You say potato scallop, I say potato cake (and I'm right)
January 8, 2015 9:07 PM   Subscribe

Mel Campbell mines the Macquarie and her own Melbournian experience to come up with six divisive regional slang terms that just might result in an Australian civil war, if last year's Scallop War is anything to go by.

The Macquarie Dictionary (the authority on all things linguistically Australian) has put together an Australian Word Map which lets you search or browse for further slang terms and regionalisms. Be warned: some words you may have thought were slang ("chunder") are actually in the dictionary now.

You want the comments, by the way. Some of them are gold (which means they're very very good).

Non-Australians may also find this Australian slang dictionary useful.
posted by Athanassiel (97 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Cake.
posted by robcorr at 9:18 PM on January 8, 2015


Cake. Potato scallop just gets confusing when you want to order actual scallops.
One of the fun bits of living outside Australia at the moment is realising how much of my language is distinctly Australian. I said something about 'the vibe' of something the other day, and got a lot of blank stares back.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 9:36 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some of these are a little odd to me. I was born in Adelaide and moved to Canberra when I was 10, and I don't know anyone who regularly says either windcheater or sloppy joe - they're always jumpers. Also, I've never heard soft drink referred to as a cool drink. I've heard people ask "would you like a cool drink?", but that never specifically referred to soft drink.
posted by Kris10_b at 9:38 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


My favourite comment from the Macquarie Word Map, on looking up potato cake, is the correspondent who says: "I grew up in SA and so knew what potato cakes were. Spent a while in Tassie and so knew what Scallops were (seafood). Went to live in Cooma and discovered that the local fish cafe was selling "Scallops" for something like 10c each. Of course bought about 30. Marched in v. pleased with myself to my family in the kitchen and announced that we were having a gourmet seafood meal which I had snared v. cheaply. Have not lived it down to this day!"

I've never heard juice boxes/fruit boxes referred to as Primas, despite living in Melbourne for 20 years. Other commenters on Campbell's article have gotten quite stroppy with telling her she's wrong because they never/always... must be the Australian way.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:43 PM on January 8, 2015


I remember windcheater in Adelaide but my Melbourne family occasionally used Sloppy Joe and that was just crazy talk. And, of course, it's cake.

Next up, the Queensland double O vibrating diphthong and why the Adelaide long 'a' causes mirth anytime you want to order graph paper.

As an aside, it's worth remembering that despite low population levels, Australian states are as big as countries in most cases and the cities and town are quite a long way apart from each other. The Adelaide accent is noticeably different across the 70km length of greater Adelaide due to migration patterns and, once you get away from the city, things change quickly depending on whether the station owners and farmers were sent to the city for boarding school.

We could also discuss the Roman Catholic school Haitch while we're here but I don't pretend to be an expert on that. :)
posted by nfalkner at 9:53 PM on January 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, the comments on the article are are way more aggressive than they need to be. I wonder if some of the discrepancies might be age-related? Mel Campbell's about my age, and her 'growing up in Melbourne' examples are spot on as far as I'm concerned, including Primas. Though now I think about it, I would probably call it a 'juice box' now. Prima seems old-fashioned to my ear.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 9:54 PM on January 8, 2015


Generally, Australians call carbonated sweet drinks ‘soft drinks’ or ‘fizzy drinks’. But in WA and SA, they’re ‘cool drinks’, which has nothing to do with the serving temperature.

WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:54 PM on January 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Next up, the Queensland double O vibrating diphthong

we're talking language not bedroom toys. (Seriously though I am interested in hearing this; link?)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:55 PM on January 8, 2015


What the fuck is the original Macquarie? All I know about them is they are some investment bank that bought my town's water company and raise my water rate 20% per year. I guess it make sense that they are also the arbiters of language for an entire continent. This name is the embodiment of evil to me.
posted by any major dude at 9:56 PM on January 8, 2015


I said something about 'the vibe' of something the other day, and got a lot of blank stares back.

'It's the vibe, it's Mabo, it's the law' is still a common refrain in my Australian circles of various kinds of lawyers. Mostly when critiquing poor arguments.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:57 PM on January 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


Apologies, I hit save too early and my post appeared in two versions. Sorry, typing on a flaky mobile device.
posted by nfalkner at 9:59 PM on January 8, 2015


The list is missing one of the greatest regional shibboleths in Australia: the name for 24 cans/bottle of beer. In pretty much everywhere except Victoria it's a case or a carton. But here, it's a slab.

I don't mind the creeping regionalism of the schooner glass replacing or augmenting the pot glass, but you can have my slab when you can prise it from my icy cold refreshing fingers.
posted by tim_in_oz at 10:00 PM on January 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


What the fuck is the original Macquarie? All I know about them is they are some investment bank that bought my town's water company and raise my water rate 20% per year. I guess it make sense that they are also the arbiters of language for an entire continent. This name is the embodiment of evil to me.

The Macquarie Dictionary is not associated with Macquarie Bank. Your town's water supply is also safe from Macquarie University, unless you are a duck that lives in Lake Yerbury.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:00 PM on January 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


What the fuck is the original Macquarie?

Australian names of institutions get extremely repetitive as they're all named after the same 10 or so rich/powerful guys from the 19th century. Lachlan Macquarie was an early governor of New South Wales. Macquarie in Wikipedia
posted by coleboptera at 10:02 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dammit, 19th or 18th century - I didn't look closely enough at that wikipedia page
posted by coleboptera at 10:05 PM on January 8, 2015


Different Macquarie. The dictionary was started by people from Macquarie University. Lachlan Macquarie was an early governor of New South Wales, and has lots of Australian things directly or indirectly named after his family. It's like Washington in the US. My personal favourite is Mrs Macquarie's Chair.

On preview: jinx!
posted by une_heure_pleine at 10:07 PM on January 8, 2015


Dammit, now I want a potato cake.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 10:11 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


They're not potato cakes or potato scallops, they're potato fritters. In New Zealand.
posted by ddd at 10:13 PM on January 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


So they're goyish latke?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:18 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lotsa E an I and O's
posted by clavdivs at 10:18 PM on January 8, 2015


I thought they might have been discussing scalloped potatoes, but it turns out they're more like croquettes or something.

And to think all this time I thought they spoke English down there.
posted by univac at 10:20 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not really clear to me where this data has come from? When I look at the Macquarie site it's not like they have percentage of word use in a region or anything.

I lived in Sydney, Melbourne and Central Queensland growing up, and a few of the things they mention, while I might have heard them weren't the most common word for the thing when I was there. Did it just take one person to report "Hey, we called them X when I was a kid" and that makes it onto that regions list?
posted by markr at 10:25 PM on January 8, 2015


No, no; potato cakes (or scallops for you heathens) are not hash browns or rösti or latkes or croquettes or scalloped potatoes or potato pancakes. They are not made from mashed potato. Basically, they are thin slices of potato that are battered and deep-fried.

There's considerable variation depending on whether you get the mass-produced thing which is mostly batter with only the barest hint of potato that comes from the stand at Flinders Street station, or the hand-hewn slab of potato that's only lightly battered (if you live in Melbourne, do yourself a favour and get to Dough). Don't ask me how the slices get to be so big, I think they must slice them on the diagonal and use the rest for chips.
posted by Athanassiel at 10:34 PM on January 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm just here to inquire about the golden gaytime.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:43 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ooh, found a picture of one of Dough's fish and chip boxes. The potato cakes are up the front.

And poffin_boffin, every day can be a golden gaytime!
posted by Athanassiel at 10:48 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was a kid in the 80s, it was a 'sloppy joe.' But now it's mainly a 'trackie,' or a 'jumper,' although who the fuck knows what the younger generation call stuff...

The bit about 'soft drink' being 'cordial' in Tassie is spot on, but, and pretty odd, the first time you hear it.

And as far as I can tell, in New south Wales these days, everyone refers to 'speedos' as 'budgie-smugglers.'
posted by Sedition at 10:57 PM on January 8, 2015


what's the australian usage of 'banana hammock'
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:03 PM on January 8, 2015


I don't know if it's a regionalism but I didn't see any mention of daks - pants. Tracky-daks are tracksuit pants. To dak someone is to pull their pants down.
posted by um at 11:21 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Next up, the Queensland double O vibrating diphthong

we're talking language not bedroom toys. (Seriously though I am interested in hearing this; link?)


I don't know if I'm bang-on with this, but here's a video of a lady teaching how to pronounce the "o" sound in an Aussie accent.

(I cannot for my life make my mouth make that noise)
posted by GamblingBlues at 11:35 PM on January 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


When I was a kid in the 80s, it was a 'sloppy joe.' But now it's mainly a 'trackie,' or a 'jumper'

Aren't those three different things? A jumper is knitted, a sloppy joe is made of cotton fleece (what Americans would call a sweatshirt), and a trackie has a zip down the front. And if it has a hood, it's a hoodie. The hood seems to take precedent over all other details.

I still remember the first time I ate something with scallops in it in a restaurant as a child and being very surprised to find they weren't made of potatoes.
posted by Georgina at 11:37 PM on January 8, 2015


I don't know if I'm bang-on with this, but here's a video of a lady teaching how to pronounce the "o" sound in an Aussie accent.

Oooooooooooh. (SWITD?)

That doesn't sound strange to me at all, maybe because I grew up with a Kiwi who'd spent a bunch of time in Oz?

Also I am loving her videos, thanks!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:45 PM on January 8, 2015


There's something about this sort of regional language variation which does seem to inspire an entirely disproportionate kind of holy rage.

Just the other day, the lady Dext (who grew up but a few miles from me in London, England, but who has presumably been warped by the fact both her parents are from Birmingham) referred to a crumpet as a "pikelet".

I mean, good lord. I felt like she'd just pulled off her mask to reveal she had been a lizard person all along.
posted by Dext at 11:47 PM on January 8, 2015 [13 favorites]


The bit about 'soft drink' being 'cordial' in Tassie is spot on, but, and pretty odd, the first time you hear it.

And the 576th time as well, believe me. I've been in Tasmania for close to 7 years now and it's still awful. Awful.
posted by Jimbob at 12:08 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I imagine it says something about me that this made me feel exactly the same way as that fake "only a real '90s kid would remember all this stuff" post on Buzzfeed
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:09 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, I was going to grumble about this, but my heart melted when I discovered that they have the AB listed. Which was self-evidently invented at the Blue and White. Filthy St Marks' bastards trying to gaslight us with this Burger Bar bollocks.
posted by langtonsant at 12:19 AM on January 9, 2015


Wait, is going bunta really not heard outside of South Australia?
posted by langtonsant at 12:28 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I wonder if some of the discrepancies might be age-related?"
That'd be my bet.

Growing up in Qld in the 70's & 80's, 'scungies', not 'bloomers', were ... well, scungies; 'speedos' were speedos (they were only called 'dick togs' if you were being crude with your mates, or 'budgie smugglers' if you wanted to make grandma laugh); 'shallots' (the things you use the tops of too) were spring onions; the deli mystery sliced meat was 'luncheon sausage' or 'deli meat' (or 'Windsor sausage' if you wanted to fool people that you'd bought one of the slightly-less-mystery-meat branded versions); those school drinking taps were 'taps' or 'troughs' (not to be confused with 'piss-troughs", which were urinals); and fleecy sweatshirts were 'windcheaters' or 'trakky-tops'.
posted by Pinback at 12:31 AM on January 9, 2015


Minda.
posted by chrisgregory at 12:31 AM on January 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


SCALLOPS YOU TURTLENECKED FISTMUPPE...calm down, obiwan, just chuck your togs in your port, go for a swim and have a gaytime
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:33 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Heaps good.
posted by Jimbob at 12:36 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Minda.

Aah yes, but I might be able to pinpoint which suburb in Adelaide if you know what Minda boots are...
posted by Jimbob at 12:37 AM on January 9, 2015


"Dick togs" and "scungies"? But budgie smugglers is my favourite! Where does that come from?
posted by peripathetic at 12:38 AM on January 9, 2015


I grew up in Sydney but now live in Melbourne and all I know is that I'm hugely confused and usually resort to describing the objects instead of trying to get the right word. Also, I'm originally English but am married to an American, so I don't even know how to pronounce anything any more.

Even so: scallops.

And: how did "budgie smugglers" not get a mention in that article?
posted by nonspecialist at 12:39 AM on January 9, 2015


One for all the current and former Taswegians of a certain age: chigger
posted by matrixgeek at 12:53 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


chigger

You still hear that one.
posted by Jimbob at 12:53 AM on January 9, 2015


I can't tell you how delightful this is.
I would suggest that for most Aussies there is a predominant local version, but the others are well known.
I would only call it a potato scallop, but would know what a potato cake seeker was after. Similarly with togs for my cossie or swimmers.
posted by bystander at 12:59 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here in Yorkshire, a scallop is a common fish-and-chip shop item, it's a slice of potato covered in batter and deep-fried. But along with bits, I've never seen them for sale in chip shops outside of Yorkshire!
posted by winterhill at 1:00 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Though I'm glad to see the Macquarie has "Ashgrovians"; I haven't heard that in years.
posted by Pinback at 1:03 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm glad you are confirming "Ashgrovians", Pinback. By chance I had also looked that one up and living in the next suburb of Red Hill for some 17 years I'd never heard it and was wondering if someone had been pulling someone's leg, so to speak.
posted by drnick at 1:32 AM on January 9, 2015


Ports, poppers, togs. Cheerios. Oh man when I moved to Canberra and asked for half a kilo of Cheerios, the girl was so confused.

Stubbies. Tallies. Schooners.

And ffs you get a sausage in a blanket at a sausage sizzle. The sausage sizzle is the event not the bloody foodstuff you grunting cockroach yahoos.
posted by smoke at 2:03 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I grew up in Tassie, but my Mum's from Sydney and Dad's Fiji-via-Sydney, and I spent my 20s in Canberra, so I'm all over the shop. Potato cakes. Cossies (from parents) but also bathers and togs. Spring onions and silverbeet, but in Canberra I learned to call them shallots (even though I knew they weren't) and spinach (even though I knew it wasn't). Rockmelon, but I also knew cantaloupe. Those things are juice boxes. Belgium forever, even though I had to call it devon in the ACT. Bubblers and drinking fountains. Fizzy drinks, or specifically Coke or Fanta; cordial is the Cottee's stuff you mix with water (and that wasn't just me, that was my 1970s rural Tassie peers too, so I reckon the "fizzy cordial" thing might be out-of-date). I never heard "longneck" in Tas, just "bottle", as opposed to stubbies. Facecloths. They're free dress days in Tassie schools too. Windcheaters, but also knew sloppy joes via Mum. We didn't/don't have bindies in Tas, as the author mentions.

When people tell me there's no regional variation in Australian English, I laugh and laugh and suspect they've never left Sydney.
posted by rory at 2:23 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


As an American who has lived in Adelaide for six years and is still confused by some of the words that come flying at me, thank god for this! Interestingly, in most of these cases I have been vaguely realising that my American words for things were inappropriate but still never actually managed to learn the Adelaidean equivalent. Perhaps it is due to the regional variation rather than (as I rather suspected) that I am a bit thick.

Things I learned today:

1. Bathers! I have been swimming with my toddler son for about two years now. Still, every time we get ready to go into the pool, I have had the following internal dialogue. "Time to put on your... uh..." [Trunks? No, that's American. Swimsuit? Is that American? Swimmers? Do people say that? Swimmies? Oh God I have no idea.] And then I pick a random word. Now, thanks to this handy chart, I know I should say "Bathers." Of course, this is not one of the 5 other words I've been using, so my poor kid will be very confused, but dammit, I get it now!

2. Fritz! I have heard people say this and had no. idea. what on earth they were talking about. My son's babysitter mentioned that he liked fritz and I thought it was the name of one of her dogs.

3. Flannel! Another word I have known I don't know and have therefore been arbitrarily and confusingly labeling to my son for two years now. (Washcloth? Facecloth? Rag? Washy-thingy?)

4. Windcheater! No. That's going too far. It's a fleece, dammit.
posted by forza at 2:25 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Evidence here of persistent "cordial" for fizzy drinks in the wilds of Tas, so maybe growing up I was just mapping my family's distinction onto what friends were saying. At least Tas isn't as bad as Scotland, though, where fizzy drinks, the cordial you mix into water, and the juice you squeeze from fruit are all "juice". (Tourists, don't order juice in Scotland unless you fancy sampling Irn Bru - be very specific.)
posted by rory at 2:34 AM on January 9, 2015


I grew up in northern NSW, and the words I used seem to be a bit of a mix of NSW/ Queensland, with a few Victorian terms thrown in: bubblers, swimmers, poppers, scungies, but cantaloupe not rockmelon.

We definitely used windcheater. Only, though, for a pull over made from a fleecy (on the inside) machine-knit fabric. This is most emphatically not a jumper, nor a fleece. My school called our uniform windcheaters for sports sloppy joes, but I never heard the word otherwise.

Does anyone have another word for the parachute jackets/pants that were so (horrifyingly) popular in the early 90's? I think we just used windcheater/trackpants, but I feel like they have another name.
posted by neatsocks at 2:52 AM on January 9, 2015


Here in Yorkshire, a scallop is a common fish-and-chip shop item, it's a slice of potato covered in batter and deep-fried. But along with bits, I've never seen them for sale in chip shops outside of Yorkshire!

Your diaspora awaits, winterhill.

People of Yorkshire! Come down under, to the second home of the scallop. Potato cake. Thing. Just don't order the flake and expect to get a chocolate bar.
posted by rory at 2:56 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


My son's babysitter mentioned that he liked fritz and I thought it was the name of one of her dogs.

One day maybe it will be.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:58 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Does anyone have another word for the parachute jackets/pants that were so (horrifyingly) popular in the early 90's? I think we just used windcheater/trackpants, but I feel like they have another name.

Those sound like dropbear duds, I reckon. (Early '90s, I was there. Nobody wore those things, oh no, it's all a furphy. These are not the duds you're looking for...)
posted by rory at 2:59 AM on January 9, 2015


How can any Australian colloquial dictionary not have "map of Tassie"?
posted by drnick at 3:04 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here in Yorkshire, a scallop is a common fish-and-chip shop item, it's a slice of potato covered in batter and deep-fried. But along with bits, I've never seen them for sale in chip shops outside of Yorkshire!

I grew up in Widnes, which is in north Cheshire (formerly S.Lancs) and we had both scallops and bits. I can testify this paradigm stretched at least as far as Warrington.
posted by biffa at 3:18 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aah yes, but I might be able to pinpoint which suburb in Adelaide if you know what Minda boots are...

Go on, impress me.
posted by Wolof at 4:11 AM on January 9, 2015


This is a Cyclone in a Schooner if ever I saw one.
posted by evil_esto at 4:15 AM on January 9, 2015


Here in Yorkshire, a scallop is a common fish-and-chip shop item, it's a slice of potato covered in batter and deep-fried

So a flattened jojo potatoe, basically?
posted by Dip Flash at 4:19 AM on January 9, 2015


Haha, liking this discussion.

I guessed what a few of these would be before reading the article, but was mildly surprised not to find, there nor here, any mention of Bogans (Victoria) and Bevans (Queensland). I think that's a Westie in Sydney. What Americans call a redneck.

When I moved from a Melbourne school to a Brisbane school, it made me almost physically choke to have to say bevan to make myself understood.
posted by illongruci at 5:57 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


And yes, there is no better word than Slab for a unit of 24 cans of beer.
posted by illongruci at 5:58 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I grew up in a mostly black suburb of Denver where parachute pants were called "Hammer pants" (as in MC Hammer) or "dookie pants" (because it looked like you were carrying some precious cargo and tried to avoid touching it).
posted by aydeejones at 6:32 AM on January 9, 2015


‘devon’ in NSW and Victoria

I grew up in Melbourne. Any kind of sliced huge bland lunch sausage is Stras, apart from the frankly alarming Smiley Meat.
posted by flabdablet at 8:53 AM on January 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


So a flattened jojo potatoe, basically?

No! A potato cake!

Jeez these foreigners
posted by flabdablet at 8:59 AM on January 9, 2015


a lady teaching how to pronounce the "o" sound in an Aussie accent

OHHHHHHH
posted by flabdablet at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I'm bang-on with this, but here's a video of a lady teaching how to pronounce the "o" sound in an Aussie accent.

Aaaaaah that's great! She makes me homesick. I'll be sharing that with some of my German friends (and enjoying their attempts at saying it).
posted by illongruci at 10:02 AM on January 9, 2015


But in WA and SA, they’re ‘cool drinks’, which has nothing to do with the serving temperature.

This is the same in India as well.
posted by dhruva at 10:10 AM on January 9, 2015


and thanks for reminding me of Stras, flabdablet. I couldn't for the life of me remember what I would have called it back then.

Bathers!
Daks!
Windcheater!
Jumper!
Potato cake!
Durry!

(just btw are there any other Aussie Metafiltrians in Germany?)
posted by illongruci at 10:11 AM on January 9, 2015


I said something about 'the vibe' of something the other day, and got a lot of blank stares back.

So, the linked dictionary didn't have that but I found another australian slang dictionary that defines it as "1. rhythm; 2. any musical aspect or quality indicative of a genre€; 3. mood or atmosphere; feeling€; 4. (plural) signals or messages sent out to someone" which is pretty much the standard dictionary definition (minus "short for vibraphone"). What am I missing here?
posted by effbot at 1:18 PM on January 9, 2015


effbot, it's a quote from this scene from a much-beloved Australian comedy film called The Castle. The main guy in the video is a small-time suburban lawyer who has found himself arguing a constitutional law case in the High Court, and is hopelessly out of his depth.
I guess it's not slang per se, but a cultural reference that most Australians would get, and almost nobody else would. I was using it in a self-deprecating way to indicate that I knew I wasn't describing the thing I was trying to describe very well, but it just confused people further.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 1:36 PM on January 9, 2015


If there are any San Diegans (also OCers and Minnesotans) in the audience, I would like to note that the potato scallop/cake in question seems to be what we would call Australian Battered Potatoes from the Fair. Absolutely fabulous food (it's fried, how could it go wrong?) but nothing like what we consider scalloped potatoes (the au gratin ones). In conclusion, language is confusing.
posted by librarylis at 2:40 PM on January 9, 2015


Them's scallops. Potato cakes are mashed up potato mixed with flour and flattened and fried. Make your own or buy them . Bits of batter left in the pan are scrumps (free with any purchase at the chip shop).
posted by StephenB at 2:51 PM on January 9, 2015


I think we just used windcheater/trackpants, but I feel like they have another name.

Like shell suit?

Only exists on google as fancy dress now /sad
posted by glasseyes at 2:54 PM on January 9, 2015


So these "scallops" or "cakes" or what have you--they're a slice of potato, battered, and deep fried? I don't care what they're called, I just want to know why I can't get that here.

Unless Australians are worried we Canadians would put gravy and cheese curds on them, and have been keeping it secret to preserve their integrity.

Too bad, Australia, it's happening. Tonight.
posted by Hoopo at 3:58 PM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I had a potato cake/scallop drunken argument with another expat in a New York bar just the other day. It wasn't the first time.

I am from Melbourne and about the same age as the author, but I disagree on several of these. We said poppers (only Prima if it was the brand Prima), bubblers, jumpers more often than windcheaters (honestly, I only use/used the latter for your generic Kmart plain tracksuit-style jumper; I would use jumper for anything), free dress day (or out-of-uniform day), and... I don't think I had a name for those prickly burrs.

Now, if you really want to see Australians get nasty, start a chicken vs. cheese Twisties argument. #teamcheese
posted by retrograde at 4:02 PM on January 9, 2015


So these "scallops" or "cakes" or what have you--they're a slice of potato, battered, and deep fried? I don't care what they're called, I just want to know why I can't get that here.
...
Too bad, Australia, it's happening. Tonight.


This might help.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:59 PM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


retrograde: Now, if you really want to see Australians get nasty, start a chicken vs. cheese Twisties argument. #teamcheese

CHEESE FOR LIFE. For maximum division, introduce the regular vs. zigzag sub-argument.

(By all that is holy, don't you dare come to me and say 'they're the same thing!'

No sir, no they are not. Entirely different textures, it makes a world of difference! For optimal Twistie-ing, cheese-flavoured zigzags are where you need to go. Delicious!

God, i'm so hungry.)
posted by pseudonymph at 5:32 PM on January 9, 2015


Go on, impress me.

North-east suburbs, probably within 15-minutes drive of Skateline on Milne Rd.
posted by Jimbob at 5:48 PM on January 9, 2015


Nah, Blackwood here, right next to where Minda Farm was.
posted by Wolof at 6:06 PM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


So what are minda boots down Blackwood way?
posted by Jimbob at 8:10 PM on January 9, 2015


Poppers, dags, togs, school port, grundies, trackie-daks and chuck us a durrie, Murray!
posted by h00py at 9:10 PM on January 9, 2015


Minda boots are brown t-bar school sandals hereabouts, also known as "Jesus boots".
posted by Wolof at 9:27 PM on January 9, 2015


Sorry for the delay, feckless fecal fear mongering. You can find a general link on the accents here which makes the distinction of broad, general and cultivated. Adelaide has had the 'cultivated' accent until recently due to years of resisting the other accent and possibly because of a lack of convict settlement. Homogenisation is taking place now and, while there's still a difference, it's not as extreme as it once was - in my opinion, so others may disagree!

Here in Adelaide, we would pronounce "pool" with a long "o" sound. So "poo" transitioning into the "l" with not much movement. (I am so not a linguist.) Queenslanders (and others with the broad accent on the east coast) will make the "oo" do extra duty and the word sounds much closer "puerl" having an illicit affair with "perl" and you can hear elements of both at the same time.

As a note, I have never heard anyone use "cool drinks" to refer to "soft drinks" unless they were actually cooled in Adelaide and I've lived here since 1976. A cool drink could be anything as long as it is not as hot as the sun which happens a lot here in Summer.
posted by nfalkner at 10:13 PM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I grew up in regional Queensland, as an adult have lived in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Married into a kiwi family.

Drink trough/bubblers almost interchangeable. Potato scallops (have to clarify the 'potato' depending on the class of fish shop you frequent). A slab, perhaps of 'throwdowns' if you're talking about the 250ml stubbies. Speedos when I was a kid, DT's since the mid-90s. In my family, lunch meat was 'stras' e.g. strasbourg sausage? but these days I'd probably call it luncheon (American cultural imperialism?). My kids are raised QLDers, so they use the term 'togs' not swimmers, etc.

Kiwi words: flannel, it was always a face washer until I met my wife. Jandals, no thanks they are THONGS. Chilly bin? forget it.

I'm a tolerant guy but the thing that really gets my goat is they way some people say Mackay (rhymes with 'may') instead of Mackay (rhymes with 'eye'). God damn that pisses me right off! "You shit me to tears, ...I'm goin' down the pub."
posted by joz at 11:38 PM on January 9, 2015


Aah. Up Modbury way, "minda boots" were the ugly, smelly grey-brown rollerskate boots you hired at Skateline if you didn't bring your own skates.
posted by Jimbob at 12:59 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I grew up in Widnes, which is in north Cheshire (formerly S.Lancs) and we had both scallops and bits. I can testify this paradigm stretched at least as far as Warrington.

I grew up in south Cheshire, basically Potteries outskirts in culture and dialect, and we didn't have scallops or bits! But I'm from a Yorkshire family, and was introduced to such wondrous delicacies from an early age, and now I live here, so...

the fish and chips in south Cheshire were crap and that's why I moved
posted by winterhill at 1:57 AM on January 10, 2015


Yeah, the next time I hear anyone in Adelaide use the term 'cool drink' as a replacement for 'soft drink' it'll be the first. Although this article does explain my ex-NSW ex's baffling tendency to refer to 'swimmers.'

And you devon people... you will face a reckoning.
posted by MarchHare at 2:53 AM on January 10, 2015


I thought that video lady had a really great Australian accent (like one of the commenters there I actually thought she was Australian at first), and it sounds kind of like Sydney accents to me, but she does drift a little bit through types of Sydney accents, which one person wouldn't usually do without pulling a crazy "check me out, I'm doing a voice" face.

Swimmers. Spring onions. Silverbeet. Rockmelon. Poppers. Devon. Bubbler. Jumper. Soft or fizzy. Washcloth. Mufti. Bindie. And scallops, always scallops: scallops uber alles.

School bags is another weird one: we used bag or backpack as much as I can remember, but I did live for a few years in a very small town where they said "port".
posted by thylacinthine at 5:05 AM on January 10, 2015


I thought that video lady had a really great Australian accent

Anthony Morgan's is greater
posted by flabdablet at 11:18 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't believe it's gotten this long and no one's corrected Athanassiel's obvious non-Melburnian howler in the OP. "MelbOurnian" is not correct.
posted by wilful at 6:37 PM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh man when I moved to Canberra and asked for half a kilo of Cheerios

Jesus, this. I could cope with 'cocktail frankfurts' but the first time I heard somebody refer to them as 'little boys' at a Canberra public service morning tea in 1996 I nearly choked to death.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:51 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well done wilful! I do know better, I blame kitten-induced sleep deprivation.
posted by Athanassiel at 1:26 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Late but parachute pants are called junkie pants, at least in western Sydney.
posted by bystander at 4:25 AM on January 13, 2015


The Australian parts of my Facebook feed started talking about "removalists" the other day. It sounded a lot more intriguing than it was...
posted by effbot at 3:16 PM on January 17, 2015


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