Talk:Variation in Australian English

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Moved from Talk:Australian English[edit]


I'm from Sydney and have only ever called it a tuckshop never a canteen. Am I getting old or something? Jimp 10Jan06

G'day Jim, you're only as old as you feel :-) Someone added tuckshop as being purely a Queenlandism so I added the qualifier. I have just re-worded it. My source is the Australian Word Map. Cheers, Grant65 | Talk 07:23, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Jim, I have the same experience in Melbourne. Sarah Ewart 07:53, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The canteens at both my high schools (one a minor Catholic and the other a well-known state) were called "canteens", not "tuckshops". This was in 1997–2002. When were youse in school? The article does imply a change. —Felix the Cassowary 09:28, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Does tuckshop need to be included at all, as it's not really an Australian term (read any English boarding shool story and you will find it)? It could be appropriate if highlighted as a situation where use of the American term (canteen) is becoming more common than the British (tuckshop). We used tuckshop and canteen interchangeably through the 80s and early 90s in Canberra and Brisbane. Natgoo 10:14, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, because it has a different meaning in the UK, i.e. any shop near a school that sells confectionary. An eating place in a school in the UK is usually called a canteen or a dining room.
But we can't include every regionalism. I think it should go to the Queensland English page, when someone gets around to writing that one. Grant65 | Talk 13:23, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I've often heard the term "tuckshop" refer to those little hot food shops (milk bars?) which are usually located in industrial areas, but only down this way (Geelong), and never in reference to a school canteen. We called them, canteens. :) -- Longhair 14:31, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm feeling older by the minute. Jimp 07:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I grew up in Melbourne, went to primary school in the 1970s and high school in the 1980s. In both schools we had a "tuckshop". I always thought of a "canteen" as a large dining room where everybody ate as well as obtained their food. We had no such room. Our tuckshops were very small and only sold food. Students ate outside. How much of this has changed? — Hippietrail 18:34, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

While I went to a primary school that didn't sell food at all, through several high schools in the late 80's and early 90's around Melbourne they were known exclusively as canteens. This varied from a simple window that sold food, to a full counter with a separated area that had seating to eat the food at. Everyone knew they used to be called tuckshops, but the schools themselves referred to them as canteens so the students did too. Citizen D 22:47, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
All of my schools officially had 'tuckshops' but were known as both. They were holes in the wall with a counter, no eating area. Tuckshops were also the holes in the wall at the footy, at netball, at concerts etc. A pie van was a 'tuck truck' - this I've only found in ACT/NSW, not QLD where it's the 'pie man' (even when he's a she). My 10-yo nephew's school in Brisbane has a tuckshop sans dining area. Natgoo 23:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I went to a public primary school from 1981-3 and it was known as a tuckshop. Then I went to a Catholic primary school from 84-87 and it was known as a tuckshop. It was also known as a tuckshop at my Catholic high school too (88-92). These schools were all in SA. I just always assumed that independent-Catholic schools called it tuckshops while goverment schools called it canteen. Frances76 21:06, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I went to a public primary school in eastern NSW (sydney) from 1992-1998 and it was known as a tuckshop. The use of 'tuckshop' was slang and usually had to be clarified formally with the addition of the 'the school' (tuckshop) in school newsletters with a ‘tuckshop roster’ being drawn up. But then went to a british-type private boarding school and the food outlet was referred to as a canteen, before then i always recognized canteen as a type of water bottle or general bottle and tuckshop being the predominant aussie saying for school food outlet or institutional food outlet including the information given about industrial workers on sites, although in stating that the terms may have been borrowed from the original context within the school yard. I only assume Sydney is located in what is considered northern NSW, for tuckshop was the only term used in the state primary school that i went to with population 650+ all using the term tuckshop but this was not so common when i entered 3 private schools with the dominant term being canteen. The tuckshop i experienced was a mere food outlet sans tables and chairs where you purchased food. I believe the inclusion of tuck-shop is warranted in the article and it is the editor is correct in stating that tuckshop still may be used in other areas.

2006, tuckshop is still currently used by the school I work for. Having worked in 3 other schools in Adelaide it was also used there. Growing up in the northern suburbs we used the term canteen at my primary school. Ozdaren 14:04, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I grew up in Mt. Gamber, SA and the Catholic schools I went to (-> 1980) only used tuckshop. I wonder if its decline is similar to washhouse. ☸ Moilleadóir 07:34, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I went to school in Melbourne in the 60's; it was only ever called the tuckshop. Other schools where we played sport also referred to the tuckshop. When I went to uni in the 70's they referred to 'the caf' never a canteen. When my children went to high school in the late 80's they called it the canteen. I guess the change started around the late 70's. Phil. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 28 May 2010 (UTC)


I have never heard the word booner in my life and I live in ACT, all my friends say bogan - does anyone have a source for the booner thing?



I see you've edited the paragraph on soccer. The paragraph had read as follows.

In the early 21st century the national governing body for soccer
attempted to foster use of "football" to mean soccer, in accordance with general
international usage. However, use of the word "football", to mean either
Australian rules or one of the rugby football codes, is well-established in Australia,
and the belated attempt to change this has not been generally accepted by common usage. 

It not reads like this.

In the early 21st century the national governing body for football (soccer)
attempted to foster use of "football" to mean soccer, in accordance with general
international usage. It is yet to be seen whether this will spead into the mainstream,
however it is important to note that several media outlets have adopted the use of the
word football in accordance with this. 
  1. Do you contend that use of the word "football" to mean either Australian rules or rugby is not well-established in Australia? If not, then this should not have been deleted.
  2. Since we are talking about the early 21st century and it is still the early 21st century I suppose that it is fair to say "It is yet to be seen whether this will spead into the mainstream,". It "not been generally accepted by common usage" yet but it may be too early to tell.
  3. I suppose we needn't call it a "belated" attempt. It's all relative ... isn't it?
  4. Nor do we need to claim that it is important to note that some sections of the media have addopteed the usage. Is it important? Important to whom for what? Let's not just be wordy for wordiness' sake.
  5. It would be nice to have some citations for the claim that "several media outlets have adopted the use of the word football in accordance with this." Can you give us some?
  6. However, the game is still called "soccer" in Australian English. I don't deny that soccer is a kind of football but I disagree with calling it "football (soccer)" in this article. It's enough just to call it "soccer" and that's (still) the norm in Aussie English.
  7. In this article Australian English is used regardless of how the Football Federation Australia or a handful of media outlets would have us speak the game is still called "soccer".

I'm considering adjusting the paragraph accordingly. I'll not simply revert you but I'm thinking of rewriting the paragraph to attempt to include both view points. How about this?

In the early 21st century the national governing body for soccer
attempted to foster use of "football" to mean soccer, in accordance with general
international usage and several media outlets have adopted the use of the word "football" in
accordance with this. It is yet to be seen whether this will spead into the
mainstream, however, use of the word "football", to mean either
Australian rules or one of the rugby football codes, is well-established in Australia.

Jimp 7&8 March 2006 (UTC)

Soccer - I agree with the idea that soccer is the most common name in Australia for the round ball game. The biggest proponent of a name change to football is the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). Although the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is another government funded broadcaster they mainly use the term soccer. I imagine the name football may gain greater popularity, however its my personal experience that a strong majority of people would be confused by this name change and use soccer as the preferred name in daily usage. Ozdaren 13:58, 29 June 2006 (UTC)


I've removed westie from the following paragraph.

There are many regional variations for describing social classes or subcultures.
The best example is probably bogan (fairly universal), which is also referred to
as bevan in Queensland, westie around Sydney, and booner in the ACT.

Westie is not synonymous with bogan, bevan and/or booner. A westie is a resident of Penrith, Paramatta, the western suburbs of Sydney, etc. The terms bogan, bevan and/or booner refer to such things as appearance, taste and attitude. Westies may be stereotyped as being bogans and many of them may indeed be bogans but the terms have different meanings. Jimp 02:22, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

See also

Jimp 01:50, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

User:AmishThrasher had put it back. I've removed it again. I've brought the above over from AusE Talk to explain my move. Jimp 15:37, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I've removed it again. Jimp 08:15, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

... and again ... JIMp talk·cont 00:12, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Victorian Accent[edit]

I find there are a couple of differences in the way Victorians speak that separate them from the rest of Australians. It seems to be more distinct with people from regional areas but still noticeable with Melburnians. Firstly words such as "castle" that rhymes with "hassle" rather than "parcel", though it doesn't seem to be the case with everyone. But the one that I find is common for most Victorians is the swapping of the "al" and "el" vocal sounds, so that "mELbourne" sounds like "mALbourne", "ALcohol" sounds like "ELcohol", "bALcony" sounds like "bELcony" etc Also I am led to believe that in Sydney (maybe other parts of NSW and maybe Queensland) for words such as "school" and "pool", the "oo" rhymes with that of "food" rather than "good". thoughts? Lukeoz 11:41, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, in Sydney the vowel in school and pool is (phonemically) the same that in food and (phonemically) different to the one in good. As far as I'm aware this is the case in almost all English dialects. There are except to this. In Scotland, the north of Ireland & parts of S.E. Asia food and good rhyme anyway. Another exception may be found in regions with the full-fool merger. This merger doesn't occur in Australian English but, as the section I've linked to explains, the vowel in school and pool can sound similar to the one in good. They still are different vowels, though, because of length. Jimp 07:13, 22 September 2006 (UTC)


What an interesting article. Well done, cobbers! --Gazzster 09:52, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

No wuckers mate. Jimp 08:16, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Northern Queensland accent[edit]

Talk to people from Toowoomba! I was talking to them and they sounded different. Seriously!! (talk) 11:23, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Great. If you want to add it to the article, find a credible reference, and add it and the new information. Format (talk) 22:34, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Toowoomba is in Southern Queensland, only a couple of hours north of the border.LowKey (talk) 13:35, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

"But I don't like him" becomes "I don't like him but"[edit]

Currently the article mentions that, "Distinctive grammatical patterns exist such as the use of the interrogative eh? and the position of the word but at the end of a sentence in Queensland ("But I don't like him" becomes "I don't like him but")." However, I've lived in Queensland all my life, and virutally never have I heard it being used in the manner it appears to imply here.

"He's pretty friendly, but I don't like him." "I don't like him, but he's pretty friendly."

Those are the ways I've almost always heard such a sentence being uttered or written. "He's friendly and all. I don't like him but." would most likely be met by the reply, "But what?" as an explanation of why the first person doesn't like him would then be expected. Perhaps it's used in West Queensland or some areas of Far North or South East Queensland, but certainly not in Central or North Queensland. (talk) 16:03, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

putting 'but' on the end of a sentence like that is quite common, i grew up in nsw and use it often. its not 'cultivated' perhaps buts its defs an australian thing, and i find it expressive and useful. it performs a similar function to using 'though' at the end of the sentence in spoken english, eg "i'm not sorry though" or "it's pretty funny though" - for emphasis, and qualification. (e.g. "he's very good at football" ... "i don't like him but.") (talk) 10:54, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Inclusion of Julia Gillard in "Broad Australian accents"[edit]

I was a bit surprised by this inclusion. I realise it's a fairly subjective area and Gillard definitely has a broader accent than, say, Rudd and Downer, but are we really placing her in the same category as Steve Irwin and Paul Hogan? Sources might be nice. ~ Riana 08:50, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

The reason I'm asking here instead of changing it myself is that I might have a different opinion on this than other people. I'll look for some references. Unfortunately a lot of writing about her mode of speech makes reference to her voice rather than her accent. ~ Riana 08:53, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, the first 2 reliable sources I found say that she has a Broad accent. Guess I just don't hear it! I'll pop them in the article. I totally look like a crazy person talking all by herself. ~ Riana 09:03, 23 March 2013 (UTC)


I like the table of broad, general, and cultivated varieties, but curious why the vowel of THOUGHT is given as [ɔː] in the table. Australian English shows [oː] instead. Is [ɔː] a mistake due to the symbol used for RP, or is it based on a source?

Also, I thought /iː/ was diphthongized in broad Australian, but the table doesn't show this. — Eru·tuon 20:04, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

It's another bad copy-paste from South African English. The first one was on Received Pronunciation. I removed it. Peter238 (talk) 20:31, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh well. It would be nice to have an accurate table for Australian. — Eru·tuon 21:18, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Check AoE, page 597. It can be used as source for a table (Wells's [ʌ] needs to be replaced with [ɐ] though). I'm also not sure if you'll be able to clearly see the diacritics. Peter238 (talk) 22:28, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I added the table. You're right, I couldn't see some of the diacritics, and I marked them with HTML comments. If you know what they are, add them or let me know. Also am puzzled as to whether MOUTH was really nasalized. — Eru·tuon 22:27, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I'll try to figure them out. AFAIK, yes, Broad AuE has a tendency to be noticeably more nasal than other varieties. Anyway, that's how Wells transcribes it. I'll also add the "advanced" diacritic under [ɐ], as Wells describes it as advanced central. Peter238 (talk) 00:01, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Erutuon: fixed. The (previously) unreadable diacritic means 'lowered'. Peter238 (talk) 18:52, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
If somebody is trying to find a new table, I would suggest that only including 'General Australian' as the defacto standard is necessary. There is no doubt that 'Cultivated Australian' is not necessary given that such a small proportion of the population speak with this accent today that it should be treated the same as any other small minority accent (that is to say, not including it in the table). While 'Broad Australian' is probably spoken by about a third of the population, it is not the standard which is used for giving pronunciations in dictionaries, on television, or by the majority of the population, so I don't see that it is particularly necessary in the table either. I don't see Southern, Bostonian, New York or African American (which is also a non-regional accent) in the table for US English, for example.--Saruman-the-white (talk) 00:12, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
The purpose of that table is to compare some of the vowel realizations in General, Cultivated and Broad AuE. What you're suggesting has nothing to do with that. Peter238 (talk) 00:13, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

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