Friday, June 22, 2012

Things I'll miss - the shortening of words

In addition to some words that are different from American English (like boot for car trunk and till for cash register), Australians seem to have created an entire vocabulary out of shortened words.  I adore some of these, and some have melded into my own vocab.  For example, I now usually say sunnies instead of sunglasses.  I also occasionally use brollie (not a long o, more like the -ou in bought) instead of umbrella, but Dan makes fun of me for that one so I only use it when I'm talking to an Aussie or when I feel like sounding like an Aussie.  Below are some others I've heard.

brekkie/brekky - breakfast (most of these are only spoken, not written, so there's not necessarily a right way they're spelled.  So these are my best guesses)

arvo - afternoon (this one doesn't meet the pattern of the rest, I'm not sure why)

rellies - relatives

vollies - volunteers

mozzies - mosquitoes

esky - cooler (as in the portable kind you take to footie games)

footie - Australian Rules Football (not to be confused with American Footie)

tradie - tradesman (this one is used all the time and denotes anyone who works as a tradesperson.  Funny story: the first time I heard this my boss was telling me what her partner did.  I thought tradie meant stock trader.  She said he starts work before 5am, so I figured he worked with overseas markets.  But I got really confused when she said he worked at a golf course.  It eventually got sorted.)

sparkie - electrician (this one is probably my favorite)

chippie - carpenter (It seems that a lot of the tradies have shortened names for the different positions, but as far as I know a plumber is still a plumber.)

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