AOS 2 unit 4 journal: Aussie slang is as diverse as Australia itself

Click here for a link to the article.

Title  Aussie slang is as diverse as Australia itself
Date  24 June 2014
Author  Rob Pensalfini
Publication  The Conversation
Key Ideas (Point Form)
  •  There are fewer new Australian slang words being created.
  • Most of Australian classic slang phrases originated from Cockney and Irish settlers, e.g. strewth and tucker.
  • As the cultural make up of Australia changes so will the origin of new words and phrases.
  • General Australians are listening to language from America and UK more than ever.
  • Slang is usually created by under-classes or the less standard English speakers.
  • Marginalised group such as Aboriginals and urban youth from Mediterranean backgrounds have been a wealth of linguistic innovation.
Feature of Language Word creation/Neologisms.


The use of slang to gain covert prestige.

Borrowing of words from other cultures and languages.

Aspects of the Course this Article Relates to.  Globalisation of EnglishNational identity

  • The ways in which people draw on their linguistic repertoire to gain power and prestige, including exploiting overt and covert norms.
  • The relationship between social attitudes and language choices.
  • the use of informal language in
    – maintaining positive face needs
    – promoting linguistic innovation
My opinion on the Article’s comments.  The creation of Australian slang that represents an ocker Australian culture is dying down. This is because there has been a shift away from this culture towards a more general and multicultural society. The globalism of English and the ability to communicate around the world at any moment has led to a sharing of slang language around the world. Therefore many Australians can be using new slang which has come from America as they have seen it in the many American TV shows that are popular in Australia. An informal environment is the best setting for slang language to grow. The most informal in present day Australia is online and that is why most of Australia’s new neologisms have been created online.
Quotes  “It seems some elements of Australian English have been exported to our more populous neighbours. No worries has become prevalent in the USA in the last decade, especially on the West Coast.”New Australian English, or “Wogspeak”. This variety of Australian English was made famous by TV shows like Wogs Out of Work and Pizza. Wogspeak has given us a number of new Australian slang terms, including habib (“mate”, the Arabic for “darling”), stooge (“idiot”, an old word but re-cycled and brought into its own by this vernacular), skip for an Anglo-Celtic Australian (from “Skippy”, the bush kangaroo), and a brand new extension of Cockney-Aussie rhyming slang: chocco (“wog”, rhyming with “chocolate frog”).

“The evocative interjection Strewth, for instance, is a remnant of an early modern fashion that fell out of use in England….but they hung on in Australia, with Strewth (“God’s truth”) outlasting them all.”



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