I’ve had my share of confused conversations – most of which tend to occur at the office. Remember when a Senior Vice President called me a Drug Mule (sort of) in a meeting?
Well, now that I’m in the Land Down Under, I have some phrases I need to translate and store in my memory bank to prevent my tilted head, deer in the headlights look of confusion. They may speak English, but we certainly don’t use words in the same way!
- I’ve got to nut it out. Does not mean anything to do with male genitalia, seems to be a variant of ‘sort it out’ or ‘figure it out’. I’ve heard this one at least five times in just over a week.
- Cuppa. Ok, that one is pretty easy – ‘Cup of Tea/Coffee’ – but when someone looks at me and just says Cuppa it doesn’t ring any bells yet.
- Skinny Flat White. Another coffee reference, coffee with foamed skim milk. Not a latte, haven’t figured out the difference yet but one appears to be served in clear glass mugs. The first time I ordered a coffee at breakfast, the lady said ‘What kind?’ I’ve been confused ever since.
- Schooner. Pint of beer! This one was incredibly valuable for me to learn, as I’d been making strange hand gestures at bartenders for a week until someone enlightened me. Also good to know, apparently they’ll just give you a pint size unless you specifically ask for smaller. I love this country.
So far, the Aussie’s pretty much speak English so it hasn’t been too difficult to fake my way through – and they mostly seem to speak at the same breakneck pace as I do, which works in my favour. One comment, however, left me with a very telling look on my face that made everyone in the room stop and think about what I thought had been said.
Change Manager: We don’t want you feeling like a SHAG ON A ROCK
Nancy: *slightlyhorrifiedandsimultaneouslyconfusedlook* ?
Everyone: Awkward laughter
Blush, apparently it means something akin to ‘Bump on a Log’…. not… well, you know.