Tips For A Successful Picnic On This Side Of The Planet

Though New Zealand & Australia have felt very much like home, I experienced more than a few instances where I had no idea what anyone was talking about… and likewise. To help you avoid similar confusion, I wrote up the following paragraph and included translations below. With these easy additions to your vocabulary, you’ll be more than ready to take on both the Land Down Under and the Land of the Long White Cloud.

If you’re planning an arvo beach barbecue with your mates, stop at the bottle-o for some Cab Sav or grog (don’t forget your stubby holders!), or go to the milk bar for some fizzy. Stick your beverages in the esky/chilly bin right next to the chook, rocket & capsicum salad and you’ll be prepared for a delicious evening tea. If there’s a barbie, bring some prawns and bangers, and don’t forget the basics, like serviettes, tomato sauce and Vegemite. Maybe get some icy poles, biscuits, hokey pokey ice cream, lollies, fairy floss or fairy bread for dessert. Pack all that in the boot of your ute, but be sure to take out your whipper snipper if it’s still in there from yard work earlier in the day. Definitely remember to fill up the tank with petrol before you leave. If it’s warm out, wear thongs/jandals, bathers, sunnies and a singlet – that’s really all you need aside from repellant for mozzies. Pick a cozy spot away from the footpath and the car park, and enjoy!

If all that is too complicated, just go to Macca’s for heaps of chips. Just don’t forget to put your rubbish in the bin!

Arvo | Afternoon

Mates | Friends

Bottle-o | Liquor Store

Stubby Holder | Coozie

Cab Sav | Cabernet Sauvignon

Grog | Beer

Milkbar | Convenience Store

Fizzy | Coke (Pop to all you Wisconsinites)

Chilly Bin/Esky | Cooler

Barbie | Grill

Bangers | Sausages

Fairy Bread | White bread with butter & sprinkles

Fairy floss | Cotton candy

Whipper Snipper | Weed whacker

Hokey Pokey | Honeycomb/toffee

Lollies | Candy

Icy Poles | Popsicles

Rocket | Arugula

Capisicum | Bell peppers

Tomato Sauce | Catchup, sort of

Biscuit | Cookie

Scone | Biscuit

Muffin | English Muffin

Vegemite | Disgusting

Petrol | Gas

Boot | Trunk

Ute | Utility vehicle/truck

Serviettes | Napkins

Morning tea | Coffee break/2nd breakfast

Evening tea | Dinner

Thongs/Jandals | Flip-Flops

Sunnies | Sunglasses

Singlet | Tank top

Car park | Parking lot

Foot path | Sidewalk

Chook | Chicken

Chewy | Gum

Macca’s | McDonald’s

Heaps | Lots

Chips | French Fries

Rubbish | Trash

Bin | Trash can

BONUS – these two can really get you into trouble if you aren’t prepared.

Pot plant | Potted plant

Jugs | Pitchers

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  • March 03, 2011

    This post gave me quite a laugh! Love it! John Key (PM of NZ) did Letterman’s Top Ten List a few months (years?) back and one of the numbers was something like this. I am such a nerd, I felt so proud that I could ‘translate’ it without having to look anything up.

    (This is from someone who only speaks English, but wishes she could speak other languages!)

    • March 03, 2011

      I never realized just how different English can be until I went to NZ!

  • March 03, 2011
    Ashley Haymond

    seems my middle school infatuation with silverchair paid off, as many of those were familiar to me.
    good stuff ang.

  • March 03, 2011

    OMG – I was obsessed with Silverchair. How hot is Daniel Johns, even to this very day? (Let’s be honest – he’s the real reason I came to Oz!)

  • March 03, 2011

    Hahaha love it! That’s only just the tip of the surface too, I think we’ve just about got our own language here in Oz.

  • March 04, 2011
    Cliff McChesney

    Angie I Love it. You nailed all the words well 🙂 There are probably a few more you could have included but any of your visiting friends will get by on the list you have provided. There was even a couple of Aussie ones in there I didn’t know 🙂


    • March 04, 2011

      It has been quite an education these past two months =)

  • March 06, 2011

    Please explain the sprinkles on the fairy bread. Thank you.

    • March 09, 2011

      Stay tuned, my dear. There’s a post with details just around the corner…

  • October 16, 2011

    A good mix of Aussie terms, only some of these are used in New Zealand. Did you get these from a guide book?

    • October 19, 2011

      Nope, I got them from 3 weeks in New Zealand & 5 in Australia… but I presume they can also be found in a guidebook!

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