Gone Thredbo

Gareth thinks it's a hoot how in Australia we call the shop at which you purchase alcohol, "the bottle-o".

I don't this is any less ridiculous than the way Brits call their equivalent Off-Licence, "the offie", but then again the fella is generally a big fan of Australian lingo. He picked up the word sook (crybaby) from MotoGP rider Casey Stoner and he recently learned bogan (think Aussie Chav) from Momo's blog, although he quaintly mispronounced it boogan.

Most of all he enjoys how we abbreviate words and stick an O at the end of them. Like rego for car registration, metho for methylated spirits, milko for milkman, and the perennial favourite, ambo for an ambulance driver.

It's getting to the point where he thinks we do this for every single word in existence. I was chatting to The Mothership on the phone recently and debriefed Gareth afterward, telling him that she'd just been in Thredbo.

"In Thredbo? What's a thredbo?"

"Thredbo! The town. In the Snowy Mountains."

"Thredbo," he snorted. "That's not a real place."

"It is. It's Australia's premier alpine resort!"


"I'm telling you, it's true!"

"Ohhh. I thought that's what you'd say if your clothes were all old and threadbare. CRIKEY mate, me pants've gone thredbo!"

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28 thoughts on “Gone Thredbo

  1. Hey, I remember Scottish kids using “sook” in my primary school in Edinburgh, though it was used more to mean a teacher’s pet, suck-up or tattle-tale.

  2. Some crazy kids from Adelaide used to refer to going for a drinks and “going for some Roberts”. Why? Short for Robert DeNiros, rhyming slang for beeros.

    Nice post (de-lurked reader from sydney – we shorten place names too – Paddo for paddington, Darlo for darlinghurst… the joys of lingo).

  3. WELL. I learn something new everyday. I thought off licence was short for “official licence”, tried to look this up for this comment, and found that according to wikipedia off-licence is the opposite to on-licence, which is similar to the difference between a takeaway and a restaurant.

    Not entirely convinced but can find no evidence contradicting!

    Meanwhile though, my friends in Perth while I lived there (oh yes, 3 months!) referred to everything with an “o” on the end but particularly nationalities; Masso, Cro, Abo, etc. Oh, and the car was a Dado. BECAUSE the other difference is that we Brits do glottal stops but you Aussies do “d”s – Betty becomes Beddy and the Datsun becomes a Dato becomes a Dado.

    I loved it.

  4. Ah, but the slang varies from state to state too, which makes life interesting when a Queenslander and a Victorian have a conversation (which is a ‘convo’, by the way).

    We’re a bit fond of obscure abbreviated rhyming slang too. As a teenager, I was always being exhorted to “use my trams” when I couldn’t figure something out. Which (of course) comes from “trams & trains” = brains.

    We had a lot of fun with a German exchange student who stayed with us a couple of years ago. He THOUGHT he spoke English…..

  5. HA! Let’s not forget going to the servo for some petrol or saying hi to the garbo when he picks up your rubbish.

    The Beloved (good Northern English stock) is also fascinated by this Australian tendency to add ‘o’ to the end of a bunch of nouns.

    I’ll have to teach him about boogans now.

  6. In 97 when I moved to Oz, I heard the word Bogan and thought it grouse (bloody good).

    Then I heard of Boganville and thought it must be a town choca-bloody-block with bogans.

    It’s an island and a province in Papua New Guinea i later found out.

    And it’s writtn Bougainville.

    I liked my way better.

    Love the post Shauna, I still “O” things here much to the general amusement otf the clear talking accentless Yorkshire types.


    Pol x

  7. Speaking of off-licenses, you may enjoy knowing that in Canada, the establishment that sells beer is called The Beer Store.

    No, that’s not a nickname. That’s the name, right on the sign out front, and there’s a Beer Store in most cities. Nice and straightforward. It’s obvious what one might buy in a Beer Store!

  8. Great post!

    My other half, who is Irish, couldn’t believe we have DRIVE THRU bottle shops when he went to Oz for the first time. He thought it was heaven, but wasn’t so sure it was sending out the right message regarding alcohol and driving!

    Kimbo (who’s real name is Kim)

  9. Oh, and I forgot to add, he didn’t know what I was talking about when I arranged to meet him later this arvo. It never dawned on him it was short for afternoon!

  10. “Sook” is a completely different word in Scotland and Australia… gather roond and I’ll tell ye…

    In Scotland “sook” is actually the word “suck”, it’s just their wacky pronounciation. So it means an arse-kisser, sycophant, teacher’s pet, etc etc. (see Scots Dictionary)

    “Sook” in Oz just means you’re a big whingy cry baby ๐Ÿ™‚

    Geeti – Hello! Here’s a definition of bogan for ya!

    And Michele, so true! Blowfly = blowie, postman = postie, ahhh you gotta love it!

    Cheers for your comments, luvvies, and have nice weekend!

  11. Kim – Heeheeeee, I seem to remember Gareth being particularly impressed by the Drive Thru Bottleo. My hometown of 10,000 has about half a dozen of em. If we ever move back to Oz we will have to buy a ute just so we can go to the DTB and throw a few slabs in the back.. mwahhaha

  12. But why is it “arvo” and not “afto”?

    OK, it COULD be the accent… but I refuse to believe that it sounds like “arvonoon” in Australian.

    Then again, it’s taken me a while to get my head around the English tendency to call sandwiches “sarnies”.

  13. Is there an equivalent to arvo for different times of the day? Morno? Evo? Nighto? Never heard these on Neighbours, my pre-blogging source of info (ah! we do it too, then?) about Australia. What’s special about afternoons, in that case?

  14. Shanuy, we spent many a Christmas down in Thredbo.. and being the very Australian family that we are.. of course we found a way to give it a nickname… Thredders… Which is right near Jinders (Jindabyne)… And now my boyfriend, Pedro, is known as… yes you got it.. Pedders! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Isabelle – I’m going to hazard a guess to your question. We Australian’s are a fairly lazy race (in my opinion) and the reason that afternoon is changed to arvo is because 3 syllables is 1 syllable too many. The time saved by removing that one syllable gets us to the fridge and some beer that much faster!! See – there is method in our maddness!

  16. You almost made me spray chai tea at my screen Shauny!

    Don’t forget ‘sooky-la-la’. As in
    “How annoying was Sam in the last LOTR film? What a sooky-la-la.”
    I only learnt that one as an adult but I do occasionally use it ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Just found your site and love it! I’m an Aussie living in London and have been for the last two years. I’m so addicted to blogs I could read them all day and love jumping from one to the other through people’s sites. Which is how I found yours by the way. No idea where from though!
    I never realised that we do the ‘o’ at the end of the sentence thing, but now you say it …

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