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A Visitor's Guide to the Real Australia - part 3

...Colloquialisms continued:

cattle grid: a series of parallel steel tubes taking the place of bitumen and set across the road between stock fences. These are spaced sufficiently apart to ensure cattle, or any livestock, can’t achieve a secure footing and are therefore deterred from using the road to cross into the next paddock or property.
chopper: helicopter, as if you didn’t know, but if I left it out, some smartypants would have had a whinge!
croc: crocodile. There are guided boat tours to see and learn about these amazing creatures of the tropics. The East Alligator River is one such place, but the name was actually a misnomer, because there aren’t any gators there!
DD: drink driving; driving under the influence of alcohol.
dill: idiot, clown, twit, someone who thinks little of consequences for their actions; also a herb.
Esky(ful): an insulated carry container or box used for keeping food and drinks cold. Although this is a brand name, “esky” is often used to describe a similar portable drinks container made by any other company.
flags: set up by the local lifesavers to indicate a section of beach that they are currently patrolling which is likely to be free of danger, especially rips that can whisk a swimmer out to sea in seconds, even Olympic ones! To swim outside the flags is both irresponsible and possibly suicidal.
fronting: front – to face, face-up to, confront, have to deal with.
greenie: alluding to someone who is passionate about the environment and the saving of it; also a politician from the Green Party.
hang on: tell to, inform, offer an explanation to (believable, hopefully).
K(‘s): Kilometre(s).
legless: intoxicated, inebriated, falling-down drunk.
lurk: idea, plan, thing to do, a bet.
mate: friend, buddy, well-known acquaintance.
missus: wife, partner, lady-friend, girlfriend.
mite: a small amount, tiny, a little bit. Australians, however, tend to joke around, so a mite could actually mean huge; also a very small insect, usually no bigger than a pin-head.
old money: probably originated after the change from sterling to decimal currency. Now not necessarily applied exclusively to money, but used to describe anything that is different from the traditionally accepted way or meaning.
plonk: any wine as opposed to spirit; a cheap wine, either bottled or from a cask (chateau cardboard).
pozzie: position or place, usually referring to a specific location, but can mean place as in class distinction – he’ll be right, once he’s found his pozzie.
pup (tent): a small dome-type tent sleeping two or three. Being made of nylon with fibreglass rods for support, these are lightweight and can easily be carried.
quid: the old pound (sterling), no longer legal tender. The word is still used to describe an amount of money of an unspecified value – I wouldn’t do that for quids, meaning I wouldn’t do that for anything; he’s quids in, meaning he has a lot of money; also a derogatory reference to a person’s diminished mental state – he’s not the full quid.
roll(ed) - as with crocodile: this is the action crocs take after grabbing hold of their prey, twisting and rolling with it in the water, presumably to drown and disorientate; or maybe because they just like a roll with their lunch!

still more colloquialisms to come...

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