Learning to Speak Aussie

Lacy and Alison with Ellen the Koala

There are the simple things, like boot versus trunk
or toe-mah-toe sauce versus ketchup.
(Catsup? Does anyone spell it that way, anymore?)
That first time you told me you had the shits,
and I was alarmed.
When my sister killed her interview,
you were alarmed,
then turned around and murdered your burger.
Who sings that song, “I Got You Babe”?
Sonny and … Sure.
Sure. That’s not how you spell it.
Sure! Sure! You say. It’s Sure.
And then your dad offered me a rissole,
which sounded like rizzle,
at the Ari, which sounded like aria,
but was really the RSL,
which is kind of like an Elk’s Lodge,
except I don’t really know what Elk’s Lodges are
but basically families go there for affordable food and space.
Remember we played the pokeys at the Ari?
At first I thought you were inviting me
to engage in illicit acts at the family gathering
(I wouldn’t put it past you, you dirty girl)
but the pokeys are what we call slot machines, slots,
which, come to think of it, do not
sound so innocent, either.
Howyadoon? Four syllables shrunk to two,
your favorite trick.
Reckon it will rain? Grab the brollie.
I feel like bogan is a slang I shouldn’t use,
just like you should maybe stay away
from calling anyone white trash.
(It isn’t very nice.)
We both dislike pikers, except I didn’t know
I disliked pikers, I just knew I hated flakes.
We look into each other’s eyes, and you say,
“Sometimes I think you don’t understand me!”
and I stare back at you and reply
“I don’t understand you.”
How can a scone be a skahn,
and a cone be a witch’s hat?
How can someone wear a pair of carkeys?
You no longer say “Djal-ah-pee-no”,
but Carlos becomes the loss of a car
and Spanish will always be my thing,
not yours, leave the translating up to me, babe.
Do we need a translator?
Nah. It’s better this way.