Tuesday 30 June 2020

BLOG TOUR ~ Dead and Gone by Sherryl Clark

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Dead and Gone by Sherryl Clark where I've a guest author post from Sherryl on A Quick Guide To Australian Slang For Readers. I was thrilled to be asked by Clare Quinvilan from No Exit Press to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else has taken part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the review so without further ado, here it is:


Often when you’re reading novels written by writers in other countries, the local slang can get quite confusing! Even between Australia and New Zealand, we have slang mix-ups. The Kiwis can’t understand why Australians call their footwear thongs. Aren’t thongs a kind of underwear? Kiwis call those jandals (in other places they’re called flip-flops). As for the cooler chests you take to the beach or barbecues, the Kiwis call them chilly bins and the Aussies call them Eskies. (And don’t get me started on bum bags and fanny packs and …)

So here’s a list of some Australian slang you might come across, along with (hopefully) sensible explanations.

Get in a blue – get into a fight (usually at a pub or a party).

Stone the crows! – an expression of astonishment.

Tinny – not a can of beer. It’s what you call a small aluminium dinghy you go out in for fishing. “I’ll put the tinny on the trailer and head out to the coast.”

Go right off – no, not veering around the corner. It’s someone losing their temper.

Pack a sad – sulking. “I told him what I thought and he packed a sad about it.”

Bikies – what Australians call biker gangs, as distinct from bikkies, which is slang for biscuits.

Anzac bikkies – the oat and golden syrup biscuits that are famous for their ability to “keep” (freshness) and were sent to soldiers in WWII.

Have a cold one/a coldie – meaning beer, which needs to be cold and with a decent froth on top.

Aussie salute – we have a certain species of small bush fly here that loves to hang around and land on your face and eyes, so the “salute” is the wave to keep them off.

Ankle biter – small child.

Knee trembler – sex standing up.

Crook – multi-use word for getting angry with someone, or feeling sick, or something dodgy. “I was feeling crook so I stayed home”, “He went crook at me”, “There was something crook about that” or “He’s a crook, steals anything not nailed down”.

Dag – someone who’s a nerd or a geek or funny or just a bit weird (literal meaning is the bits of skin that hang off a sheep’s rear end). “Joe makes me laugh, he’s a real dag.” Most famous rendition is Fred Dagg, famous Kiwi comedian who moved to Australia and then Australia claimed him (common problem, see also Sam Neill, Split Enz, etc).

Daks – trousers of various kinds. Hence underdaks (underpants) and trakkie daks (tracksuit pants).

Dunny – toilet.

Runners – trainers, joggers, sneakers etc.

Stubby – a bottle of beer, usually 375ml. Also in the pub, you’ll find the beer served in various glass measures depending on what state you live in – could be schooners and middys, or pots or pints or … (it’s probably the easy way to tell who’s from out of state).

Slab – a box of 24 stubbies or cans of beer.

Hoon – someone who roars around in their car doing wheelies and doughnuts.

Hard yakka – hard work.

Crikey – expression of surprise. “Crikey, mate, who cut your hair?”

Bail out – to cancel plans. “Bruce bailed out on our fishing trip.”

Cactus – dead or broken. “I tried to fix the car but it was cactus.”

Booze – alcohol. It’s applied in various ways. “He was so boozed he couldn’t walk home.” The police testing unit is called a booze bus. Someone who drinks a lot is a boozer, and some people call the pub a boozer. So you can have a sentence like, “That boozer, Charlie, went down the boozer tonight and got totally boozed and the booze bus caught him on the way home.”

Bugger – often used as an endearing term for older men, such as “That old bugger, Joe”. Also as an expletive. “Bugger, I lost my keys!” Or to describe a person who’s been misbehaving. “He’s a silly bugger.”

Has a kangaroo loose in the top paddock – a bit mad or crazy or not quite with it. Also known as being “a sandwich short of a picnic”.

Budgie smugglers – small swimwear (often Speedos) worn by men that tends to accentuate a certain aspect of their physique. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Deadset – true. “Deadset, she paid $200 for that haircut!”

Barbie – the barbecue. Australia’s most famous tourism ad had Paul Hogan tell everyone to “put another shrimp on the barbie” (except here they’re prawns at least 4cm long, not little pink things).

Up yourself – someone who has tickets on themselves, or is stuck up. The extreme is someone who is so far up themselves that they’ve completely disappeared.

Woop-woop – a very long way from anywhere, which might also be the outback (out the back of nowhere).

Knock off – another multi-use word. Often used with work, so finishing work (as in “I knocked off early”), or finishing a job (“I knocked off that last bit of painting in half an hour”). Also for something fake (“Her Gucci handbag was actually a knock-off”), reducing (“I’ll knock ten dollars off the price if you pay cash”), or perhaps murder (“They knocked Charlie off for talking to the cops”).

Slang in the teenage world tends to come and go, changing every few years, but many of these have been around in the Australian vernacular for decades, and sometimes old ones get resurrected. If you’re keen to know more, try https://nomadsworld.com/aussie-slang/ or simply Google “Australian slang”.

Sherryl Clark’s new book Dead and Gone is available now from Verve Books – vervebooks.co.uk/dead-and-gone

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