Friday, 25 April 2014

Words from the back of Beyond

I come from the most isolated Capital city in the world, that little place (and little probably being the operative word) that is tacked all alone on the far West of Australia. For those of you playing at home, I am talking about Perth. I am reminded nearly on the daily that things back West may be a little bit off kilter from the rest of the world. This comes in the forms of the blank stares that I get from people that I am trying to talk to, apparently coming from WA makes me have some strange alien language that so few people understand. I would like to give you some examples so that the next time I speak to you, you may actually understand the words that are coming out of my mouth.

Boondy - Clump of Yellow Builders sand that has gotten damp and then baked in the sun forming large chunks that are suitable for throwing at your peers.

I don't even know how this one came up in conversation but when I mentioned it everyone was so shocked that I had said such a racist term* and when I tried to tell them what it actually was they didn't believe that it was actually a thing. Their great theory is that we as children had heard our parents being racists and using that word and to try and cover their tracks they told us that it was a lump of sand. Good game parents, good game.

* I did find out later that this is actually a term that Indians / Pakistanis uses to describe each other so maybe it is pretty racist.

Polony - delicious lunch meat that is best served with sauce on fresh white bread. Also best to not think about what it is made out of.

I went to the meat counter at the local Coles not long after I moved here and asked for some Polony. The lady gave me a blank look and I realised the error of my ways, I had not given her an amount (I normally like to get 10 slices) so quickly corrected myself. Again she gave me the blank stare and asked "Sorry I don't know what Polony is" WHAT!!!!!!!!! How can you not know what Polony is????? EVERYONE knows what Polony is. Well its turns out that they don't actually have it here and despite me searching high and low I haven't been able to find it. I have come close in the form of Pariser but it just isn't the same.

Spearmint Milk - Delicious spearmint flavoured milk made by Masters (not the hardware place). Brightly, festively Green coloured. Best served supremely chilled.

First problem - Melbourne Does not have masters, Second Problem - No one has ever heard of spearmint milk, third problem - everyone thinks it would be disgusting. Well Melbourne, I have some news for you. SPEARMINT MILK IS AMAZING!!!!  and the sooner you all realise that the better off my(and your) taste buds will be. I am thinking that I might start an illegal food smuggling ring to supply Polony and Spearmint Milk to all the WA ex pats here in Victoria. I would make a killing. 

Cool Drink -A delicious carbonated beverage ie. Coke, Lemonade, Diet Ginger Ale. 

Apparently here on the other side they refer to such things as soft drinks or fizzy drinks. Apparently saying "Cool Drink" is much to much of a broad statement because I could be referring to ice water, or milk or anything else that is cool. If I wanted Cold water or something general I would ask for a COLD DRINK. Come on people its not really rocket science. 

Carton - A unit of measure for beer that comes in a box. 

Slab, Box etc etc (I actually think that there is more but I am not really able to name them because to me its always been a carton. See it makes sense because it is a carton and its not really discriminatory to what is inside the Carton. Mmmm Delicious Beer 

Middy - The smallest glass of beer that you can get in the pub, possibly not worth wasting your time on. 

While we are on the subject of beer, here is a good one. I have just googled and a Middy is apparently 285ml. They don't have Middys here, they have Pots and Schooners and for the life of me I still cant figure out what size is which so I always have to order a pint because at least that is a universal size and people don't look at me funny when I ask for it. I have asked for Middys on numerous occasions only to be greeted with the "Polony" face. 

Honky Nut - The nut that is found on Gum trees. Commonly known for causing a menace whilst mowing the lawn. 

I guess you would call it a Gum Nut, like Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie. Apparently by using the term Honky Nut I am being racist and everyone thinks I am talking about a Crazy White Person. I guess crazy white people do have nuts as well. And you're welcome for that imagine, next time you see a white person of the lower socio economic scale (ie/ A westie) you are going to imagine these bad boys as their tackle. Ha that's what you get for calling me a racist 

Deli - The local corner shop, you go here to get your paper and your milk. 

I think it is known here in Melbourne as a Milk Bar or Corner Store. Apparently Deli is reserved for a place where you buy olives and cold meats. We would also call this a deli but we would generally elaborate on what we were getting so we would know which Deli we were talking about. I guess it is a case of Which Witch is which? 

So there you have it, a cross section of common WA Slang that should help you in navigating the mine field that can be speaking to a West Aussie. We may appear to be a simple folk but once you take the time to get to know us its kinda well worth it. Actually this is more a community service announcement for you East Coasters, there are enough WA people here these days that it only seems fair that you get to know their language don't you think?

Love and Pronunciations

Miss K

1 comment:

  1. It'sa actually known as polony in the UK and South Africa as well, but somehow that has been lost the closer you are to the US. Here in NZ they call it "lunchion meat", and it's a disgusting fatty tasteless affair.