Posts Tagged ‘diminutives’

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Have a smoko in the morning and go to the servo in the arvo...

Aussies sometimes shorten words and names.  I figure reckon that their versions of these word and name diminutives seem to be like how they live — Relaxed. We do it in America too, but these are new forms of English words I’d never heard before so, at first, it was almost like learning a new language.

Here are just a few examples to get you started, but you can also check out my growing list of Aussie slang at this link for a few more.

Ends with o:

· Arvo — Aussie for “afternoon.” I remember my first experience with this word. I was reading an email from an Aussie, and when I read “arvo,” I thought to myself: They’ve made a typo…
· Bottle-o — Aussies call the liquor store either a bottle shop or a bottle-o.
· Salvos — The Salvation Army is known Down Under as “Salvos,” and even their website is called this {here}.
· Servo — Nickname given to petrol service stations by Aussies.
· Smoko — Morning break for workers, which used to mean a “smoking break,” but it’s also a tea-break.  I’ve even heard non-smokers call their morning break at work a “smoke-o.”   More about this here.

Note: Of course there are many more examples of this, but these listed above are some of the most common that I hear.


· Jono — If your name is John or Jonathan, chances are Aussies might give you the nickname “Jono.” It’s just a shorter version and a lot easier to say.
· Simmo — Same as above, if your name is Simon.

Note: This can work for last names too.  I know a guy whose last name is Bannister, and his mates call him “Bano.”

Ends with y or ie:

· Bikkie — Also “bickie,” Australians typically call a biscuit-style cookie a “bikkie.” However, if it’s a chocolate chip cookie, they will call it a cookie.  Read more about this here.
· Brekkie — Aussie for “breakfast.”  I’ve seen this spelled so many ways: breaky, brekkie, breakie, brekky, so take your pick.
· Pokies — What Aussies call the poker or gambling slot machines.
· Prezzy — Aussies often call a gift or present this.

Ends with a:

· Cuppa  — A hot beverage.
· Maccas  — This is an Aussie’s nickname for McDonald’s, America’s “Mickey D’s.”

Using each in example sentences:

· Jono talked with his wife over brekkie and a cuppa at Maccas today about the prezzy they wanted to buy for their son.
· That bloke {Aussie for a guy} at the bar was watching the horse races while his girl played the pokies.
· Simmo’s going to stop by the servo to pick up meat pies for our smoko.
· I’ll go to the bottle-o after work in the arvo to pick up a case of Tooheys Old and a bottle of bourbon.
· We’ll just go to Salvos to find something disco-themed to wear to Jacintha’s 40th, like we did for Kylie’s 80s hens night.
· When the neighbors neighbours visited, I served them bikkies with their tea.

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