Is it a snag or a sausage sizzle? The different words Aussies use for everyday things 89



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A new study has shown just how different Aussie words are for everyday things depending on where you live. You could go half way ’round Australia and it’s almost like a different country – the words are that strange to our ears.

As part of the Linguistics Roadshow, a short survey was put together on some Australian English vocabulary. Regular Aussies were invited to fill it in and select which words they prefer for particular things, like potato cakes/scallops/fritters.

Now, the responses have been crafted into individual maps so that we visualise the interesting differences depending on where people come from.

It’s no surprise that Sydneysiders call swimming costumes ‘cossies’ compared to Queenslanders who much prefer ‘togs’. But what may surprise you is the disparity between what a sausage on bread is called – surely a sausage sizzle!?

What do you call a battered, deep-fried potato snack?

This one was a bit contentious, with 45.7% of respondents saying they call it a potato cake, and 35.2% said potato scallop – other responses were fritter and scallop


What general term do you use to refer to swimwear?

Surprisingly, bathers was the most popular response with 46.8% of respondents, followed by swimmers with 25.2%.


What do you call the object that you might drink water from in a park or school?

Again, there was a clear winner with 46.6% saying bubbler is the correct term, followed by drinking foundation (24.5%).


What do you call a barbecued sausage, served in a single slice of bread?

Sausage sizzle was nowhere to be seen! Sausage in bred came just ahead sausage sandwich. Hmm….


Does the word ‘dance’ rhyme with ‘pants’, or ‘aunts’?

Most Aussies would know the correct answer to this: pant! 84.9% agree…


What do you call the small local shop that sells newspapers, lollies, drinks and basic groceries?

Apparently milk bars are more popular than the corner shop, with 40% saying the former.


You can see the other responses here, and if you have not already filled out the survey, you can have your say here.


Tell us, what do you call these everyday things?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. In Queensland swimwear are Togs, Potato scallops, Sausage sizzle, Dance does not have an “r” in it, Convenience store and a milk bar is a cafe usually with take-aways.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes.Qld Agree Togs, potato scallops, sausage sizzle, pants not aunts, convenience store- And I take a port when travelling.

  2. I call swimwear, swimmers, and a sausage I call a snag, and the battered slice of potatoe is a scallop

  3. Peanut Butter / Peanut Paste!!!! Dressing Table / Duchess!!! Moved from NSW to Qld 50 yrs. ago, there are many more!!!

  4. I come from sydney and a school case is a port here and a street directory is a referdex here

  5. Thongs and jandel.

    2 REPLY
    • Jandal is a N Z tradename & cannot be used without permission. I worked in their Head Office in Onehunga & we were always writing to businesses who used Jandal without permission. It’s a Copyright but became a well-known ‘slang’ word associated with N Z.

      1 REPLY
      • I dThat’s interesting Allison I didn’t know that, I have always known them as jandals. When overseas including Australia, have always been met with blank looks when mentioning “jandals”

  6. Bathers, sausage sizzle, polony, and I use a case when travelling. Proud west Aussie . 😀

    6 REPLY

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