Category: australia

how to speak Australian

I’ve been collecting words and phrases, I’m sure I’ll add more to this as I go.

Dodgy – suspicious, similar to sketchy or shady in the US
Grotty – dirty, needing a shower, similar to yucky
Willy Willy – a small tornado
Comfort Stop – using the loo, as in “I need a comfort stop” instead of “I have to pee”
“I wouldn’t be dead for quids” – I enjoy being alive in this moment
Beanie – a knitted hat, as worn in winter, while skiing etc.
Widow Maker – a gum tree, as their branches drop unexpectedly, and to disastrous effect
Rooting – colloquialism similar to “banging” or “shagging”
Bum bag – a fanny is something else here, so a fanny pack would be pretty impolite

And my favorite new thing: drop bears. An entire species I didn’t know about before. Luckily I’ve been warned and will keep an eye out.

There’s a also different words for things like raisins, bell peppers, and most brand names (like Sharpies, Saran Wrap etc.) but that’s not quite as interesting.

Australian Packing List


I’ve been slowly accumulating travel toys and ideas for a while so I didn’t buy much for this trip. Here’s everything I’m taking for two months of Australian spring backpacking:

Osprey youth backpack (REI tried to talk me in to a woman’s size, but I know my short self and my light packing ways)
Fjallraven Kanken day pack – rolls up super small and carried in the Osprey for flights
LeSportSac shoulder bag – not really made for traveling, but I like bright colors and zippered pockets are nice

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Camping stuff! Tiny sleeping bag, silk sleep sack, inflatable pillow, metal bowl and mug, bamboo silverware set, plastic plate, sponge, dishcloth, travel towelimage (2)
Bike helmet, REI hat, thin winter hat, scarf, jacket, raincoat and umbrella
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Hoodie, jacket (again, oops!), two cardigans, two tanks, two tees (one long, one short), two leggings, two jeans (one long, one short), one pair bike shorts and five dressesimage (4)
8 travel undies, 2 regular bras, 2 soft/sports bras, 1 bikini, 2 handkerchiefs, 4 pairs socks, gym shorts and tee for sleeping
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All the clothes bundled up, plus two more stuff sacks for organizing, flipflops, waterproof trekking shoes, sandals
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Toiletry bag: deodorant, emergent-c, meds (malaria, traveler’s tummy, sudaphed, ibuprofen, Dramamine), band-aids, keeper cup, sunglasses, ear plugs, eye mask, toothbrush, paste, floss, headlamp, safety whistle, lock, bug lotion, lotion, hair foam, bar shampoo, razor, brush, clippers, mirror, tweezers, barrettes and elastics, sealants, alarm clock, wet wipes, tide pen, safety pins, sewing kit, chapstick, mascara, nail polish
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In my big purse: multi outlet adapter, candied ginger, protein bar, kindle, tablet computer, iPhone case (and phone, used to take picture), tin of hair supplies, real books, notebook, pens, gum, wallet with coin holder and US$, passport, water bottle.