Friday, April 19, 2024

D'lingo

A very busy brain melting afternoon booking our next holiday. Why can't you just sms a selfie to prove you are old enough to receive a senior discount? The holiday is months away but will be a nice break from our winter cold for a week or two. Oh for the days when booking holidays I had to look at work holiday leave, rather than fitting holidays in between medical appointments. 

I lament the loss of Australian English to US English. I've come to realise it is a battle not worth fighting. Australian children will say elevator and not lift. They must be confused that their teachers teach them z is zed but hear it in media as zee.

Much Australian slang has been lost but not because of US influence. Such slang just died out. Some words and phases came from the UK, but we also invented our own. 

I am not a young and modern person so I am somewhat out of touch with young people, but I do pick some things up.

Where we buy fuel for our car the facility could be called a petrol station, in older times a garage, to copy the US a gas station, but I haven't really heard that. Mostly nowadays we call it a service station, where you don't receive service but do it all yourself.

Australians love to shorten long phrases to shorter words and to extend shorter words to longer. Thus the name Jo will become Joey, or Joey Girl. 

Back to the car service station, in slang it has become a servo, now no longer a place to just buy petrol and half a pint of oil to pour into your engine, but a place to also buy stale sandwiches, machine made coffee and a many times heated Mrs McGregor meat pie (I do exaggerate for dramatic effect).  

Servo such a great addition to Aussie slang. Use it frequently and often. 

43 comments:

  1. Servo is quintessentially orstrayan, and it is used here. Like you I mourn the incursion of US language but also wonder how much of it I have picked up.

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    1. EC, I wouldn't want to close our country to outside influences but when it arrives by big media, I am not so sure.

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  2. I struggle here with "train station". And I am not "a Brit".

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    1. I don't like 'train station' either, but have no problem with being a Brit. I hate '24/7' though.

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    2. Tasker, I may have been guilty of train station in the past and in my opinion it is better to say railway station or just station. I don't think I've ever described anyone as Brit.

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    3. JB, technically there isn't anything wrong with train station, as station for trains but it is an ugly use of words. I'd be offended to be called an Oceanic.

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    4. I say train station all the time.

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  3. Stalker
    Andrew
    The BP servos in Adelaide advertise $5 sandwiches on particular days and 2 pies for $6 on a regular occurrence. I always think of food poisoning when I see those adverts . Tradies go in for red slushies on hot days.which amuses me seeing men in work gear lining up behind little kids…..they must be good hot weather drinks

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    1. Stalker, I see Tradies here queued at sushi places. The dog that accompanies them to their work sites could be small, white and fluffy. The world has changed. I tried a slushie once and it was fairly tasteless, not like the Orange Boys I remember.

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  4. I remember when they called them "service stations," too, but now it's just gas station ... with 'food' and stuff!

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    1. Bob, I suppose your gas stations don't have service like our equivalent don't.

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  5. Languages are such a combo. We lived in Ireland for a few years and learned these. Moving back to US was a challenge at the beginning.

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    1. Ah CC. That must have been challenging, in both directions.

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  6. thecontemplativecat here. I commented above. I dislike the anonymous option. It makes responding a bit of work!

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    1. Given I am permanently logged in to Google, I don't know how Anon comments work for commenters.

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  7. The American words that offend me most are not alternative names for objects but out and out grammatical mistakes eg "gotten".

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    1. Hels, I remember from school that 'got' and other forms of the word were to be avoided. I don't think I use gotten, but I am sure I use got.

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  8. I learnt a few slangs when I was younger. Funny I heard TV news reader pronounce Zed as Zee these days. I used to be told off by English teachers in schools.

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    1. I hope it wasn't an Australian newsreader who said zee, Roentare.

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  9. I will never use the term "servo". Instinctively, I cling to the English terminology I grew up with. That is why to me a "servo" remains a petrol station. It is also why I never use the terms "Brit", "United Kingdom", "UK", "movie" or "mate".

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    1. Maaate, you are so set in your ways. I seem to alternate with film and movie. A movie will be action filled and probably not to my taste. A film will be nice with strong characters and it doesn't matter where the film/movie comes from.

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  10. I was reading a Welsh blogger the other day and noticed what we Americans call "fries" are still referred to as "chips" in the UK. Is that true of Australia as well?

    Trivia note: When I was growing up there was a fast-food chain named Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips. I didn't know Mr. Treacher had been an actor until well into adulthood. For all I knew, he was a cook!

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    1. Kirk, we do say chips although younger people who are fans of the Scottish take away restaurant can be inclined to say fries. Take away fish and fries sounds so wrong. Where Australia gets it wrong is that we call crisps chips as well. This can cause confusion if the context doesn't make it clear. This has happened between R and myself, so I started to say crisps but he doesn't like the word and refuses to use it. Context is everything and we have to understand the obvious and nuances. Bring chips to the barbeque is clear. Get chips at the supermarket is ambiguous. Get a packet of chips will make it clear.

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  11. So many non English speaking people who are or have learned English are taught by Americans from what I hear and have listened to.
    Being the age I am I still prefer to hear our Australian English language.

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    1. Margaret, Asian countries are interesting when it comes to learning English. Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines seem to learn American English. The former colonies such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Burma and Singapore seem to learn English English. I am not sure about others. Australian English is unique and needs to be saved. Our way of speaking has changed so much in our lifetime, but has still remained unique.

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  12. I like Servo, it's a good word, but oddly enough I get a few strange looks when I say it. Sometimes form really old people, but also some younger than me people. Perhaps where they grew up makes a difference.

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    1. River, maybe it is an age thing. It might be a word not expected to come from people of our age. I am not sure I could use it myself in natural conversation.

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  13. There used to be quite an Australian influence on language here a few years ago, not so much in the language as in the intonation. Everything sounded like a question - the influence of Australian soaps, I suppose.

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    1. p.s. I love 'Kath and Kim'.

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    2. JB, some Australians often from rural areas make every sentence the speak sound like a question with the uplift at the end of a sentence. It is rather painful to listen to. Do they do that in Aussie soaps?
      It is evening here and I've had a tiny glass of cardonnay, using the correct Kim pronunciation.

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  14. Servo is a great word.
    As for other oddities of language, I hate "can I get....?" instead of can I have. Can't stand "sweater" for jumper, am not keen on "button down" instead of button up but say "like" all the time like a gen z person.

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    1. Kylie, 'can I get' is noted and I don't think I say that. A sweater sounds vile. Does it absorb sweat? I am not really aware of button down, but it sounds wrong. We button up our breeches, which is easier than girding one's loins.

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    2. "can I grab.." is equally bad.

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  15. I think I don't even realize the difference between the Queen's English and Australian English or Canadian English the only English which sounds quite different is the American English, it sounds as if they have a hot potato in their mouths only in Boston the English is quite good, Mayflower English probably, lol ! The Dervish dances are only for men ! So it's for you ! I have to the belly dancing !

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    1. Gattina, they are all such different ways of speaking English. I can't really hear the difference between US English and Canadian English but I know they are quite different, as are US accents. I look forward to seeing a clip of you belly dancing.

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  16. There are words that don't make sense in the various dialects of English. A holiday is a special occasion - such as Christmas, or New Years. A vacation is personal travel and leisure. A staycation, is taking time off and staying home.

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    1. TP, here Christmas and New Year are public holidays. Next Thursday for us will be ANZAC Day, a public holiday. Annual leave from work is your holiday time and you spend your paid leave travelling or staying at home. I am familiar with the word vacation but it isn't widely used here. I also know staycation but I've not understood what it meant. I do now, time off work and stay at home.

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  17. There was a discussion on the CBC radio this morning about the new Canadian Oxford Dictionary that is being updated and there are a lot of words so different from the American ones. Some phrases that they would have no idea what we are talking about and yet other phrases which we share with the Americans that are different from the English. It will always be zed for me, Andrew.

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    1. Very interesting Pat. I can remember a pocket Australian Oxford Dictionary from years ago, but I am not sure whether we now have one. I did wonder about about Canada and zed.

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  18. I think I'd call it meservo or selfie serv. We do the work, pay the machine or a clerk who simply stands waiting behind a counter. The only serving done is by me.

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    1. Strayer, by the time the word servo was conceived, we no longer received service at the service station. DIY.

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  19. We have so many different gas stations that they are simply called by their names: Sheetz, Country Fair, KwikFill, etc. It does seem as if gas is almost a secondary to the drinks, the food, the lottery tickets, the beer.

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