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Aussie Talk by Paul Bugeja

by Catherine Van Bergen (follow)
Non fiction (105)      Humour (83)      Australian (42)      Reference (5)      Slang (1)     

Australians are a pretty unique bunch, especially where language is concerned. Despite being a multicultural society, and perhaps because of, we have managed to pick up quite a few interesting sayings, slang and idiom which instantly identifies us as Aussies to the international community. While some of us may use these phrases and slang words more often than others, there is no denying that all of us have at some point used the vernacular in our everyday language. Even if you don’t say ‘mate’ or ‘G’day’ (the most commonly used words) regularly, you probably still use some phrases which are uniquely Australian. Funnily enough, you may not realise just how Australian they are, until you go overseas and discover that no one else has a clue what you are saying!

Aussie Talk is a humorous (and quite handy) collection of Australian sayings and expressions that have stood the test of time. The book is separated into different chapters (greetings and farewells, compliments, insults, threats, toilet humour and descriptions, just to name a few), with phrases and words categorised under the section that they fit best, allowing readers easy reference. After each short chapter introduction, you will find an alphabetised list of phrases and words, as well as their meanings (if they’re not completely obvious). The book also features little comic illustrations amongst the text.

While the sayings sometimes overlap in different sections, and there are a few derogatory remarks made (which the author has explained about at the beginning of the book), this is still a neat little collection of our unique Australian language. You might be surprised to learn that some of the things that we say in our everyday language (like ‘pull the other one’, ‘thick as a brick’ and ‘don’t do anything I wouldn’t do’, for example) are uniquely Australian and are unlikely to be heard anywhere else. If you’re looking for a book that highlights the tongue-in-cheek and good-natured humour of Australia, then this is your best option. This would also make a great little gift for an overseas tourist, so they can look back fondly on all of the crazy things that they heard us say on their visit Down Under.

Rating: 4/5
Published: July 2014

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