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Jan 16 21 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
This is a thread of my favourite Aussie slang. It’s a mixed bag of widely known vs regional, brand-new vs outdated etc. I had a neighbour in Melbourne for 5 years who spoke almost entirely in slang from the ’60s (so shout out to Frances from Mentone for teaching me lots of them!)
A list of Australian slang:

5. As popular as a rattle snake in a lucky dip (not popular)
4. To stir the possum (to create a disturbance)
3. A Will Smith biff (a slap)
2. To put on the wobbly boot (to get drunk)
1. I’ll be there in two shakes of a crying baby (I’ll be there soon)
If someone is behaving foolishly, an old Australian phrase to describe them is “they’re carrying on like a pork chop.” Also popular is “playing silly buggers,” which I once misread as “playing silly badgers” (and I’ve used that version ever since)
Another list of Aussie slang:

5. A bachelor’s handbag (a supermarket roast chicken in a small bag)
4. Concreter’s caviar (tuna in a tin)
3. A face like a dropped pie (unattractive)
2. Going off like a frog in a sock (to flip out)
1. I’m not here to lick stamps (I mean business)
The most famous version of “I’m not here to lick stamps” is of course “I’m not here to fuck spiders.” But I’m a hipster at heart and prefer the stamps version as you hardly ever hear it these days (probably because younger generations don’t even know what stamps are, the drongos)
More Australian slang phrases for an unattractive person:

5. A face like a cobbler’s thumb
4. A head like a scrub-headed turkey
3. A face like a chewed mango
2. A head like a robber’s dog
1. A face like a bucket of smashed crabs
In Australia, slot / fruit machines are known as the pokies, but there are several other slang expressions to describe them. The most colourful ones that I’ve heard are “the bricklayer’s laptop,” “the pensioner’s piano,” and “the plumber’s PlayStation”
More Aussie slang:

5. It charges like a wounded bull (that place sure is expensive)
4. Flat out like a lizard drinking (busy)
3. As busy as a centipede on a hot plate (very busy)
2. Drier than a dead dingo’s donger (thirsty)
1. Drier than a pommy’s bathmat (very thirsty)
A “pommy” (or “a pommy bastard”) refers of course to an English person. Another phrase about pommies is “a pommy shower,” which describes the practice of spraying yourself with deodorant instead of having a proper wash. And speaking of deodorant… Lynx Africa = “puberty perfume”
Yet more Aussie slang:

5. Flash as a rat with a gold tooth (showy)
4. I got the rough end of the pineapple (I got a raw deal)
3. He couldn’t organise a rock fight in a quarry (he’s useless)
2. A veranda over the toy shop (a beer belly)
1. A TikTok scientist (an anti-vaxxer)
Other names for Anti-vaxxers were“plague enthusiasts” and “Instagram academics” (coined by The Betoota Advocate). And talking of vaccines, the rollout out of the COVID vaccine in Australia was famously slow in the early months, which led to it being dubbed “the strollout”
I once heard the regular pandemic press conferences referred to as “the daily 11 am depresser,” and the man giving them, then-PM Scott Morrison, as “Sir Announcealot.” When he began doing statements about lack of vaccines an especially creative name for him was “The Pfizer-Miser”
Melbourne, and the whole state of Victoria, was in lockdown longer than the rest of Australia because of a lax initial approach to hotel quarantining. This led to the people of Melbourne being labelled Spice Girls (because everyone was trying their hardest except Victoria)
One last note on COVID-era slang in Australia: having a swab test could be referred to as “a nasal appraisal” and, in the early days of the pandemic, COVID itself was occasionally labelled (and I’m afraid this is in poor taste, even by Aussie slang standards) “the boomer remover”
A last list of Aussie slang:

5. Don’t know whether I’m Arthur or Martha (don’t know whether I’m coming or going)
4. Tucker (food)
3. A tucker fucker (a microwave)
2. Weaker than a sunburned snowflake (very weak)
1. He’s got a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock (he’s a fool)
Final tweet of the thread (maybe!). My favourite Aussie version of “you can’t polish a turd” is “you can't make strawberry jam out of pig shit, no matter how much sugar you use.” And a phrase for a miser who never buys a round at the pub is “he wouldn’t shout in a shark attack”
Back by unpopular demand...

5. Could eat the crutch out of a low flying duck (hungry)
4. Full as a doctor’s wallet (not hungry)
3. Slower than a boomer with a QR code (not fast)
2. Wanker’s waistcoat (a North Face gilet)
1. Don’t come the raw prawn with me (don't try to fool me)
A modern Aussie term for a bloke who keeps putting off proposing to his long-term partner is ‘dirty knee phobia.’ A way of describing something from ages ago is ‘when Jesus played fullback for Jerualem.’ And a slang phrase for a messy situation is ‘a shitshow at the fuck factory’
Bonus Australian fact for you – An episode of the English show Peppa Pig has twice been pulled off air in Australia after being deemed inappropriate for Aussie children. The episode’s main message was ‘spiders can’t hurt you’
In an Aussie Rules match between St Kilda and Brisbane Lions, St Kilda player Brett Voss was about to take a shot at goal when someone shouted “My old man f*cked your mum!” He turned round to find that the player who said it was his brother, Michael, who played for the other team
And I’ll leave you with another Aussie ‘yo momma’ jibe, which is ‘your mum drinks tap water in Adelaide.’

Onya for reading this thread, ya beauts!

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More from @AdamCSharp

Sep 28
A Spanish version of “in a while, crocodile” is me las piro, vampiro. It means “I’m outta here, vampire”

* read on for lots more rhyming farewells from around the world (a thread)…
In Chile, when a gathering is over and it’s time to leave you can say calabaza, calabaza, cada uno pa su casa. It means “pumpkin, pumpkin, everyone to their own home”
Two more Spanish versions of “see you later, alligator” are hasta la vista, ciclista (“see you later, cyclist”) and con esto y un bizcocho, hasta mañana a las ocho (“with this and a slice of pound cake, see you tomorrow at eight o’clock”)
Read 21 tweets
Sep 26
The most common French name for a bookworm is rat de bibliothèque, or “library rat”. However, my gran, who grew up in Ardes, would often refer to an avid reader as a buveur d’encre. It means “ink drinker”

* read on for more names for bookworms from around the world (a thread)...
One of the Danish words for a bookworm is læsehest, which means “reading horse”

* and on a related note, let me add that the Danish word for a bookseller is boghandler
A similar phrase to the Danish “reading horse” is the Persian خرخوان / خرخون, which is a “reading donkey” (literally “donkey-read”)
Read 10 tweets
Sep 19
My favourite Korean idiom is a version of “looking for a needle in a haystack” – 서울에 가서 김서방 찾기. It means “searching for a Mr. Kim in Seoul”

Read on for more Korean language titbits (a short thread)…
A Korean variant of “killing two birds with one stone” is 님도 보고 뽕도 따고. It means “she both picked mulberries and saw her lover”
Instead of “once upon a time,” Korean folk and fairy tales often begin with 호랑이 담배 피우던 시절에. It means “back when tigers smoked (pipes)” Image
Read 7 tweets
Sep 11
To my shame I’ve never been in a book club, let alone set one up. But I have spent a lot of time thinking of potential names for one. This is a thread of the leading contenders, starting with these…
Page Against the Machine
Philip K. Dick Picks
Prose Before Hoes
If it was a book club in a prison, I’d call it “Prose and Cons”
And if the club only discussed audiobooks, it could be called “Book Who’s Talking”
Potential names for book clubs that involve drinking…
Reading Between the Wines
Grape Expectations
Tequila Mockingbirds
The Pitcher of Dorian Gray
Love in the Time of Kahlua
A Rum of One’s Own
Gulp Fiction
Last of the Mojitos
The Obliterati
Read 13 tweets
Aug 21
In 1990s Germany there was a trend of thinking up names for wimps, also known as Weicheiwörter (“soft egg words”). This is a thread of my favourites, starting with these…

Warmduscher = warm-water-showerer

Backofenvorheizer = oven-preheater

Sitzpinkler = sitting-down-pisser
Zebrastreifenbenutzer = zebra-crossing-user

Schattenparker = shady-spot-parker

Handschuhschneeballwerfer = one-who-wears-gloves-to-throw-snowballs
Sockenbügler = sock-ironer

Gebrauchsanweisungsleser = instructions-for-use-reader

Mittagszähneputzer = midday-teeth-cleaner
Read 8 tweets
Aug 18
International euphemisms (some rare) for menstruation:

6. It’s lingonberry week (Swedish)
5. I have my bears (French)
4. The cockerel sang to me (Puerto Rican Spanish)
3. Garibaldi is coming (Italian)
2. The moon came (Indonesian)
1. There are communists in the funhouse (Danish)
If you have the communists in the funhouse and have sex (because you’re still hot to trot-sky) be careful not to leave marx on the sheets (or you’ll be russian to get some clean ones from the lenin cupboard)
In the medieval English text The Trotula, menstruation is referred to in terms of “flourys” (flowers), which can give us phrases like “I’m on my flowers” or, even better, “it’s flower time!”

* thanks again to @Stylisticienne for sharing those (and a shout out to MC Hammer also!)
Read 4 tweets

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