I love the Australian sense of humour and the way Australians see humour in the darkest of situations. I also love the fact that while Australians absolutely delight in laughing at situations and other people, they get even more delight out of laughing at themselves. Australians would not dream of wasting a good opportunity to laugh by not getting amusement out of themselves when they’ve done something wonderfully stupid or mortifying.
I also love the fact that Australian society does not define itself using traditional hierarchical social classes. Of course some of us are well and truly more equal than others both economically and politically, but I think all of us still like to see ourselves as a nation of equals. We are not deeply hamstrung by social class and we do not like snobbishness.
Perhaps as a by-product of our egalitarian values, Australians are also very down to earth. Even our accent is flat and unpretentious. This is possibly also because a large part of our population grew from a random assembly of convicts. While a lot of us started out with what can only be described as mongrel “white trash” heritage, we also then quickly benefited from becoming a very diverse multicultural society. Possibly as a result of all three factors, Australians don’t feel the need to pretend that they are anything other than what they are. They offer themselves fully and openly and are happy for other people to either take them or leave them. Australians also don’t like to waste their energy talking themselves up too much and anyone who does is considered a “wanker”.
This brings me to some of the qualities of Australian language that I really appreciate. Firstly I love the fact that Australians are not offended easily by anything, and secondly I love the broad range of colourful and creative expletives that Australians have developed over time.
I also love the way Australians liberally use the word “mate.” Mate can be used by anyone, black or white, female or male, and is often used when you have forgotten a person’s name. Australians also don’t see anything that there is anything inappropriate in making a comment like, “you’re a total f%*#wit mate.” This can mean either that you are a mate but a bit of a f%*#wit occasionally or that you are really a total f%*#wit and as such actually not a mate. The word mate just softens the statement a little.
Finally I love the graphic, colourful and humorous Australian slang phrases that Australians use without even thinking. Such slang phrases often describe a person perfectly and they also lighten a conversation wonderfully. Phrases like, “as useless as a knitted condom,” “couldn’t organise a root in a brothel,” “not the sharpest tool in the shed,” and “as tight as a fish’s arsehole” are all good examples.
In summary, I’m just glad that I happened to be born here. I’ve certainly popped my head up in a beautiful place.
© Annemaree Jensen 2017