20th Century Literature Week 10. Speaking Strine.

The poems we read in the lecture and tutes this week which incorporated words from dialects from immigrants home towns reminded me of a story I wrote a while ago. It used Strine, or Strayan, as a local dialect incorporated into the English language for use by Australians. I did some minor edits to include it here.

I have noticed that Strine, which has its origins in the cockney dialect of England has changed somewhat over the time to make it uniquely our own. No longer do we refer to kids as “the billy lids” of the wife as “The trouble and strife” or even a pie with  tomato sauce as a pie with “dead ‘orse (horse)”. We dont call our friends “china plates” or even “china” for short… we just all them our mates. Maybe thats a little P.C creeping in… OH NO!!

I also found this new national anthem contender a hoot.

I hope you enjoy both


G’day, when we got up this morning, it was a beaut day for a dip in the sea. So I woke the missus and kids and told em we would go. I chucked on me blue singlet and me boardies, with budgie smugglers underneath, told the kids to put their togs on and said “Get the lead out, lets go!”

We jumped in the ute, click clacked front and back, ( I got a dual cab), and off we trotted to the coast. Of course, in the back I always kept the spare bottle and the barbie. Before we left home, I filled the esky with some tinnies, snags, couple of rumps (for the missus and me), and my wife made some healthy green stuff (rabbit food).

When we got out of the car, the asphalt was so hot you could fry and egg on it, so i shouted to the kids to make sure they put their thongs on. We did the trek across the sand and set up at our spot. We slip, slop, slapped then the little tykes went for a dip. The missus set up a beach shelter and shut the peepers to have a kip. I looked around and saw me mate Trev. “Oi”, I said, “Trev, over ere!”

“Oh G’day” said Trev, “After seeing you pull an all-nighter at the pub last night, I didn’t expect you to see daylight today. How did you pull up?”

” Not too shabby,” I said ” I don’t think we will see Davo for a week though, he did the techno yawn into the porcelain after the 3am kebab. He was really under the weather. You here with Shaz?”

“Nah, she’s gone to see er mum, but I got the youngens ere somewhere, better go back to me spot in case they chuck a wobbly when they can’t find me. Come over later and I’ll shout you one.”

” Ok,” I replied ” Did ya bring a trannie? Forgot mine and its the second day of the test today.”

… and so it goes on.


Filed under 20th Century Literature, Best Creative Post

3 responses to “20th Century Literature Week 10. Speaking Strine.

  1. G’day mate,
    I like how you embraced a long lived “aussie larrikin” stereotype and distinguished it by poking fun of it and making it humorous. I liked the old Australian English, rich with its eccentric metaphors and figures of speech. I thought this was impressive as it captured a distinctive Australian dialect which makes its own use of the English language. It reinforces how everyone’s use of English is culturally and socially shaped and this makes it all the more interesting.

  2. Pingback: Peer Review | Ally Buster

  3. Love it!!!! You must have been brought up in a real Ozzie house- hold to have such a capacity to bring the Ozzie idiom so vividly to life! Great stuff David.

    Editing Needed (and some workshop follow-ups- see Purdue Owl for help: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/
    * dialects from immigrants home towns =dialects from immigrants’ home towns [ I am sure you don’t need this, but here goes: ‘s or s’ – Apostrophe- if there is a meaning of ownership ( the boy’s apple/ the boys’ apples) then you need an apostrophe. See http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/621/01/. But don’t use apostrophe s for normal plurals!!! ]
    * fry and egg on it= an

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