Fun Aussie Slang

Slippery Dip – If this makes you think of a frozen dessert from an ice cream truck, a slip and slide, an old fashioned carnival ride or something a bit more perverse – you would be wrong. A slippery dipper (or slippery dip) is found in almost every playground around the world because it is a slide! I’ve just learnt of this recently and when I questioned my smarty pants kids they of course answered immediately – “it’s a slide!” When interrogating further we decided it’s a phrase reserved for smaller children and that when the kids are older and cooler the term is replaced with the word “slide”.

Willy Willy – We had the news on the television a week ago and the screen cut away to a “Willy Willy” captured on video out over the ocean near to a local beach in NSW. The anchormen were so taken by the size and great video quality they couldn’t help but remark on it over and over again. We just heard “Willy Willy” like 5 times in 20 seconds spoken by grown, educated men who were on camera. It sounded so ridiculous we couldn’t help but laugh hysterically. It looked like a tornado to me. After some research into this we discovered it’s called a “water spout” but that these also occur commonly on dry land and would be called a whirlwind or dust devil. In Oz, it’s a plain old Willy Willy no matter the location. It’s a funny term and it’s made funnier by people talking about it in a serious manner – mostly for us ex-pats who think it sounds like a child talking about his penis or something else whimsical and juvenile. Perhaps it’s just me who is a bit juvenile with the local vocabulary?

Grey Nomad – A local friend was recalling a story of a camping trip in Queensland and how she sought out a “grey nomad” for directions to a secluded beach. I kind of figured this one out on my own but, of course, I had to ask to confirm if I was in fact correct. A grey nomad is an older, perhaps retired person, on the move for an undetermined amount of time, in a caravan. This person has secret knowledge about shortcuts, the best beaches and camping sites, the tastiest local restaurants, etc. – really any tricks of the camping trade. So when in doubt on your next outdoor adventure seek the wisdom of your older and wiser fellow camper.

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