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How Languages Develop - Australia and Rhyming Slang

Updated on November 18, 2012

The Rhyming Slang of Australia

Rhyming slang is a lot of fun in Australia, especially when Americans don't understand it. I remember a TV show in which Olivia Newton John told an American man that she wanted him to come home with her to see her China Plate. Well, the American was very surprised to find out that she had a husband at home when he got there! You see, China Plate = mate. Ha ha, what fun!

Here are some other for instances that I have learned over the years from many friends and students in the English and ESL classes I used to teach and from friends in the UK , a teacher in Australia, and the scie-fi book by Heinlein The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (I hope they're not all too outdated):

after darks - sharks

Al Capone - phone

apples and pears - stairs

aristotle - bottle

babbling brook - cook

bag of fruit - suit

blood and blister - sister

Captain Cook - look

country cousin - dozen

Dad 'n' Dave - shave

dickory dock - clock

dog's eye - pie

dry rots - trots (the runs)

ducks and geese - police

frog and toad - road

Germaine Greer - ear

Ginger Meggs - legs

Gregory Peck - neck

ham and eggs - legs

hammer and tack - back

hey diddle diddle - piddle

horse and cart - fart

jam tart - heart

Jimmy Dancer - cancer

Joe Blake - snake

John Hopper - copper

King Richard the Third - turd

Lionel Rose - nose

loop the loop - soup

mallee root - prostitute

mystery bags - snags (sausages)

Ned Kelly - belly

north and south - mouth

now is the hour - shower

on one's Pat Malone - alone

optic nerve - perve

Oxford scholar - dollar

piccadilly - chilly

plates of meat - feet

Sandy McNab - cab

septic tank - yank

steak and kidney - Sydney

tea leaf - thief

trams and trains - brains

trouble and strife - wife

Wally Grout - shout

And one of my favorites:

True Blue: an authentic Australian, patriotic and honest and a real friend.

True Blue

by John Williamson, sung at Steve Irwin's memorial service.

[from LyricsDownload.com -- 625,000 Unique Lyrics]

Hey True Blue, don't say you've gone

Say you've knocked off for a smoko

And you'll be back la-ater on

Hey True Blue, Hey True Blue

.

Give it to me straight, face to face

Are you really disappearing

Just another dy-ying race

Hey True Blue

.

True Blue, is it me and you

Is it Mum and Dad, is it a co-ockatoo

Is it standin' by your mate when he's in a fight

Or just Vegemi-ite

True-ue-ue Blue, I'm a-asking you

.

Hey True Blue, can you bear the load

Will you tie it up with wire

Just to keep the show on the road

Hey True Blue

.

Hey True Blue, now be Fair Dinkum

Is your heart still there

If they sell us out like sponge cake

Do you rea-eally care

Hey True Blue

.

True Blue, is it me and you

Is it Mum and Dad, is it a co-ockatoo

Is it standin' by your mate when she's in a fight

Or just Vegemi-ite

True-ue-ue Blue, I'm a-asking you...

.

True Blue, is it me and you

Is it Mum and Dad, is it a co-ockatoo

Is it standin' by your mate when he's in a fi-ight

Or just Vegemi-ite

True-ue-ue Blue, True-ue-ue Blue

Comments

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I can hear you saying those words! Thanks for commenting. Such fun!

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Struth, mate. This one's a ripper! lol. Not all our slang rhymes. :)

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 

      6 years ago from United States

      Slang and at the same time it's meaning are really great

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Sure, that's great!

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Iliked this one so much I linked to it in my latest hub--hope that was ok

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      What fun that you visited! Nice to see you here, mate. :)

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      ohhh this was fun--does my jam tart good:-)

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