Saturday, January 30, 2010


Friends shout for other friends.

In the US we say "treat." In Korea, they are saying "shoot" (as in with a gun, which is weird because guns are illegal in Korea as they are here. That's why when you watch a Korean gangster movie, they're beating each other up with big sticks. I find these action sequences extremely cathartic). I know because I saw a bunch of young Koreans saying "I'll shoot this soju/yummy samgyeopsal meal" on a TV drama once, but that was a couple of years ago, and trends change so quickly over there.

In Stralia we say "shout." And it's generally limited to coffee and alcoholic beverages (which I'm trying to cut down on for health reasons so people will have to shout green tea and strawberry smoothies for me instead) though sometimes really nice friends will shout meals. I'm not sure how this piece of slang came to be. Perhaps it has something to do with all the noise in the bars?

Saturday, January 16, 2010


spoken: huh-ips. Means "many," "lots," "a lot of." Used heaps in conversation here. I've noticed Gwenaelle and Rebecca, my friends from Europe (we all arrived the same time) have taken to using it in daily parlance. Me, I just can't get into it for some reason.

"Heaps good" is apparently a classic Aussie expression, though I think they use it more in South Australia, which is where they have excellent wine and people take it kind of slow (which is like reaaalllly slow, given how laidback the country is in general).

Thursday, January 14, 2010


spoken: ahvo. alternate spelling: avo. When I first heard this word, I thought it was short for avocado. But that didn't make sense. "Are you free for tea this avocado?" (I love avocados, btw - they're yummy and good for you, one of those miracle foods that keep your tummy slim).

When I google-imaged "arvo" the first few images that came up were...LEGOS! The Arvo brothers from Spain (who are pretty hot based on their pic on Flickr) create these fabulously original Lego designs (of which the above Lego manual typewriter is one - and can I say how much I miss these beautiful dinosaurs, and real letters, and card catalogues?). I chose it because it was the closest to a computer, which is what I'm staring at most avos.

Monday, January 4, 2010


alternate spelling: aggro. G'day all and sorry for the lapse in my blogging. I just got back to the Big Smoke (=city=Sydney). The 17 hour flight went by surprisingly quickly, and I am trying to stay awake for another hour to stave off jet lag.

So how to follow up my last entry? How about with yet another fantastic childrens' character - this time a puppet from Down Under, who looks like a lovable cross between Animal (from the Muppets) and Oscar the Grouch (from Sesame Street) - both of whom I liked very much as a kid. Id and critic - is it any surprise?

Agro means to be hostile or angry for no discernible reason. American synonyms - to go ballistic or to go postal. Apparently it afflicts MMOG players. I don't know if a character named this is a good role model for children ... but I'd take Agro over Barney any day. Plus how can you not dig that totally fly suit?

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Thanks to Kane, I now know what to call those embarrassing public arguments/fights in which I occasionally found myself when I was younger and less mature - stupid, senseless conflicts fueled by stress, miscommunication and alcohol. OK, mostly alcohol. And good, old-fashioned Korean style han.

I've never understood the appeal of Barney, have you? He's big and purple and doofy and not at all "gay" except perhaps in that awful assimilationist way. Can you imagine Barney in a barney ever? I'd love to see that on a Mardi Gras float. Barney v. the purple Teletubby with the purse.


spoken: chaiuhs. A universal toast that translates across English language-dominant countries. Also one of my favorite TV shows in the Eighties, a real bar in Boston (which I visited once; not where the show was actually filmed - a Paramount lot in Hollywood), and a (sports) bar on George Street in Sydney which I have yet to visit.

I love how this word can mean almost anything in Oz: "thanks," "your welcome" (which Aussies never say - sounds really dorky after a while, like "good for you," or "please put this on my credit card," or "dorky" - emphasis on very hard nasal "r's"), "no problem" (or more aptly, "no worries," which I'm saving for a future entry), "goodbye," a suitable substitute for "roots" - or just something vaguely friendly to say when there's a pause in conversation, and you're at a loss for words.

Also my preferred closing on letters, along with "best" (so typically American, no?) and xx (has replaced xo - perhaps cos ppl in Oz and the UK and the rest of Europe kiss more than hug socially?) And I must be missing Australia since I'm ending declarative sentences with question marks?

I find "cheers" to be appropriately polite but a lot less stiff than "regards" or even worse, "kind regards," which just sounds wrong, especially when you have no idea who the email is from and there are no genuine feelings of kindness on either side of the correspondence.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Number 1. A-ok. The best. Excellent. What we should all strive to be.

Happy New Year, all!