Thursday, January 1, 2009

You Know You're Australian When

1. You know the meaning of the word "girt".

2. You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.

3. You think it's normal to have a leader called Kevin.

4. You waddle when you walk due to the 53 expired petrol discount vouchers stuffed in your wallet or purse.

5. You've made a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering the garden.

6. You believe it is appropriate to put a rubber in your son's pencil case when he first attends school.

7. When you hear that an American "roots for his team" you wonder how often and with whom.

8. You understand that the phrase "a group of women wearing black thongs" refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.

9. You pronounce Melbourne as "Mel-bin".

10. You pronounce Penrith as "Pen-riff".

11. You believe the "l" in the word " Australia " is optional.

12. You can translate: "Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.."

13. You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.

14. You call your best friend "a total bastard" but someone you really, truly despise is just "a bit of a bastard".

15. You think "Woolloomooloo" is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.

16. You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife.

17. You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin.

18. You understand that "Wagga Wagga" can be abbreviated to "Wagga" but "Woy Woy" can't be called "Woy".

19. You believe that cooked-down axlegrease makes a good breakfast spread.

20. You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis.

21. Hamburger Beetroot. Of course.

22. You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.

23. You believe, as an article of faith, that the confectionary known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.

24. You still don't get why the "Labor" in "Australian Labor Party" is not spelt with a "u".

25. You wear ugg boots outside the house and not as a fashion item, and are angry at Americans for stealing them.

26. You believe, as an article of faith, that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off to the Yanks for a pittance.

27. You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them.

28. Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language.

29. You understand that "excuse me" can sound rude, while "scuse me" is always polite.

30. You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.

31. You understand that "you" has a plural and that it's "youse".

32. You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle.

33. Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket.

34. You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call "Anzac cookies".

35. You still think of Kylie as "that girl off Neighbours".

36. When returning home from overseas, you expect to be brutally strip-searched by Customs - just in case you're trying to sneak in fruit.

37. You know people who believe the phrase "smart casual" refers to a pair of black tracky-daks, suitably laundered.

38. You understand that all train timetables are works of fiction.

39. When working on a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer.

40. You get choked up with emotion by the first verse of the national anthem and then have trouble remembering the second.

41. You find yourself ignorant of nearly all the facts deemed essential in the government's new test for migrants.

42. You know, whatever the tourist books say, that no one says "cobber".

43. And you will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand.


  1. I love these 43 measures of Australianness and would love it if you would guest-write on national identity for my blog.

    You may want to delete some of these 43 that you no longer think appropriate and add new ones that are better. Or you may want to talk about teaching national identity to school children (in history, for example).

    Or you may want to consider whether Australians look different from other peoples. Whenever I am overseas, I can tell another Australian at 200 ms away, WITHOUT EVEN HEARING THEIR VOICE. Why might that be so?

    So many questions :)
    Art and Architecture, mainly

  2. Sorry Hels, I really don't know how to write about national Identity, or teaching it to children in schools- as it's not anymore, because so many are not the traditional white Australians. The idea of 'national identity' is so broad and tricky now (though most of those 43 are still correct for me.).
    I don't think I'd be able to write interestingly or accurately about it. :( Sorry.

    I've noticed the 'we look different' thing too, but I can also recognise Americans without hearing their voices. Odd isn't it!


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