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13 July 2005 at 16:55

the real thong

There has been recent discussion on Michi's blog about how to wear a thong.

When UK residents arrive in Australia, everything including language seems so reassuringly familiar that you automatically assume that the vocabulary is the same. But it isn't. After embarrassing yourself a few times, you realise that many words have very different meanings, e.g. thongs. In Australian English, "thongs" are cheap plastic sandals, and stringy underpants are called G-strings.

Other words have multiple meanings, so that you have to use context to guess which meaning is intended. For example, a "cocky" can mean a farmer, a redneck, a cockroach, or a cockatoo.

Some words even mean the opposite to their Northern Hemisphere meanings. For example, you'd think "Justice Smith fronted the panel of judges" means that Smith was the Chief Judge. But in Australia it means he was the accused on trial.

This reverse logic actually makes sense in a country where the physical world is inverted (the water goes down the plug anti-clockwise, the seasons are reversed, Christmas Dinner happens in June, and the sun rises in the West).


The Google search engine, which can translate Latvian, Arabic and even Catalan, has no translator software for Australian, probably because it's too difficult.

Blogger hotboy said...

Once it showed you a gangster's house after the Oz polis had given it a good search. The photie of the house said it all. There was nothing left. Just the plot. All the house had been removed brick by brick. Them polis really knew how to "search" a place! This might not help at all! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Once it showed you a gangster's house after the Oz polis had given it a good search. The photie of the house said it all. There was nothing left. Just the plot. All the house had been removed brick by brick. Them polis really knew how to "search" a place! This might not help at all! Hotboy  

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Blogger hotboy said...

Your software has developed a stutter!  

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Blogger Heather said...

When I lived in Korea, I was told this Irish fellow that a Korean deliveryman was loaded when he brought our food. His eyes slightly bulged..and said "loaded?". "Yah," I replied 'He could hardly stand up, and he stunk of soju (rice vodka). "Oh, I thought you meant he was armed"

But its good to know that I can wear a thong in Australia but not in Britain (making mental note)

H  

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