Aussies love to nosh up at a barbie, have a coldie and take a gander at some footy, and tell you that everything is bonza.
They also love their slang.
A little-known fact, however, is that Aussies even have lingo for each other…
It was inevitable that the first Pommies in Australia developed a new vocabulary to describe their alien surroundings, given that everything in Australia was so different from all they had known.
Prison slang crept into general use, indigenous language was incorporated, and new words coined – much to the alarm of our colonial establishment.
The upper class pommies looked down their noses at the convicts and Australian-born folk.
Originally, they called them ‘Cornstalks’, because the new generation of Aussies were taller than their forebears.
The name stuck for awhile, and so did the custom of giving regional names to our fellow Aussies.
‘Sandgropers’, or Western Australians, once used the term ‘Wise Men from the East’ in reference to visitors from the Eastern side – especially the ones who enjoyed telling us how good they were.
Victoria was called the Cabbage Patch because of its small size, hence ‘Cabbage Patchers’ hailed from the garden state. ‘
Gum Sucker’ was formerly applied to all colonials for their pastime of sucking the sweet gum from some species of wattle.
How it came to refer solely to Victorians is a mystery.
Tasmanians, too, suffered prejudice, and ‘Taswegian’ was once used almost derisively to describe the mob who in kinder moments were called ‘Apple Islanders’.
Those Taswegians were once also known as ‘Barracoutas’, after the creature that supported fishing families and was a staple during the starvation years.
The name is rarely heard now, and the ’couta, too, have almost vanished.
‘Crow-eaters’ for South Australians is still commonly used, and refers to the piping shrike (not a crow) on the south Australian coat of arms.
‘Top Enders’ for those from the Northern Territory is heard quite often and is a pretty good description.
‘Banana Benders’, referring to those from Queensland describes them perfectly and is simply not heard enough.
As for the residents of the Australian Capital Territory, anything goes seeing most of them are pollies or bloody bludging public servants.