I've watched a few Australian TV programmes recently and have picked up some differences between Aussie and British English. If you want to practise your listening skills or familiarise yourself with the Australian accent, I recommend "A Place to Call Home", "The Doctor Blake Mysteries", "800 Words" or "The Heart Guy" (also called "Doctor Doctor".
Australian English uses mostly the same vocabulary as British English. They use some American words as well. The words I'm going to share with you today are particularly Australian.
Here are a few of my favourite Aussie words:
arvo = afternoon
bikkie = biscuit (UK), cookie (USA)
barbie = barbecue
crook = unwell, ill
drongo = idiot
dunny = toilet
fair dinkum = true, good, genuine
G'day = Hello (Good day)
mozzie = mosquito
postie = postman / postwoman
Sheila = woman
sunnies = sunglasses
thongs = flip-flops
tinnie = a can of beer, or a small aluminium boat
tucker = food
yabber = talk fast and not clearly
I have heard "bikkie", "mozzie" and "postie" used in the UK as well.
You may know that Australia has some animals that can't be found anywhere else. These words come from Aboriginal languages, from the people who were there before white people arrived. For example:
koala = a small cute bear found in Australia
dingo = an Australian wild or semi-wild dog
kangaroo = a large Australian animal that moves by jumping on its back legs
wallaby = an animal similar to a small kangaroo
budgerigar = a small brightly coloured bird, often kept as a pet. Also called "budgie" for short.
Another Aboriginal word that has become part of English is:
boomerang = a curved piece of wood that you can throw and it comes back to you
There are some words which are thought to be from Aboriginal languages but are not. For example:
didgeridoo = a musical instrument made out of a long wooden tube which you blow into. (This may in fact be from Irish or Scottish Gaelic.)
If you would like to know how to improve your vocabulary and how to remember new words more easily, this e-book is for you:
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