I recently mentioned the Australians’ penchant for shortening words and ending them with “o”. You probably think this is laziness and slang. Here are some more examples in a short story.
Perhaps you and a relo (relative) decide to go to the bottle-o (liquor shop, off license). But when you get there you realise you spent most of your cash in the servo (petrol station). You grab the metho (methylated spirits) from the thingo (wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit) erm… glovebox, because you’re a drongo (a dope, stupid person).
Next thing, you have to call an ambo (too easy) and as they arrive a journo (journalist) turns up asking questions. You say “mind your own bizzo”! (what a great show, it’s was still on here until recently, but we’ve now got ‘allo ‘Allo, Are You Being Served?, Doctor At Large and, wait for it….. On The Buses!) Anyway…
Get the idea?
Of course, this is fiction. We don’t have thing likes that happen here very often. We don’t have a big yobbo (no explanation needed, not if you’re from England) culture here. But if things did start to get out of hand, then I’m sure they’ll be calls all around the country to bring back…. this is my favourite….. Nasho! (National Service). Yes, they had compulsory military service here, I believe, right the way up to 1972.
Perhaps I should explain the title? Here, a “Whacka” or “Wacker” is: An Idiot; somebody who talks drivel; somebody with whom you have little patience; a dickhead.
If you think I’m making it up, checkout one of the many Australian Slang websites.
Why was I reminded to write about this again? I got my vehicle registration renewal documents through today, from the Australia Government. Is it slang? Is it laziness? See for yourself……
It can’t be too much effort for the Government to print the whole word, can it? So it must be the proper language.
Weather update from yesterdays experiment. Day One:
I was fully confident that today I’d be taking pictures of hot and sunny with clear blue skies.
If you haven’t read yesterdays post, this won’t make sense. You can read it here. I was sure the new pictures would also make you smile. Oh, I was so close! It’s hot. About 28° C. (82°f) And it’s sunny. But we only have patchy clear blue skies. I had hoped to prove to you we rarely have two consecutive bad days. But today I am thwarted by unacceptable cloud cover. Call me a quitter, but I’m ending the experiment. That’s the problem with live stuff. It can blow up in your face.
Some pictures from a loser……………
I told you you could see the city from here. You can’t? Take a closer look…..
Better grab my brolly, just in case.
A slight correction: a “Nasho” is a National Serviceman, that is someone who was called up for military service, rather than a regular soldier.
When I was in my 20s and Aussies (no -o there!) were in Vietnam, national service was distributed among us peasants by what was called the Birthday Lottery: just as in a regular lottery, balls bearing birth dates were pulled from a barrel and, if your birthday was on the ball, you were called up. At that time, you were not told if you were not wanted, just in case they decided to select a few more balls to make up for a shortfall in conscripts.
When I turned 50, I guessed they weren’t going to ask me to pop in for an interview.
This is an interesting site, Bob.
I agree Peter, I have indeed described a “Nasho” as somebody who is in National Service. I had no idea about the Birthday Lottery though, that must have been fun.
Puts a different perspective on the idea of “winning the lotto”.
Thanks for your comment, glad you find my site interesting, Bob
Arvo! Yep, I missed that one out, can’t think why. It was probably one of the first ending in “o” words I heard here. We didn’t have arvo in the UK either. I’m sure it is a uniquely Aussie thing.
I was watching the news the other night and a policeman was first at an accident and said he did his bit while he waited for “ambos and firies’ to turn up. I love it, it saves so much time.
Glad you’re enjoying the blog.
Hi, I’ve been enjoying reading some of your posts as I am an Australian who has just moved to Montreal, Canada, and I’m discovering the same sort of things but in Canada.
I wanted to mention that you have missed probably the most used slang (in my view at least!) which is: ‘ARVO’ slang for afternoon. I.e. “This arvo we went…” “Whatcha doin this arvo?”
I used this phrase in an email to an English-speaking French lass here in Montreal and she said she guessed the meaning by context but had never heard it before. (haha ooops!) You just don’t realise how much slang you use until you take it abroad!!