Random questions. Do you folks (Aussies, Kiwis, etc) use "bloke" often? Also, is there any slang for useless or incompetent?
Wolf1066"Bloke" is still fairly common here in NZ. Most often used in third person rather than second or first. "Got it from a bloke down the road" "who's that bloke over there?" "A couple of blokes came into the workshop last week". Would be very uncommon to say "you blokes wait here" - more likely "you guys wait here" - regardless of whether they're men, women or a mixed group. Useless/incompetent: "Couldn't find his/her arse with an atlas" or "Couldn't find his/her arse with both hands". It's important to say "arse" not "ass". An ass is a donkey or, by extension, an idiot - unless the speaker is deliberately aping US movies as in "badass", "kick your ass" etc. Deliberate Americanisms aside, whether it's sore, fat, "needing a good boot up the", or getting it over here, it's "arse". If you're being "polite" (for the sake of the listeners, not the person being described, natch), substitute "bum" for "arse" - here a bum is your backside, not a tramp. Others range from the obscure: "(s)he couldn't fuck a frog trotting" to more prevalent:
edited 4th Apr '13 4:42:09 PM by Wolf1066
Most often used in third person rather than second or first. "Got it from a bloke down the road" "who's that bloke over there?" "A couple of blokes came into the workshop last week". Would be very uncommon to say "you blokes wait here" - more likely "you guys wait here" - regardless of whether they're men, women or a mixed group.Ooh, that's very interesting.
"Couldn't find his/her arse with an atlas"
Or there's the more polite "as useless as tits on a bull."XD
Wolf1066and notice "couple of". I note Americans frequently say "get a couple beers for me", whereas here it's invariably "couple of". Pronounced more like "couple-a" - a couple-a beers, a couple-a blokes etc - unless the noun starts with a vowel and then it's "couple-iv", run together. A couple-iv apples.
edited 4th Apr '13 5:21:02 PM by Wolf1066
@ wolf Since you don't say "ass" I assume you wouldn't call someone an "asshole". Is there a local equivalent ?
ResearcherAss/arse are both used, but arse is more old fashioned in my experience and less used. As for bloke, mate, ect, certainly no one will raise eyes whether or not they are used, I see the Australian slang used less but you'd certainly get away with using either or.
edited 4th Apr '13 6:28:47 PM by tsstevens
Wolf1066Yep. "arsehole". And it's just as insulting. Like in Aus, casual profanity and blasphemy is common in NZ and some words that may be deemed highly insulting can be used in a "friendly" fashion - tone of voice and context being far more important than the actual words used. While you might say "he's a good cunt" (if given to using a word that is "strong" even by our lax and profane "standards") or "lucky/clever bastard", "he's a good bugger" etc, "arsehole" is one of the terms that's always meant as an insult, as are "prick", "dick" and "wanker" (the latter having connotations of masturbation). Snarling "you rotten bastard" or "you dirty little cunt" would not be perceived as "friendly", however.
edited 4th Apr '13 6:28:11 PM by Wolf1066
I'm an Australian, but in my part of the country typically Australian slang is beginning to fall out of use. Slang changes from city to city and state to state, so I don't think any one source of lingual nuance will be entirely reliable. One thing you should never do is base your speech patterns on American media, or crocodile dundee. Nobody speaks that way now, at least, not until the fifth beer. If your going for a young teenager or bogan character you can use bogan-latin. Take the first syllable of a persons last name and add uzza to it. Instant nick name. Also feel free to over use the phrases "Yeah, bra", "Wazz up", "Fukin' 'ell bra" and "Aye!" which are common in the speech batterns of bogans and teens everywhere. It is incredibly annoying, but a lot of people do it, so if your characters are from a low income or lesser education they'll probably speak like this. Odds are it will make people dislike the character in question, so be warned. Most Australians, bogan or not will revert to the English pronunciation and spelling of wors though, hence jail is gaol, color is colour, trash is garbage or rubbish (rubbish can also be used as a verb, meaning to search through) a pick up truck is a ute, gasoline is petrol and etc. I do have a few particulate favourite pieces of Austalian slang in my vocabulary though. "Budgie Smugglers" refer to speedos or brief style underwear, stemming from a nationally aired incident where a man stole a budgerigar from a pet store by shoveing it into his underwear. Argie Bargie refers to bureaucracy, or sometimes the place of Argington. Finally, "Doing the Lygon Street Limbo" is to do drugs, stemming from the skyhooks song, though it is seldom used these days.
edited 5th Apr '13 2:28:26 PM by Lockedbox
The Harbinger of StrangeI can personally vouch for "ute" as a pickup truck (though just "truck" is all right in most cases) and using the British English spellings for things (though I've never seen it spelled "gaol" myself). You might be taken up on pronouncing the letter Z as "zee" instead of "zed"—my Dad in particular hates that. Budgie smugglers in particular seem to be tight or unflattering speedoes that show off a dude's junk. If could measure it over his underwear, they're budgie smugglers.
You need an adult.
ResearcherOn that note your word processor of choice should let you use Australian language for spelling. You might also like to jump onto Google Earth to get an idea for things like street names, setting and the like.
Wolf1066And Google's Street View will let you see if an area of town is commercial/retail or residential. I used it for a Cyberpunk game in which the players had to go to pick up stuff in Newcastle and was able to give a realistic idea of the sort of area they were walking through, what they'd see from ground level etc. Since it was 20 Minutes In The Future, I used "artistic licence" for what businesses were actually there, but at least they weren't going to "corporate headquarters" in the middle of suburbia.
edited 5th Apr '13 2:50:38 PM by Wolf1066
ResearcherTo give an idea how useful this is there's a car chase late in the novel and I can have the police after a suspect through Geelong, I can see where the traffic lights are, there's a roundabout where there's a near collision, another officer is trying to set up containment and interception near the stadium, a report of an assault is called in at Peppercorn Way near the train station that means one of the cars has to be called off to investigate, ect. Google Earth is well worth checking out so you can get all the little details like that.
Yeah I agree with wolf and tsstevens, using google street view would be a great way to get a feel for the setting, even if the settlements have changed in your future setting, the topography and zones will usually stay the same. Also, I'd encourage you to poke fun at the oddities of your characters home town and country, as self deprecating humour is a staple of the "Australian" way of life. Most natives love to poke fun at the countries worst qualities, like its supposedly deadly wildlife, on-off weather and ghost town of a capitol. In my home town of Newcastle, we have a very unfortunate piece of architecture called the Queens Warf Tower, which is essentially a 30 metre phallic symbol (just google it if you don't believe me) and most tourists think that it's hilarious, but for some reason they think that pointing it out will upset people. It doesn't. It's a giant penis shaped tower, and we find it just as absurdly humorous as the rest of the world does, which instills an odd sense of patriotism. Obviously all people have different senses of humour and not all Australians find phallic national landmarks funny, and some may take offense when someone laughs at the countries expense. But if I think any one quality should personify the "Australian" way of life, it should be a good sense of humour.
edited 5th Apr '13 6:11:17 PM by Lockedbox
ResearcherOne thing, this is more for actually spoken dialogue but still, in non Australian works the slang tends to be emphasized, where if you watch something made in Australia mate, arse and bloody hell would be said jut the same as any other word. That may help.
What are some casual words for referring girls? Do you use "sheila"?
ResearcherIn my experience that's a Discredited Trope. You'd certainly get away with using it but it's more a bogan term from what I've encountered. It's actually more common as a name I think that as a term to describe a woman. You'd find bloke used more.
edited 5th Apr '13 9:34:14 PM by tsstevens
No, not since the 1900's. Here we usually say chicks, girls or just plain women. It's not uncommon for a person to refer to a mix gendered group of friends as "guys" or for a girl to refer to an all female group of friends as "the guys" either, so the phrase is fairly gender neutral these days.
Guy is genderneutral, ay? Neat.
Wolf1066I'm nearly 50 and I don't recall a time when "guys" referred only to bl- ah, males.
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