It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Australian turn of phrase is a gorgeous linguistic riddle.
Even those who live there can be confused by popular phrases. Flip flops are called “thongs,” and woe betide the Australian who says otherwise, for they will be dragged.
The Australian National Dictionary Centre have released their annual round up the most
mundane popular Australian words of 2016 and in the interest of international diplomacy, we’re here to help explain what the hell they mean.
“A popular cafe breakfast, typically consisting of a thick slice of toast topped with chopped or mashed seasoned avocado.”
Australians do love their brunch and the “smashed avo” is the king of all brunch foods. The problem is a certain journalist penned a “think” piece explaining that the reason young people couldn’t get into Sydney’s exploding housing market was because they spent too much on the food stuff.
The opinion pieces were swift and Twitter rage uncontainable. The humble food became immortalised, at least for a year.
“The act of drinking an alcoholic beverage out of a shoe, especially to celebrate a sporting victory.”
To drink alcohol from a sweaty shoe is a great act of courage, or else a momentary delusion brought on by intense joy.
It usually involves teenage boys. Or else Australia’s emperor of F1 racing, Daniel Ricciardo, who this year performed a shoey not once, but with startling regularity after achieving podium places around the world.
Kind of gross and kind of beautiful. Just like Australians.
“The potential cutting of ties with the British monarchy, or the departure of Australia from the United Nations.”
Britain’s decision to split from the EU prompted a wave of political discourse across Australia, asking whether the island continent should break away from its convict past and become an independent republic.
Alt-right conservative politicians even used the term to petition (to little success, obviously) for an Australian separation from the United Nations and Britain.
The best use of the term however, occurred after Australia was viciously robbed of first place during the 2016 Eurovision competition.
The ineffable Dami Im came second to the Ukraine, and Australians flooded social media proposing a split from the EU, even though they’re not in the EU.
“The failure of the Australian Bureau of Statistics website on census night.”
Every five years Australians must fill out a form with which the federal government gathers information on the population. However 2016’s transition to an entirely digital system was the logistical equivalent of sh*tting the bed.
Citizens couldn’t even access the Australian Bureau of Statistics website from which the forms were to be filled out. In the following days the department cited DDoS attack as the culprit, rendering the domain inaccessible for most of the country’s 23.13 million citizens.
“A barbecued sausage served on a slice of bread, bought at a polling booth ‘sausage sizzle’ on election day.”
The English have tea, but in Australia a sausage sandwich on election day is the most sacred of traditions.
Voting is compulsory in Australia, so the best way to feel better about spending your Saturday at a polling booth is to stuff one’s face with a delicious and relatively cheap sausage in white bread with tomato sauce. Maybe grilled onions if you’re fancy.
Though democracy sausage is in fact two words, it exists as a phrase where both words are necessary for the desired meaning. So there.