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You Say Potato

Can this intercontinental relationship really ever work? A recent encounter:

THE AUSSIE:  I'm really missing Weet-Bix with brown sugar…

THE SCOTSMAN:  Weet-Bix? Weet-Bix!?!

A:  Yeah, you heard me. Weet-Bix!

S:  It's WeetAbix!

A:  Not where I'm from, buddy.

S:  That's just pish! It sounds wrong!

A:  It does not. It's streamlined.

S:  You Aussies are just too lazy to say the A. Just like you say "arvo" coz you cannae be arsed with "afternoon"!

A:  Nooo! We say WEET-BIX coz we're sleek and efficient with no time for superfluous vowels – we have to get on with the business of wrestling crocodiles and being a sporting powerhouse. While ever you're mucking about with your Weetabix, we shall remain the superior nation!

S:  Weetabix! Weetabix!

wrong     right

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


27 thoughts on “You Say Potato

  1. That was one weird thing about hanging out with you Aussies. You leave entire syllables out of words and no one questions it! It’s like having a conversation with chatroom denizens, but without the aid of text in front of you.

    We call them Wheaties. So there.

  2. I always figured they were called Weet-Bix because they are Wheat Biscuits. Therefore the a in the middle is kinda superfluous.

    Anyway Weet-Bix sounds much more… modern or grown up or something.

  3. Oh man, those crazy furriners sticking silly letters into words. It’s Weetbix!

    I feel your pain. My boy is an American and they do CRAZY things to the language!

  4. Ah, but Weet-Bix and Weetabix aren’t the same. The fine Aussie Weet-Bix holds its shape and firmness for whole minutes after the milk is added, but the namby-pampy Weetabix dissolves into mush the instant it touches liquid. Fine for a country that venerates porridge, perhaps, but useless in a land where blokes eat corrugated iron for tea.

    What’s more, you can safely spread a Weet-Bix with butter and Vegemite (WHICH IS DELICIOUS, YOU PHILISTINES) without it crumbling into slimy wheaty chunks, because a Weet-Bix is made from bigger and firmer flakes. Weetabix are clearly made from the stuff swept out of the grain hopper after the Weet-Bix have been made.

  5. “Them’s some good alt tags right there.”

    Actually, if you wanna split hairs, those are awful alt tags. That text should be in the title attribute, if anything.

    Great entry, though. “… cannae be arsed with ‘afternoon’!”

    Haha, greatness…

  6. What tickled my fancy are the CRICKET CHAMPIONS on the Weet-Bix box. I love seeing what’s up in sports advertising in other countries. We’ve got golf stars on our Wheaties, the Aussies have a whole team!

  7. title tags? where?

    bushra – you are so right about the plate soaking. nothing is so hard to remove than fossiled weet/a/bix!

    ahh rory, you are wise. the dissolving thing really freaked me out the first time i got a box of weetabix. incidentally, also the last time 😛

    will have to try a weetbik with vegemite and butter when i get home…

    btw, does everyone else say weetbik for the singular?

  8. To the ‘we call them Wheaties’ person..

    I think, oddly enough, Wheaties lack the biscuit portion of the equation. So Wheaties are just loose flakes.. but after milk, a few minutes.. and copious amounts of sugar.. yeah, Wheaties, Weetbix and Weetabix all become the same mushy goodness.

    So are Weetabix purely a Scottish phenomenon or is the cereal refered to as that throughout the UK?

  9. you don’t even want to know how many times mark and i have had this very argument. in singapore we got weet-bix and i learned to love them. here in the us, we get weetabix, and it’s mark’s turn to learn. he still refers to them as weetbix though.

    that vegemite thing sounds mighty weirdo.

  10. For those of you who don’t like mushy cereal but like wheat/a/bix, the U.S.A. version of frosted mini wheats totally fits the bill. Minus the frosted of course. They were the mini version of something that looked exactly like what you are talking about, but…..I can’t think of the Yank name…grrrrrrr Wheat-something

    heh, that’s helpful, innit?

  11. What is really odd is that all of my family (Scottish) pronounce the ‘h’ that isn’t there.
    Wheet-a-bix. But it never occurred to any of us (till they ran an advertising campaign which made it obvious) that the chocolate bar Wispa was in fact supposed to be a phonetic spelling of ‘whisper’. Not for a moment did it cross our tiny minds.

    My sis and I are currently engaged in a debate with our English boyfriends as to whether you say “wheeee!” or “weeee!” when going fast. I maintain nobody would ever spell it “weeeee” even if they pronounced it that way, and I think it both looks and sounds…well, lavatorial. The boys disagree.

    We eventually decided that Scottish kids say “wheeee!” when going down the chute at the playpark, while English kids say “weeee!” while going down the slide at the playground 🙂 Two nations divided by a common language again, I fear.

  12. It HAS to be Weetabix – these godawful Aussie things don’t taste the same at all! And as for Sanitarium Cornflakes – what a travesty! Fortunately you can now buy Weetabix in Coles supermarket in Australia, although bizarrely they appear twice, once in the cereals section and once in “health foods” – ha! My other half does cocaine-like lines of sugar down the middle of each and eats them from end to end. It’s almost like a religious ritual. Me, I like them with butter and MARMITE – mmmm – Marmite (yes Coles do that too) 🙂

  13. I second Melissa: Weet-Bix is a shortened version of wheat biscuits, which is what they are.

    What meaning does Weet-A-Bix have? Wheat-of-Biscuits?? That makes no sense at all.

  14. bacon and eggs mate… give the wheat to the horses… how the hell can you let out a good fart round ya mates if you only have a bum full of fibre… I recon anyway

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