Special Report

Australian Words and Phrases Americans Just Don't Get

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Vomit, as a verb or noun. It may derive from a character named Chunder Loo of Akim Foo in a series of early 20th-century shoe polish ads. Another theory is that it comes from a seafaring term, “Watch under!” cried out by sailors who were throwing up over the side to warn those on the lower decks.

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A friend, a buddy. Possibly from a Yiddish word, “khaver,” comrade, which would have reached Australia via immigrants from London.

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Come the raw prawn

Don’t try to fool me. The term apparently originated in the Australian armed forces during World War II, but the etymology is uncertain.

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An unfashionable or socially inept person; a nerd. Dags are also clumps of wool matted with dung around a sheep’s rear end.

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Also dacks. Trousers. Possibly rhyming slang for “slacks,” or a reference to the British menswear company Daks. Trackie- or tracky-daks is a tracksuit. To dak someone is to pull their pants down as a prank.

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