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"To provide English Language Support"

"To provide English Language Support"

Old Jul 1st 2005, 5:48 pm
  #1  
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Default "To provide English Language Support"

Having not long finished writing a statement of compliance for sponsorship for my wife Fi, I got to pondering the requirement to provide English language support. Now to be fair Fi speaks pretty good English for a Scot, but I couldnt help but think "Why English? Shouldnt I be helping out with the Aussie lingo?".

So taking my obligation of sponsorship very seriously (theoretically it could be added to our wedding vows) I have started compiling a list of "must know" australian words and the context in which I think they would most likely be used.

Now I know every bookstore worth its salt out there has those little "Aussie Terms and Phrases" booklets, quite often with the aussie flag and a koala faithfully plastered on the cover, invariably containing all those "bonza" thru "sheila" terms. These are all good and well, and obviously have their place in the world, mainly as the "crap... I forgot to buy Aunt Flo a gift" gift as you are about to leave Sydney for Gatwick on the annual pilgrimage to the motherland. "Haha "Dunny!", Aunt Flo will love this!", uh huh, sure she will. For that reason I wont bore you with yet another version of these terms, however I have a couple of words I think would be useful to clarify, that you wont find in any flag waving/koala cuddling/twice the price/half the book book.

Years ago my grandmother visited us in Queensland from Blighty. We met her at the airport in Brissy and on the trip to the house from the airport she was pointing out trees and birds and cars and people and expressing how "lovely" everything was. All of a sudden things went quiet and I noticed that she was as red as a beetroot. Obviously concerned for her health I enquired if she was ok and she replied that she was fine, just a little embarrassed, she wasnt expecting advertising to be so liberal. I asked her what she meant and after some rather embarrased murmurs she described a billboard she had seen. The billboard had a picture of a construction worker, hardhat, blue singlet top, work boots, you know the drill. The caption on the billboard had said "Hard Men." and below that had "XXXX". She had (for some reason that escapes me) associated the brand of XXXX (fourex) with condoms, not beer.

First item on my list. XXXX = Beer company.

Not long after that she had seen a TV ad that repeatedly stated "Hard Yakka" "Hard Yakka" which was advertising outdoor work clothes, some of you may remember the ad, it had trucks and 4x4's and dirt roads and mud, I used to love it. Memory fails but I believe the brandname was Yakka, or it was a range of clothing labelled Yakka, probably by Ruggers, either way Yakka became synonomous with hard work. My grandmother thought it was an ad for Constipation pills, with the belief that Yakka was...well, you get the idea.

Second Item. Yakka =! Sh!+

Surprisingly my grandmother is a sweet little old lady, and despite evidence to the contrary, not a senile old biddy fixated on sex products and other peoples stools.

Arming my wife with some of these terms prepares her, and I have no doubt that she is unlikely to blurt out at the dinner table "Might have fruit for dessert tonight...got me a case of Hard Yakka", its not her nature. She will save it for the car ride home where she will quietly ask "WTF is Hard Yakka? Oh, and why was your Gran so cheeky about having a drawer full of XXXX?".

I would love to hear anyone else' stories of learning the lingo the hard way (excuse the pun )
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Old Jul 2nd 2005, 5:31 am
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Default Re: "To provide English Language Support"

It's funny that you should stary a post about lingo, because I was wondering yesterday, when I first saw your username, what exactly a 'weetus' is. I meant to ask my (Australian) fiance last night, but I forgot.

Great post, by the way.
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Old Jul 3rd 2005, 12:37 am
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Default Re: "To provide English Language Support"

Originally Posted by Laurie1st
It's funny that you should stary a post about lingo, because I was wondering yesterday, when I first saw your username, what exactly a 'weetus' is. I meant to ask my (Australian) fiance last night, but I forgot.

Great post, by the way.
Thanks

The name has an odd history which i wont go into (will embarass the wife ) although I will say that it doesnt appear in any aussie lingo books, at least that I am aware of .
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Old Jul 3rd 2005, 2:51 am
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Default Re: "To provide English Language Support"

Originally Posted by CheekyWeetus
...
I would love to hear anyone else' stories of learning the lingo the hard way (excuse the pun )
Thanks CheekyW, made me ROFL on a day when I needed to...

My own experience is of innocently asking for 'rooting hormone' in a store. The looks I got implied that I was asking for viagra :scared: but in fact I was after that stuff that's so good for getting plant cuttings started....

Oh dear.... I guess some of us poms have NO shame....

Anya.
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