I just can’t say it

Although I was born and raised in Australia, I’ve never really felt like a ‘true blue Aussie’  — mostly because I don’t generally use phrases like true blue Aussie.

Oh wait! Disclaimer: But before I go any further, I want to point out that I mean no disrespect to those who use these words. It’s definitely not a good/bad argument I’m making. More an observation about how my use of language has evolved over the years (but it sounds dull when I say it like that) (maybe it’s dull anyway) (tell me in the comments).

Anyway, words like g’day, barbie, brekkie, sunnies, sangas, prezzies & rellies* don’t roll off my tongue. They feel foreign in my mouth.

And until recently, I didn’t give it much thought. I’m pretty comfortable with my Australian identity and my use of language.

But lately I’ve noticed I’m not taking the short cuts that I used to. Today, I was writing an email to a friend and typed the word arvo. I paused for a moment, then deleted it and typed afternoon instead. It just looked wrong.

And the beautiful little instrument I got a few months back? It’s a ukulele, not a uke. Of course other people say uke and that’s all tickety-boo; I just can’t bring myself to say it.

Anyone else noticing changes in their language use?

Maybe one day, if you’re good, I’ll tell you about my adventures with the word ‘only’.


*Good day/hello, barbecue, breakfast, sunglasses, sandwiches, presents & relatives.

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4 responses to “I just can’t say it

  1. Oh, how I love you. You’re a good girl. And I don’t think it’s weird at all that you find those words to say.

    Maybe it’s got something to do with growing up in the city? I’m not sure. The only ones I use out of the list you gave are “g’day” (and only occasionally at school, really – the boys use it a bit), and “barbie” if I’m around my Southern relatives (note the absence of the word “rellies” there), who use all the words that you mentioned (not that there’s anything wrong with that… oh man… I’m opening myself up for some criticism here…).

    The only other one – and I know you hate it, but I can’t help it – is “uke”. I don’t know why. If it makes it any better, though, I do try not to say it when I’m around you. After all, you are a Ukulady, not a ukubogan. 🙂

    • Ahhh, no no no, that’s not what I meant!
      I don’t hate other people saying uke at all. It’s just I can’t say it myself.

      So say away Ukulady, say away 🙂

  2. I say all of those things! I think it’s because I spent a lot of my childhood around country folk (my rellies in Hervey Bay, Gladstone, Cairns etc) and some of my schooling was in a small country town in FNQ called Dimbulah. The only thing I don’t do (tell me your “only” story!) is eat vegemite. I know. And I call myself an Aussie!

    • Maybe having a connection to regional areas has something to do with it. I have some relatives that are very ocker (and they’re sporty too) which seems really strange to me because I’m neither.

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