Australia Day, celebrated on the 26th of January, officially commemorates the day in 1788 when the first fleet of 11 British ships arrived at Port Jackson and Captain Arthur Phillip raised the UnionJack at Sydney Cove.
However, the Aboriginal People, may have a different perspective with respect to this commemoration and with time this event has evolved into the glorification of diversity of Australian society and its achievements.
This holiday is celebrated throughout the country with official events such as concerts, fireworks, and parades; outdoor activities such as barbecues and regattas, and a lot more. The ceremony of welcoming new citizens also happens today.
We’ve compiled an A-Z of essential Aussie terms for newcomers which we think shows an incredibly rich and beautiful Oz.
- Aborigine - Indigenous people of Australia
- Alcheringa - Australian Aboriginal Mythology. The picture below shows stencil art at Carnarvon Gorge, supposedly showing "unique clan markers and dreamtime stories symbolising attempts to catch the deceased's spirit".
- Billabong - An Oxbow lake or an isolated pond left behind after a river changes course. A billabong along Scrubby Creek at Berrinba Wetlands in Berrinba, Logan City, 2014
- Boomerang - A hunting tool which when thrown is designed to spin and return to the thrower
- Coathanger - Sydney Harbour bridge
- Coolibah - A type of Eucalyptus tree found throughout Australia
- Doddlidoo - (Sorry, we mean Didgeridoo) A long wind instrument
- Dingo - A cultural icon and the largest predator in Australia. This wild dog dines on rabbits, kangaroos and rats.
- Emu - A relative of the ostrich , this flightless bird is the second tallest species in the world.
- Esky - Large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.
- Footy - Australian Rules football
- G’day mate - Hello friend!
- Galah - A rose breasted cockatoo
- 'hindooroo' - Marinated kangaroo steaks
- Humpy - A small temporary shelter made from bark and tree branches
- Iceblock - popsicle
- Illawong - A suburb in southern Sydney which sits between the southern shore of the Georges River and the northern shore of the Woronora River.
- Jumbuck - Australian term for sheep !
- Jabiru - Town in the northern territory of Australia, a black necked stork
- Kelpie - Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie
- Kangaroo - A famous antipodean marsupial. Here’s one with a Joey tucked in its pouch. Not sure you could fit one in a DoddleBag!
- Long paddock - the side of the road where livestock is grazed during droughts
- Larrakeyah - A place in Darwin named after the indigenous Larrakia people who inhabited most of the Darwin coastal area.
- Matilda - Swagman's bedding, sleeping roll
- Min Min Light - A light phenomenon often reported in the Australian Outback starting from 1838. According to folklore, the lights follow or approach people rapidly, then disappear.
- No worries, mate! – Not a problem, friend!
- Nulla Nulla - Is a war club originally used by the Dharuk Aborigines of Port Jackson, Sydney. I expect that Captain Arthur Phillip may have encountered a few.
- Outback - Interior of Australia
- Ourimbah - NSW, A suburb of the Central Coast, originating from the Aboriginal “Oorin” meaning “belt of manhood” in which a stone axe was carried on hunting expeditions
- Pom, pommy, pommie - An Englishman
- Potoroo - A rabbit sized marsupial.
- Quid - Pound
- Quokka - A cat sized marsupial
- Ridgy-didge - Original, genuine
- Ramingining - Northern Territory- A preserved indigenous community of about 800 people speaking 16 different dialects. A written permit is required to visit.
- Stubby cooler – Used to keep your drink cool in hot Aussie climate!
- Sydney Opera House - The ultimate City Icon, designed by Danish Architect Jorn Utzon in 1957. It was opened in 1973. The lego version could do with some improvement.
- Tinny - Can of beer
- Taipan Snake - Large, highly venomous snakes endemic to Australasia.
- Ugg boots - Australian sheepskin boots worn by surfers since at least the 1960s to keep warm while out of the water. Also worn by airmen during WW1 and WW2 because of the need to maintain warmth in non-pressurized planes at high altitudes.
- Uriarra Crossing - A historical forestry village in the Australian Capital Territory susceptible to bushfires.
- Vegemite - Equivalent of Marmite, but not quite.
- Walkabout - A walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time
- Waratah - A type of shrub similar to a proteus and is the emblem of New South Wales
- XXXX - Pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Castlemaine, Queensland- “Australian would give a Castlemaine 4X for anything else!”
- Yabby - Inland freshwater crayfish found in Australia (Cherax destructor)
- Yara-Ma-Yha-Who - A legendary creature found in Aboriginal Mythology, who allegedly is a little red man with a big head, large toothless mouth and has suckers at the end of its apendages.
- Zack - Sixpence (5 cents) - "it isn't worth a zack", "he hasn't got a zack"