I ❤ My Anglo-Australian Dialect
Can I say that without being a jingoistic loon?
I was perusing the internet the other day, as one does, when I came across the work of the Yorkshire Dialect Society. Inspired by their contrasting of the local idiom against the Queen’s English, I thought to myself: “Why not prepare a sample of my own butchered vernacular?”
Why not, indeed?
A few Northern-English-isms seem to have wormed their way into my vocabulary. Of course, that could be my grandparents’ fault. It may be that I’m the only one in all Melbourne to speak like this. Well, that’s for the linguists to determine. But, I assure you, these are genuine words I have uttered at one time or another. And they don’t seem to appear in the Collins American Dictionary. On that paltry basis, I deem them to be proper dialect.
Chosen at random, and presented in alphabetical order, I give you Alex’s Lexicon of Anglo-Australian English. I will try to illustrate each word’s usage with a short paragraph, which could be difficult and a little bit silly. Faint hearts and weak stomachs should click elswhere.
Now, here we go!
1. bodgy (adj.) ‘bɒdʒɪ
- poor quality, rubbish
2. bog (n.) bɒg
3. borry (n.) ‘bɒrɪ
- see ‘bog’ (local variant)
4. cack (v.) kæk
- to defecate
- He cacked himself. He defecated in his undergarments.
5. faff (v.) fæf
- to waste time or hang about unnecessarily (faffing can be a pleasurable pastime, but may also be the subject of frustration and scorn)
Actually, I haven’t said bodgy since about grade three. No one says bodgy any more. Moving on: a bog is what you find floating in the toilet after some manky mouth breather has left the stall. Faffing and borries are both done on cycle tours, usually as a consequence of each other, where the faff involves copious caffeination at a faffé. Cacking you do to yourself … hopefully never.
6. faffé (n.) ‘fæfeɪ
- a café in which one performs the act of faffing
7. manky (adj.) ‘mæŋkɪ
- disgusting, gross, filthy
8. munted (adj.); ‘mʌntɨd
- adj. — a bit broken, a bit not-quite-right
- v. to munt — to vomit
9. pikelet (n.) ‘paɪklət
- a small pancake that comes from making the mixture too thick. I only recently learned that it’s actually meant to be a crumpet (but to me it will always be a deformed pancake).
10. shithouse (adj.) ‘ʃɪthaʊs
- extremely bad or unjust (an expression of significant disappointment and/or sympathy).
Pikelets are munted little pancakes— the ones with that look like they’ve been cooked by a two-year-old. I guess the bubbles that form while they’re cooking make them look like crumpets. But they’re not.
11. spewin’ (adj.) ‘spjʉːwɨn
- angry, usually from frustration or disappointment.
12. spit the dummy (v.)
- to lose control of your emotions/throw a tantrum.
13. squiz (v.) skwɪz
- to look e.g. ‘take a squiz’
14. stoked (adj.) stəʉkd
- extremely pleased/proud (stretch that diphthong as far as it will go, make it a double!)
15. tracky dacks (n.) ‘trækɪ dæks
- tracksuit pants/ sweat pants
Spewin’ is how you might feel when something shithouse happens. And if you can’t keep it together, you might spit the dummy. (I’m stoked if you’re still with me.) Maybe you want to take a squiz at some of my other writing while you’re here. Most of it’s not like this. I’ll just be over on the couch in my tracky dacks enjoying a pikelet and a chocolate porter.