Have All Your Avos In A Row? Or How To Speak Aussie English

English in Australia has diverged somewhat from its roots, but not so much that we're completely unintelligible to others who might speak their own variety of the language. Being immersed in the stuff, it can be hard to truly appreciate its quirks, until someone highlights them for you.

In this video, Rhys Keir (left) pronounces a word in its original form, while Josh Hawkins (right) mutilates it in typical Australian fashion.

As your hear Hawkins verbalise the likes of "bikky", "choccy" and "avo", you'll realise we're not particularly creative when it comes to mangling words, often preferring to shorten them as much as possible, before adding a -y, -o or -ie to round off the cut-down collection of syllables (or in a lot of cases, syllable).

And yes, by the end of it, you can't help but feel a little bogan. The words have a way of rubbing off on you.

[YouTube, via The Guardian]

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    This video is an embarrassment. Stop killing the english language.

      This video isn't a embarrassment, love telling stories to friends overseas of how we aussies are so laid back that we abbreviate everything we say. All around the world you can find a Mcdonalds, but only in Australia you will see it called Macca's.

      What is a embarrassment is reading facebook and youtube comments, reading them and seeing how people can't even spell the simplest of words or use a little bit of grammar is killing the english language.

      Last edited 18/07/15 12:50 pm

        Agree completely with your point. I'm drowning in the irony though given how atrocious that last paragraph was.

          Well i knew i would be called on that, i'm not saying perfect english but people who sae dem things dun make no cents.

        I always refer to McDonalds as "Dirty Ron's".

    its just a video us how we talk. i wouldnt consider that spelling also. dont stress.

    A few of those words confused me and took me a quite a while to learn. And I've been an Aussie all my life.
    I can't stand the newer, more bogan terms that have been popularised more recently: Fireies? Firieys? Fire-ees? WTF? And "Abmos", "fishos" etc.

      Fireys and ambos are pretty standard. Its not new or bogan. What are fishos?

      Last edited 19/07/15 5:37 pm

        No one knew what "Fireys" or "Ambos" were 10, or 15 years ago. I've only heard those used in the last few years.
        "Fishos" are fishermen, apparently.

          You are flat out wrong. Dad was an 'ambo' for the last 40 years and was referred as that for at least 35 that he can remember.

          I reckon it's more to do with the trend of media to more 'social' informality.
          As print - the last bastion of 'traditional' journalistic integrity - dies a slow and undignified death, newsblogging & personality-based TV offer up bite-sized, facebook ready morsels of news. It's not just editorial comment that's creeping in, but colloquial language.

          I'd say fireys & ambos have used these terms in-industry for ages, but it's only in the last 5-10yrs or so that the media has felt comfortable enough using them, too.

          Plus, it seems every now and then some eminently quotable politicians looking to be everymen decide to cling to any words that might offer them a bit of the 'common touch.'

    My favorite is "seeya-sarvo". Say that to any Aussie and every single one will know exactly what you have just said i.e. "I will see you this afternoon". Say it to anyone from outside Australia and they will have no clue. I also like "in-yeer-ole" no non-aussie will have a clue what you just said.

    We are more adventurous and inventive than this video demonstrates. For example, a polly like a previous coalition treasurer was known as being "...as flash as a rat with a gold tooth." while most pollies can be summed up as being "About as attractive as a hat full of arseholes."

    You get the idea; we are irreverent and dismissive of authority.

      We are not irreverent and dismissive of authority; this is just another australian myth.
      Joking about authority is very different to actually fighting it.
      When it comes to fighting, aussies back down, and then have a beer to pretend they don't care.
      How do I know this?
      Because aussies are continually electing governments that are stripping their freedoms, rights, working conditions, etc....and doing nothing about it.

        Why would I fight over those things? I think working conditions in this country are a joke and are holding the nation back. I'll always vote for sane working conditions. I also don't feel I have less freedom or fewer rights today than I did 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Quite the opposite, in fact. e.g. 50 years ago I had no right to object to what colour my neighbour painted his house but today I can force him to paint it whatever colour suits my mood.

    Most of this is aussie hipster language. What I've learnt is Australia has two dialects. City which constantly changes and country which is what Australia used to be completely. I say this cause people from the cities 30 years ago speak the same as country.
    This video is just an extension of cool Kool and kewl. Americanised language.

      This isn't hipster, most if not all Australians use at least some of these on a regular basis.

      Last edited 19/07/15 5:39 pm

      Huh? Everyone I know (including me) says probably 80% of these terms on a daily basis...and none would be characterised as hipster.

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