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Australian Slang: A Dictionary
 
 

Australian Slang: A Dictionary [Kindle Edition]

David Tuffley
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Welcome to Aussie Slang, a richly-textured, often ribald world of understatement and laconic humour. This guide aims to do three things; (a) to help the traveller decipher what they hear around them in everyday Australian life, (b) give the casual reader some insight into informal Australian culture, and (c) make a record of some old Australian expressions that are slipping into disuse now that English has become a global language.

Readers will recognize both British and American terms in this list. Australian English has absorbed much from these two great languages.
For depth of knowledge of their own language, no-body beats the British. Its their language after all. A thousand years in the making, the English language is embedded deep in the DNA of the British. No-one uses their language more skilfully than they do.

On the other hand, American English has a creative power that recognizes no boundaries. Americans have taken a very good all-purpose language and extended it in all kinds of directions with new words describing the world as it is today. They do not generally cling to old forms out of respect for tradition. As Winston Churchill observed, Britain and America … two great nations divided by the same language. Australian English sits comfortably in the space between the two.

Australian English began in the early days of settlement as English English with a healthy dash of Celtic influence from the many Scots, Irish and Welsh settlers who came to Australia. Large numbers of German settlers also came in the 1800’s,and their influence on the language is also clearly evident.

For over a hundred years, Australia developed in splendid isolation its unique blend of English, tempered by the hardships of heat and cold, deluge and drought, bushfires and cyclones. The harsh environment united people in a common struggle to survive. People helped each other. Strong communitarian loyalties were engendered. It is from this that the egalitarian character of Australia evolved. There is a strong emphasis on building a feeling of solidarity with others. Strangers will call each other "mate" or "luv" in a tone of voice ordinarily reserved for close friends and family in other parts of the world.

Everyone was from somewhere else, and no-one was better than anyone else. A strong anti-authoritarian attitude became deeply embedded in Australian English. This was mainly directed towards their British overlords who still ran the country as a profitable colony.

Following World War II the American influence came increasingly to influence Australian culture and therefore the language. No-one is better at selling their popular culture to the world than the United States of America. Their pop culture is a beguiling instrument of foreign policy, so pervasive and persuasive it is. Young Australians enthusiastically embraced American culture, and since the 1940’s the old established British language and customs have become blended with the American.

If Australian English has a remarkable quality, it is the absence of regional dialects. It is spoken with relative uniformity across the entire nation. Brisbane on the East coast is a 4,300 kilometre (2,700 mile) drive from Perth on the West coast, yet there is little discernable linguistic difference between the two places compared with the difference, for example between Boston and San Francisco in the US. It is true that the people of steamy Far North Queensland speak a little more slowly than those in chilly Melbourne, nearly 3,000 kilometres to the South, but the difference is not a large one. Nowhere else in the world do we see such linguistic uniformity across large distances.

About the Author

David Tuffley is a fourth generation Australian. That makes him a “Dinki di Aussie”. His Great Grandfather Henry Tuffley left the Leicestershire village of Hoby in the 1860's, to travel to far-off Australia on a dangerous sea voyage lasting several months. He eventually settled in Cooktown in Far North Queensland where he became a gold miner and somehow managed to live to a ripe old age. David grew up on Brisbane’s Southside in the working class suburb of Cannon Hill. As a child in the 1960’s, he listened to the colourful speech of the old soldiers who had returned from World War II and the older soldiers who had served in WWI. Also listening to the stalwart wives and mothers who were the real glue of that society regardless of how irascible their men were. These men and women, now mostly gone, were the real repositories of Aussie Slang.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1645 KB
  • Print Length: 83 pages
  • Publisher: Altiora Publications; 2 edition (20 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00579XJ9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #470,942 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 28 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I once possessed a copy of "Let's talk Strain" but, sadly, it is lost. I hoped that this one, "Australian Slang" might replace it but I am very disappointed. It has a high percentage of simple cockney rhyming slang and the other entries are very tame compared with the ones in Let's Talk... I can't recommend it.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful - but could be better 19 Oct 2013
By DCP Melbourne Australia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A handy and entertaining little book but like most things there is room for a little improvement. Mr Tuffley shows his Brisbane origins in his definition of "Buckleys". He omits to say that it is a rhyming slang coming from Buckley & Nunn, a long defunct Melbourne department store.
He omits "One Eyed" which means excessively focused on one thing (usually a particular Aussie Rules football team, here in Melbourne anyway). During a visit by President Obama, our then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard used the phrase in conversation with the President. He was very taken with it and thought that it would be very appropriate when referring to some politicians in the US. Ain't that the truth - particularly right now !
I like this book and recommend it. I have only lived in Australia for 50 years, so I am a relatively recent arrival compared with Mr Tuffley,but I can recall using close to 90% of the words/phrases during that time. I am intrigued by the other 10%. Next month I am joining an American team volunteering in Vietnam. I am sure that they will be amused by most of the expressions in this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy little book, this! 30 May 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, little tome! If you're watching an Aussie film like *Crocodile Dundee*, looking up slang while watching it helps to understand the humour the film contains even better - and to make you laugh louder than you otherwise would.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great dictionary 25 Feb 2013
By dcarlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a quick and easy dictionary, it would be easier to use the book than to look up meanings on a Kindle.
dmc
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful but not complete 1 Aug 2011
By Porterfiend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a plain, basic "guide." It doesn't bill itself as a "dictionary" so don't expect too much detail. It won't offer special business terms or definitive sports slang but it is useful. I wanted something cheap on my Kindle to help as I read a Cliff Hardy (the Aussie Philip Marlowe) mystery. For the most part it worked well, but there were a handful of words where I could find no explanation, but going online usually was successful with those.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful for you international online pen-pals of Aussies 30 May 2014
By Valmont M. Fredburger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I meet up at a Sailor Moon related forum and I'm a good friend of a co-admin.
The challenges with him was he lived in Australia, which is across the ocean, equator and date line.

Taking into account metric measurement, his distance, the weather in the Southern Hemisphere and the fact our communiques may be delay was find, but the terms he used from time to time, meant deducing from context.

Eventually, I had a chance to go through it and now everything is clearer now.

I admire when I'm given the definition to Aussie slang (some of which is part of the American lexicon and phraseology).

I give it 5 stars for the fact it had help a lot in clarification of born-and-bred Aussies and the slang that made their culture.
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