Saturday #40: Not These Two!

I was sitting on the bench in a shopping mall in Darwin on Saturday afternoon and these two blokes sat down near me. I overheard about 10 minutes of their conversation. I didn’t understand more than about 20% of it. Between accents and slang, they may as well have been speaking Swahili. It reminded me of a poem that I saw tacked on the wall at the Daly Waters Pub.
Cripes mate! We’re losin’ the lingo!
By Molly Greaves, Coles Bay, Tasmania

Fair dinkum, don’t ya love Oz?
It’s bonza in so many ways
But its lingo is fast disappearing
U.S. words are the latest Oz craze.

Where’s “G’day, ‘ello” and “’ow are ya?”
T’day everybody says, “Hi.”
Where’ve the blokes and the sheilas gone?
Now, everyone is a guy.

We used to be mates and cobbers,
But buddies have stolen the show
And dude is a word often bandied
Will it end? Well, I just don’t know.

Our patties have turned into burgers;
Chips are now French fries, of course
And ketchup? Oh, my Gaaard!
It looks like we’ve killed the “dead ‘orse!”

We hear candy and crackers and cookies.
It’s enough to give one the shakes.
Let’s hang on to all our Oz words,
Like lollies and biscuits and cakes.

And I see where some shops are promoting,
That flippers are fins now, for sure
Jumpers are sweaters, taps called faucets
How much of this can we endure?

Do you think we’ll become “Septic Tanks?”
Will our petrol one day become gas?
Hoods for our bonnets, our boots into trunks?
And our wheelcaps? Alack and alas!

Our animals are now known as critters
Our insects have turned into bugs.
Will our footpaths one day become sidewalks?
As our mat and our carpets are rugs?

And when the intrepid developers
Of Aussie’s pristine, virgin soil
Call it Vegas, Miami and Florida,
Could a cure be a good boil in oil?

And look at the U.S. TV shows,
That salute us all to the bones
Followed by some of our own shows,
That really are USA clones!

And then on the wireless a while back,
I slowly balanced to hear
The Outback referred to as Ranchlands.
Strewth mate – it’s gotten worse, I fear.

Will changing our stations to ranches
Be the latest lost lingo fad?
And having our stockmen called cowboys!
I shudder! It’s equally as bad.

I go crook when I hear all these new words
Though I’d never say I was “mad.”
‘Cause we’re losing our Aussie identity,
It just makes me incredibly sad.

What we need is a touch (not a flashlight)
So hopefully people will see
How our Oz words are fast disappearing.
What a terrible day that would be!

So sheilas and blokes, speak the lingo
If ya love this Oz land so fine.
Save our nation from Americanisation
And please, oh please talk strine!
Cripes mate! We’re losin’ the lingo!


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