What’s American for Retic?

The internet is a marvellous thing.

Not only do I now get cupcake pouches and knitted sonic screwdrivers in the mail. (Which absolutely totally made my day!!!! Macstabby – you’re my GURRRL and totes awesomesauce!!!)

But I’ve realised that even though American and Australia are both “english” speaking countries, we don’t always speak the same language. And this is without going all ocker / straya (aka redneck / bogan).

We have a reticulation issue at the moment which we’re trying to fix. This means we have a problem with our sprinkler system. You know the thing that waters the garden automatically.
Not quite the google definition of “a pattern or arrangement of interlacing lines resembling a net.”


Thongs are footwear. Rubber things to put on your feet to protect them from the scorching earth. Not underwear. I don’t know how you would wear flip flops as underwear. Go home America – you’re drunk.

This one confused the hell out of me when I was younger and read Baby-Sitters Club books like they were the only books ever written.
What the hell is soda-pop?
In our house it was fizzy-drink or cool-drink. Presumably because adults could drink it whenever they wanted which was pretty cool.
(I’ve been reliably informed that it’s soda or pop. But Pop is for losers)

Cars have a boot, elephants have trunks.
Moving on.

Lamington Drive
No this isn’t a street name, it’s a fundraising effort where lamingtons are sold through a subscription and then delivered all at once on lamington day.
Sort of like a bake sale, but with just lamingtons.
A lamington is a sponge cake, dipped in chocolate sauce, and then coated in coconut. Delicious!
lamington cupcakes

Possibly named after the kangaroo, a jumper is a sweater. This does make searching ravelry for jumper patterns a pain when I realise I haven’t translated properly.
Same goes with wool
I have now successfully trained myself to think of wool as yarn.
To most others ‘wool’ is an all encompassing term for various fibres which are spun into balls. When I say wool I mean it’s come from a sheep.
Here’s a gratuitous photo of me with some sheep. (Sheepey-baas to be exact. I spent many a school holiday at a sheep farm. Looking back I didn’t stand a chance.)


The song ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’ made a lot more sense when I was told that a Dock is a Jetty.
Sitting on the Jetty doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.


What have I missed?



10 thoughts on “What’s American for Retic?

  1. The babysitters club was a source of much confusion in my childhood. Bangs in your hair?? Barrettes in the same?? Thank goodness we have google now!

    P.S. That sonic is totally awesome!!

    1. Oh I forgot about those two! They had me completely confused.

      For some reason I pictured barrettes as some kind of fascinator. I was disappointed when I actually found out they’re just hair clips.

  2. Q – LOL! We watch tons of Brit and Aussie TV programs, so we consider ourselves “bilingual”. Us older Americans called flip-flops thongs or zories when we were kids in the 50’s. It’s my kid’s generation who started the “flip-flop” craze. I got confused too when the fashion world came out with “thong” underwear. I have adopted “cuppa” when I want tea. My son-in-law’s mom was born in Britain and his dad in Ireland. I will throw in my language observations from a visit to Australia and listening to the Brits on TV. Both of you shorten compound words and add the “ie” sound to the end. Example: sunglasses = sunnies, There are more examples but this brain cannot think of them now. Cracked me up when we were there.

    Another fav. porkies = lies. Love the language differences. I often have to “translate” idioms for my husband. LOL!

    And wool! I was brought up by a fiber expert. The term wool is always used if it come from a sheep. Wool = sheep fiber. Yarn can be made from any type of fiber. I’m sure some people mix this up, but I’m sure that’s not just the US.

    Love this post. Totally love languages and our idiom differences. My hair style includes fringe.

    1. If it’s not an -ie at the ends it’s an -o
      Servo – service station
      Bottle-o – liquor store (to the point that it’s actually a brand name franchise)
      Train-o – train station
      Kerro – Kerosene

      It goes on and on.
      I do think Aussies love slang. I’ve even got a couple of rhyming slang idioms in my vocabulary.
      Take a captain cook – have a look
      Do the Harold Holt – bolt/leave work for the day

      Language is such a curious thing. I love studying it.

      1. Q – I did pick up a book while there called “How to speak Australian”. Wish I knew what happened to it.

        “It was the “i.e.” ending I noticed. Now I’ll keep my ears out for the “o” ending. Thanks! And, I think you Aussies love slang!! As mentioned we watch the few Australian shows we get over here. Miss Fisher is my current fav! Dang, I’m retired so I can no longer “Do the Harold Holt” LOL!

      2. Miss Fisher is AWESOME!!!!
        I seriously love that show and all the fashions.

        McLeod’s Daughters is another Australian show which is available on Netflix. It’s worth watching just for the gorgeous South Australian scenery.

  3. It’s strange that you think of us wearing footwear on our butts, because I think of you as wearing underwear on your feet (re: thongs). I’m working on thinking of others, but currently, brain = fried.

  4. Too funny 🙂 Our next door neighbours moved here from the UK a few years ago… I find that tuning-in to their accent is one thing, but beyond that my brain still whirls in wonder at what the heck they’re saying … lol … It’s all in english, but sounds greek to me! LoL ❤

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