I'm not sure which words, as this only applies when drinking to excess.

23. You believe, as an article of faith, that the confectionary known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.

Its true. Wagon Wheels are a sort of chocolate covered marshmallow and biscuit confection. Flat and round, perhaps 1/2 thick and perhaps 2-3 inches across. But They have different sizes of them. They get progressively smaller at the same price, then they jump the price and start giving you the bigger ones again. Or it could just be a conspiracy theory.

24. You still don't get why the "Labor" in "Australian Labor Party" is not spelt with a "u".

Correct. Labour is the English spelling of the word, and the Labor party was originally formed to support the blue collar workers and trade unions. I suspect they couldn't spell.

25. You wear ugg boots outside the house.

Ugg boots are made from sheepskin with the furry side in. Great for slopping around the house, but not really high fashion. But who cares - they're comfortable and warm.

26. You believe, as an article of faith, that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off to the Yanks for a pittance.

Well, a lot of important Australian discoveries have had exactly that happen to them. Like Vegemite for instance. The latest is the descendent of the petrol lawn mower invented here in the '50s - the Victa.

27. You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them

Well it works in practice, but only up to a point of course. The better statement of this phenomenon is that Australians can't resist nicknaming their friends. I'm not David, I'm Daveo. He's not Daryl, he's Dazza. She's not Sharon, she's Shazza.

28. Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language.

Asian takeaways are everywhere here, and just about exclusively run by Asians that can't speak English well. You mispronounce the order and Lord knows what you might end up with. You learn fast.

29. You understand that "excuse me" can sound rude, while "scuse me" is always polite.

As in EXCUSE ME! like a teacher might say, or "'scuse me" to get past someone.

30. You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.

Yeah well, its pretty well inevitable during summer. Flies are everywhere.

31. You understand that "you" has a plural and that it's "youse".

Be sure youse girls don't get up to no trouble in town tonight!

32. You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle.

Summers are hot here, it can be a real problem - people drape towels over their steering wheels when parking so they are able to grip the steering wheel when they need to drive.

33. Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket.

Or backyard cricket, which is even more complex - you have to take into account things like "on the roof is out", "over the fence is out", "nick the ball, you have to run regardless of how far it goes" and so forth. Then there are the local house rules that vary from place to place - "through the screen door is out", spilling your beer while making a catch means ejection from the game, etc. etc.

34. You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call "Anzac cookies".

Because they are Anzac biscuits.

35. You still think of Kylie as "that girl off Neighbours".

Kyle Minogue used to have a part in an Australian soap called "Neighbours" before she started singing. The show is still running, and its still awful.

36. When returning home from overseas, you expect to be brutally strip-searched by Customs - just in case you're trying to sneak in fruit.

Yep, we don't want any extra nasty critters roaming around here. Particularly nasty critters hiding in fruit.

37. You believe the phrase "smart casual" refers to a pair of black tracky-daks, suitably laundered.

Tracky-daks are sweat pants.

38. You understand that all train timetables are works of fiction.

I think they are everywhere.

39. When working on a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer.

Well its not manly you see - "A light beer?!? Can't hold your drink then mate?". Better to feed out the excuse up front rather than face the scorn...

40. You get choked up with emotion by the first verse of the national anthem and then have trouble remembering the second.

I don't think the average Australian knows much of the first stanza. Few are impressed by it. NOBODY knows the second. Nobody normal, anyway. Bring back the old anthem I say: "God Save the Queen"!

41. You find yourself ignorant of nearly all the facts deemed essential in the government's new test for migrants.

This is a reference to an idiot scheme the previous Government put in place - the idea was to test potential migrants on their understanding of Australian culture and values. It was never explained to my satisfaction WHY we needed to spend the time, effort and money to put stress on the people that we would otherwise have let in without a shrug.

Problem with the test, however, was that many Australians would have failed it. I believe they are keeping the test, but revisiting the questions. Perhaps they could use this list as the basis for that.

42. You know, whatever the tourist books say, that no one says "cobber".

True these days. "Cobber" (like "mate" or "friend") used to be in more common use between the two wars.

43. And you will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand.

Well, that's how I got this!


At 3:15 PM, Blogger Sarah O. said...


At 7:34 AM, Anonymous southerngirl said...'s like a whole other country ;)

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Sarah O. said...

Oh, BTW, I've decided to show my actual face on my blog. Read Monday's post for the cold, hard truth.

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Sarah O. said...

OK, this will take a little time...

#3. Just think of Londoners trying to wrap having a leader named Boris around their heads!

4. We have a supermarket, Safeway, that does that, too. But the Safeway's so much more expensive than the Target, it's a wash.

5. We Yanks share your pain. Or pleasure.

7. Hee hee!

8. We used to call flip flops thongs, too. Don't dare to now.

11. Oh yeah, like the fake forced Australian accented guys in the Fosters and Outback Steakhouse ads!

12. We call McDonald's Mickey D's. Well a few people do.

13. Big Banana? How very Australian!

16. Americans are proud of Australia's killer wildlife!

17. We tried a dollar coin. For no good reason, everybody hated it and it was discontinued. Perhaps because it was almost identical to the Quarter.

19. I've tried Vegemite. Trust me, peanut butter's WAY tastier.

21. Lordy, you Ozzies eat funny.

25. Uggs are HUGELY popular in the States. But only for women. They're considered women's footwear. Genuine Uggs sell out by October every year. I swear, in 30 years, every old lady here will wear nothing but Uggs. ON THEIR FEET, silly!

27. Daveo? Here we'd call you "D".

30. Ew. Did you see this on Dave's Blog today? It's the American take on swallowing bugs.

31. East Coast Yanks say Youse. Also, Deez, Dem and Doze.

33. Beach cricket? If it could be played so that bikini babes could bounce whilst playing, beach cricket could be a big TV hit here.

35. We get "Neighbours" here on PBS (donation-sponsored TV). And here, Kylie's strictly for the gay boy crowd.

38. You mean you still have passenger trains? Big cities here have commuter trains but we like to drive or fly.

40. The vast majority of Americans have no idea that our national anthem has more than one verse. Which is a good thing because the first verse can go on forever if the singer gets all artsy with it. Also, most Yanks think "Waltzing Matilda" is your national anthem.

Thanks for the explanations!

At 1:47 AM, Anonymous southerngirl said...

how does one get to your blog, scat?

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Sarah O. said...

southerngirl, you wonderful person, here's a link to my blog. Bless your heart!

wys: I also took this from Dave Barry's blog. Although it's British, maybe you can translate for me.

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous insomniac said...

sorry old chaps, can't follow your banter.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger wysiwyg said...

*snickers at insom*

Monty Python is still funny after all these years...

"It's a long way from Croxteth... Champagne and canopes for Rooney in his dickie bow at pre-wedding ball"

Croxteth is working class suburb of Liverpool in England, canopes are little finger food things served at drinks generally before an event, a dickie tie is another word for bow tie.

So in general terms, here's this footballer that has made good from poor beginnings getting married in lavish style.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger wysiwyg said...

Also, Waltzing Matilda was in fact one of the songs submitted as the national anthem when they wanted to change from God Save the Queen - it nearly got up, but failed because, as one critic pointed out "Why would you want your national anthem to be about sheep stealing?" and common sense prevailed.

At least every Australian knew all the words to all the verses of Waltzing Matilda.


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