Australian For Beginners: Australian Idioms

10th May 2015

Australian For Beginners

True story: when a housemate in Australia asked me if I wanted to grab something at the milk bar I said ”No, I don’t drink milk.” Turns out a milk bar wasn’t a hipster place where you sit and drink obscure dairy cocktails, but a small local grocery store or cafe. Although I’ve had English language lessons at school since I was 11 I often embarrass myself in the real world. You don’t learn that in Australia they say “15 clicks from the CBD, mate” instead of “15 kilometres from the city centre, stranger.” Or that the she in She’ll be all right has nothing to do with her.

Anyway… Remember the Idioms of the World post? Well this is a more Aussie-focused style feature – Hotel Club and Aussie illustrator Jared Atkins takes us on a linguistic journey and shows some of the some typical, as well as some of the more quirky Australian sayings you might come across on your next trip down under. Maybe they can save you from some embarrasment, alright mate?

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9 thoughts on “Australian For Beginners: Australian Idioms

  1. Kozue @ Tokyo Direct Diary

    Very interesting! If I hear of them, I’m sure I’ll be perplexed unless I learn.
    I felt that studying a foreign language never ends when I was in Australia, but it’s also fun because I see some new ideas through these idioms – For example, I’d never thought of a busy lizard drinking!!

    Reply
  2. Rai

    As an Australian this is hilarious I love how strange it sounds to others. Even if I don’t use any of these, I have heard some of them and they still crack me up haha We do say things in a strange way ha!

    Reply
  3. Amanda Beth

    Good post! It is so hard being the new kid in a foreign land but at the same time it’s such an accomplishment to adapt to a new place. Australia is totally on my list of places to visit, I will keep in mind their English differs from American English.

    Reply
  4. Sarah D

    Ha! I probably only use “Go off like a frog in a sock” and “Spit the dummy” out of all of these!! Yeah Aussie slang is funny sounding…

    Reply

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