Blogs » Working Abroad » Learning the Language


The three primary languages spoken here are English, Tok Pisin, and Motu. As I become acquainted with more members of the expat community, I struggle a bit with a fourth language I can only call "Aussie English". Here are some of the things I've learned:

  • - Almost everything can be, and is, abbreviated in some way. The Yacht Club is the YACHTI, the bar-b-que pit is the BARBIE, a journalist is a JOURNO etc.
  • - A meeting that takes place after lunch happens in the ARVO
  • - When someone has way too much to drink, they are PISSED
  • - A SKIVVY is a turtle neck shirt
  • - I NEVER hear anyone say G'DAY, NEVER
  • - Everyone is addressed as MATE
  • - I hear what I consider "quaint" phrases almost every day, like the ever popular LOVELY TO MEET YOU
  • - You should NEVER use the phrase FANNY PACK here as it means something entirely different and will embarrass everyone
  • - A STUBBIE is a beer in a short brown bottle

There are so many more, and I always try to ask so I get them straight, but I have to admit, it's a bit of a struggle for me not to appear so out-of-place with my south Texas accent and slang.