AOS 1 unit 4 journal: The Rise and Fall of Australian Slang

Click here for a link to the article.

Title  The Rise and Fall of Australian Slang
Date  11 June 2014
Author Jon Donnison
Publication  BBC News magazine
Key Ideas (Point Form)
  • Australians like to shorten words, turning them in diminutives.
  • Australians like to use idioms, “Dry as a pommies bathmat”- means to be “thirsty”.
  • The migration of the Scottish, Irish and East Londoners in the late 19th century caused a great use of slang in Australia. As all these places had rich local linguistic traditions.
  • Use of slang as a way to avoid taboo, e.g “chunder” (vomit)
  • Australia’s use of slang is dying
  • Politicians are using old Aussie slang and it feels forced. This slang is outdated.
Feature of Language  Slang language, diminutives and idioms.

Use of iconic Australian language in politics.

Language change over time.

Aspects of the Course this Article Relates to.
  • ways in which a variety of Australian identities can be reflected in a range of historical and contemporary texts
  • characteristics of Australian English in contrast to Englishes from other continents, in phonological, lexical, prosodic, and/or grammatical patterns
  • Australian English varies according to culture
My opinion on the Article’s comments.  The use of slang in Australia is still large. The use of slang around the topic of drinking is still very popular and is in use by Australian youths. The language has changed though so that the slang used in Australia is not just diminutives and other shortenings but is created through acronyms which have been due to the large increase of instant messaging used by the youth of Australia in the last 6 years. This means that Australian slang is not dying but changing away from the iconic slang produced by a broad accented Aussie from the 80’s.
Quotes “”Now Abbott’s in power he’s using terms like ‘fair dinkum’ [“genuine/honest”], which is just as bad.” In other words, when politicians are speaking the language, you know it really is no longer cool.”

“Those people weren’t hampered by the upper-class cultures of the UK. They were much more free to play with language, creating nicknames for local things, in a way that the buttoned-up Brits in those days weren’t able to do.”

“In the latest edition of Tony Thorne’s Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, for the first time, there are a just a handful of new Australianisms and some of those are just old words that have come back into common usage.”


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