Blue Water Healthy Living



An American Family in Oz: Fun with Aussie Lingo

By Christopher J. Robbins

Greetings from Oz!  Maria, John and I are enjoying a warming Spring here in Oz.  Spring officially began on September 1st…still adapting to this reversal of seasons.  Contrasting to my favorite time of the year back home in the Blue Water Area: Autumn.  Something special about those cool, crisp Autumn days in Michigan: fresh cider from the apple orchard, crack of football pads and the emergence of the beautiful colors as the leaves turn. Imagining those beautiful fall color vistas reminds me that God’s paintbrush leaves Van Gogh and the gang in the dust.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the 17th anniversary of 9/11.  An American sacred day of remembrance for all those precious souls lost on that fateful day.  May their souls rest in eternal peace. May God protect the surviving families and fill their lives with meaning and gratitude.


Back in Oz: Spring is beautiful too and I feel a deep sense of renewal here in Oz.  As the days lengthen our moods are lifted and sustained.  We are approaching our 3 year anniversary of living in Oz…and I felt like it was time to reflect on some of the humorous things we have learned about living in Oz. I thought a fun place to start would be with the highly hilarious, quirky Aussie version of the English language.

So let’s Talk unusual Aussie vernacular (for those in Adair Heights, that means everyday words).  Starting with some random funny Aussie words and their companion American translation(s). Qualifier: As with most vernacular, the further you get into the country (or bush) the wackier and interesting it gets.  Sydneysiders seem to fancy themselves world citizens and claim to speak the Queen’s English and appear somewhat ashamed of everyday ordinary words their fellow Aussies speak.  Here’s a short list I’ve compiled that I have either heard in person or listened to on local TV/radio broadcasts or read in local newspapers:

G’day = Hi                                                                   Carpark=Parking Lot

Oz=Australia                                                               Bonnet=Car Hood

Ute=Pick-up Truck                                                     Boot=Car Trunk

Bloke = Dude                                                              Mate = Friend

Anti-clockwise=Counter Clockwise                            Mum=Mother

Pub=Bar                                                                      Pint=Beer

Brekkie = Breakfast                                                    Dingo=Dog

Billibong=Pond                                                            Dam= Water Reservoir Created by a Dam

Take-Away=Food To-Go                                            Tomato sauce = Ketchup

Prawn = Shrimp                                                          Hard Yakka = Hard Work

Streaky Bacon=Bacon                                               Front up = Confront

Backflip=Change your Mind                                       Chinwag = Conversation

Rippa=Awesome                                                        Fair Dinkum=True

Punt=Attempt                                                              Root=Sexual Intercourse

Football=Soccer                                                         Footy=Rugby or Aussie Rules Football

Pollies=Politicians                                                       Chemist=Pharmacist

Physio=Physical Therapist                                         Petrol=Gasoline

Gas=Propane                                                             Speaking Strayan = Aussie vernacular

Fortnight=2 week period                                             Onyamate=More Power to You

Popular Aussie phrases and their companion American translation(s).

Feeling crook=Feeling Sick

Chuck a sickie = Playing hooky

Spoiled for Choice=Many options

I’ll catch you around = See you later

Doing it tough=Having a rough time

How are you going?=How are you doing?

Mad as a cut snake = Crazy insane person

Decision taken = Decision made.

Bob’s Your Uncle =  Tada! Celebration of completing a task well done.

That’s not Cricket = That’s uncool.

She’ll be Apples = Things will turn out terrifically in the end.

Flat Chat = Full throttle.

Flat out like a lizard drinking = Busy to the point of exhaustion.

Take the piss out of someone= Cut them down to size.

Tall Poppy Syndrome = Tendency of Aussies to take shots at high achievers or powerful persons.

Fair-go= Give everyone an even chance to succeed.

A Balmain Fair-Go = Rumble or Brawl

Drop Bear = Fictional animal known to attack gullible tourists from the trees.

Aussies tend to shorten everyone’s name or add “y” or “o” at the end. See the following examples:

Scott Morrison (New Prime Minister) =>ScoMo

Steve Price(Popular Cranky Radio Host) => Pricey



Ambulance=> Ambo

Garbage Truck=>Garbo


Have fun putting these funny words and phrases together….I know I do.  Everyday in Oz is a new adventure. Word of warning….when you visit Oz keep your eye out for the Drop Bears!

That’s all for now — catch you around in a fort-night.

Useful Travel to Oz Financial factoids:

Currency Exchange Rate:  $1 USD = $1.40 AUD. Source: Bloomberg

Roundtrip Airfare Det-Syd: $1594 USD, Source: Expedia; Delta, 1 Stop in LA


Christopher J Robbins was born in 1968, the last of eleven children of Paul and Jean Robbins of Saint Clair Michigan. He grew up on Belle River Road…. affectionately referred to as Dog Patch (Courtesy of Uncle Joe McKay RIP). He was raised by Jean E. Robbins and Paul L. Robbins and 10 older siblings. Baptized, 1st Communion, 1st Confession and confirmation at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church. Graduated St. Clair High School in 1986. Played football (OG and LB) for Benny where we had < 5 pass plays in O; Quiz Bowl Team, National Honor Society, School Play (Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Mr. Harrington). Attended Eastern Michigan University 1986-1988. Transferred to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in Fall of 1988 to pursue Chemical Engineering degree. Graduated UM in May 1991 B.S. Chemical Engineering. Received job offers from: General Electric, NCR, Chevron (El Segundo California); Chevron, Richmond, CA. Exxon Chemical: Linden, NJ. Dow Chemical, Freeport TX. Exxon Company USA, Baton Rouge, LA, Exxon Chemical, Baton Rouge, LA. Accepted offer from Exxon Company USA, Baton Rouge, LA. Worked for Exxon Company USA, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1991-1993. Unit Engineer in Wax and Lube Refinery Unit. Survivor of multiple Mardi Gras’. Many Scuba Excursions: Florida Panhandle. Lots of Crawfish Boils. Acquired 1979 Porsche 911 Carrera, Copper Brown Metallic, Cork Leather Interior. Drove it coast-to-coast. Worked for Elf Atochem North America in Philadelphia, PA 1993-1996 as Technical Service Applications Engineer. Specialized in organic chemicals…specifically nitrogen-based Amine chemistry. Supplied technical assistance to customers and sales forces throughout the world. Boiler Water Corrosion Control, Runaway Polymerization Reaction Control etc. Brew Master: Quay Street Brewing Company, Port Huron, MI. 1996-1998. Developed recipes for several beers including Robbins Red Ale, Port Huron-Style Kolsch and Pilsner, Ginger Beer and many others. Substitute Teacher in East China School District: 1998-1999. Surveyor and Civil Engineer (Emphasis on Construction Engineering) with Spalding DeDecker Associates, Rochester Hills, MI: 1999-2014 Self-Taught Civil Engineer. Became a Licensed Professional Engineer in State of Michigan, 2003. Met my Australian wife, Maria, at family wedding on Maui in May 2009. Married Maria in August 2010 at friend’s house on the St. Clair River in East China Twp. (Best Decision I’ve ever made). Judge Cynthia Platzer officiated. Witnesses: Bill and Cris Nesbitt, Gerry & Patti Mason. Ringbearer: John Deaver-Chang Mason. Worked for Fleis & Vandenbrink, Engineering Company. Karegnondi Water Pipe Line. 2014-2015. Moved to Oz in October 2015. John Louis Robbins born at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney: Nov 2015. Stay at Home Dad in Oz: Nov 2015 to Present. Writer for Blue Water Healthy Living: Beginning July 4, 2018. Ending: TBD Christian, Husband, Father, Engineer, Thinker. Lover of Life. Faith. Family. Friends. American Football.
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