An Intro to Western Australia and Jaynie’s Guide to Aussie Slang

After nearly 2 months in Asia, we (and our digestive tracts) were ready for a bit of respite. Perth in Western Australia is only a 3-hour flight from Bali, so we invited ourselves to stay with our dear friends Jahnvi and Christian for 2+ weeks. Yep, Jahnvi and Christian are sooo nice… We even roped our friends Ravi and Angela into this scheme, and they flew across the Pacific to complete the bedraggled grad student reunion. I’m happy to report that there are currently much lower levels of bedraggledness and no crying. Wow.

Western Australia, or WA, as its colloquially known, is a pretty remote place. It is quite geographically isolated and the capital city Perth is actually closer to Jakarta than it is to Sydney. WA is the largest state in Australia by size, but it has a very small population and towns tend to be fairly far apart from one another. Given this remoteness, both Jeff and I were amazed at how much WA felt like the western US. The scenery, the lack of urban density, and the climate of WA feel so much like California and Utah. The second we exited the airport it felt like home – not what you expect when you’re basically antipodal to your actual home.

perth overview
A gorgeous beach view north of Perth. That yellow speck in the middle is me.

I’m going to split the WA portion of the blog like WA’s Wikipedia page: 1) The Convict Era, and 2) Everything Else.

But before I go into our adventures I think everyone needs to to learn a few Aussie vocab words. Here are a few slang words that we picked up.

Jaynie’s Guide to Aussie Slang

Blowie – a blow fly

Bogan – an OZ redneck; they often have names like Brogan, Harvey, Rodney, Kiley, and Megan (pronounced Meeee-gan)

Brekky – breakfast, but cuter

Chuck a sickie – to take a day off work when you are not actually sick

Chuck a tantie – throw a tantrum; I love this so much

Esky – a Styrofoam cooler

Freo – the colloquial name for Fremantle; why ‘Fremantle’ is too hard to say I just don’t know

Mozzie – mosquito

Pash – a long passionate kiss

Poxy – low quality and gross

Schoolies – schools breaks; there seem to be about 6 weeks of schoolies a year and it makes it really hard to book accommodations

Servo – gas station

Tradies – skilled tradesmen who work on blue collar jobs, i.e. plumbers, electricians, builders

Ute – a super sweet el Camino–esq vehicle strongly favored by bogans

Now that you speak OZ, stay tuned as we update the blog with our adventures down under. Next up, Perth and Fremantle (i.e. the WA convict era).

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