Special Report

Australian Words and Phrases Americans Just Don't Get

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Shonky

Sneaky or underhanded. Perhaps originally from “shonk,” an anti-Semitic Cockney slur, though this meaning has been thoroughly lost.

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Sickie

A sick day from work or school, especially one taken without a valid medical reason.

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Snag

A sausage, probably from a Scots dialect term (also “snag) meaning a morsel or light meal. Other Australian words for sausage include “snarler” and “snork.”

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Stubby

A short, thick beer bottle, typically holding 375 ml. (Someone who’s a little on the dim side might be described as being “a stubby short of a sixpack.”)

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Stunned mullet

Someone who’s stupefied or out of it. A mullet (fish) that’s just been landed is typically goggle-eyed and open-mouthed.