From Lisa Bullock
We had a great weekend away with old friends to a local hiking area known as The Prom (Wilsons Promontory to those of you who thought the Prom was a school dance!). There’s loads of history in this group and I came to know them all through my husband. He grew up in a seaside suburb here in Melbourne and has been fishing, surfing, drinking and ski-ing alongside these guys since age 15. He’s now 56, so a LONG time!
We all had a ball, hiking and chatting and drinking – as you do! These guys absolutely crack me up! They’re all quintessential Aussie blokes. Some are highly qualified doctors, my husband has a Masters in Biochemistry and qualifications in IT, others are successful builders and tradesmen – yet one and all, once they get together they just slide automatically into a camaraderie particularly noticeable in their speech.
It’s a global world nowadays so movies and music and international travel have dulled the local “dialect” somewhat but these guys still retain some of the quirkiest Aussie colloqualisms from the 70’s. I ran some of these past my kids and received totally blank stares – whoops, we’re being Old School!
Aussies love to abbreviate their words and finish them with “o”. Afternoon becomes “arvo” – garbage collector becomes “garbo”, bottle shop (liquor store) becomes “bottlo”. You get the picture?
Many of our slang terms originated in Britain along with the convicts that were sent to our shores over 200 years ago. The cockney speech which was native to inner city London found its way to the shores of Oz and corrupted over time. We call it rhyming slang. The kids are the “billy lids”, to tell a lie is a “pork pie” or more casually yet, a “porkie”! Want to add some ketchup to your meat pie? Well, for one we don’t call it ketchup, it’s tomato sauce and then that’s corrupted yet again to “dead horse”. My husband complains if we have to go anywhere formal because he’ll have to wear his “bag of fruit” – rhymes with…….. you got it, suit!
And of course Australia is famous for its deadly wildlife and insects. We’ve got more deadly snakes and spiders than most other countries put together! I grew up in the country and one of the pitfalls of living on a farm was stepping out the back door in summer because the snakes (“Joe Blakes”) would be sunning themselves on the back mat. I moved to the city as soon as I could! Sadly, while Sydney is known for it’s stunning harbour, that same beautiful harbour is full of “Noahs Arks” – rhymes with…sharks! So I moved to Melbourne!
Now the purists among you in the US may well object to this, but it’s not just the northerners that are known as Yankees. Anyone from the USA is known as a Yank (or Septic Tank, abbreviated yet again to Seppo – who came up with this stuff????). Anyone from England is a Pom – if they’re silly, then they’re a Pommy Git! And anyone who is boastful or foolish is universally known as a “wanker”. Go forth and use this expression today! (It has another meaning, but we won’t go there – shhhh). It’s my personal mission to spread the word “wanker” worldwide – it’s THAT good a noun and insult!
And besides using frivolous language, my other mission is to spread the word of the Female Fat Loss over 40 Inner Circle.
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