Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Americanization of Julie

No, not the similarly titled 1964 Julie Andrews film ... I mean me – Julie of Black Mermaid. I caught myself using the word "frosting" today instead of the Australian equivalent "icing". I have been using the word "zero" for "0" instead of the more prevalent (and yes, incorrect) "O" we use down under to signify nought. I'm not alone. I heard an Australian woman using the word "prom" instead of "school formal" and "sweater" instead of "jumper" on a television interview. The word "flip flops" is making its way into our lexicon to replace our word "thongs". Hmm, not quite sure what to make of it. I really do like our ideosyncratic Aussie variations of the English tongue. I've been compiling a mini-dictionary and tutorial of Australian slang and 'Survival Tips for Australia' which I sent to the fabulous Colleen Doran about six months ago in anticipation of a trip to Sydney. Unfortunately, she couldn't make it this year but I'm sure she'll "have it down pat" by the time she finally gets to our shores. In the meantime, if you want to get some practice words in yourselves go to the Aussie Slang Dictionary, and remember the golden rule – we contract everything (mosquitoes=mozzies; swimming costume=cozzies; Australians=Aussies [pronounced 'Ozzies']). And by the way, so you don't get confused at the shops, what Americans call "thongs" we call "g-strings"!

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