The common Australian phrases that get lost in translation around the world have been listed by thousands in an amusing post – including ‘bring a plate’, ‘grog’ and ‘flat out’.
Hundreds were asked to share the the terms on social media – and one of the most commonly mentioned was ‘bring a plate’, a phrase used by Australians when asking friends to contribute a dish to a dinner party or barbecue.
Many living abroad admitted they would most likely bring a physical plate to a party if they heard this.
‘I was very glad when someone stopped me from rocking up at a gathering with an empty plate. I assumed they didn’t want to have to deal with all the dishes and thought it would be easier if everyone brought their own,’ one woman wrote.
A second said: ‘Bringing a plate to a party friends thinking these poor people don’t have enough plates,’ while a third added: ‘I literally brought just a plate when I was new here in Australia donkey years ago.’
The common Australian phrases that get lost in translation around the world have been listed by thousands in an amusing post – including ‘bring a plate’, ‘grog’ and ‘flat out’
The Australian phrases that often gets lost in translation
Bring a plate: Bring a plate of food to share with everyone at gathering
Flat out: Extremely busy
Grog in the boot: Alcohol in car boot
Chalk and cheese: Two people who are very different from each other and they have nothing in common
Carrying on like a pork chop: Behaving foolishly
Thongs: Flip flops
To see a man about a dog: When you don’t want anyone knowing what you’re up to
Kill a brown dog: When food is disgusting or unpalatable
How are you travelling: How are you going?
Duck to the servo: Head to a petrol station
See you later or see ya: Goodbye
Another term people mentioned was ‘flat out’ or ‘flat out like a lizard drinking’, which simply means ‘extremely busy’.
One woman said she received an amusing response when she asked a new colleague at work ‘how are you travelling’, which meant ‘how are you going with the work load?’.
‘They answered “by bus”,’ she said.
Many Australians reflected back to their childhood when their parents used to say to them ‘to see a man about a dog’ every time they asked where they were going.
The phrase is a term used when the person doesn’t want to reveal where they are going or what they are actually doing.
‘This was often my parents’ response if they were going somewhere they didn’t want to disclose,’ one wrote.
Another person added: ‘My dad would say this all the time. I’d get excited because I thought he was going out to buy a dog.’
Another term people mentioned was ‘flat out’ or ‘flat out like a lizard drinking’, which simply means when someone is extremely busy (stock image)
One Australian woman living in New York suffered an unfortunate gaffe when she ‘happily announced at a school pick up’: ‘I loved being able to wear my thongs again because they were cooler and more comfy’.
‘Only later realised the mortified and embarrassed looks from the other parents was because in the US “thongs” are g-strings,’ she said.
Another added: ‘Just using the word “thongs” for footwear is enough in other countries.’
Others shared the ‘funny’ looks they received when they talked about ‘grog’, which is slang for alcohol.
‘Buying alcohol with some Americans in Iceland last year, and I told them to put the grog in the boot. They looked at me as if I was mad,’ one woman recalled.
One UK woman who lived in Australia at the age of 23 revealed she was left confused when a worker at a corner shop said ‘see you later’, which meant ‘goodbye’.
‘I’m thinking how will she see me later? Does she know where we live? What will I do when she shows up? Because in Birmingham… seeing someone later meant exactly that, we would’ve said see you around, or similar,’ she said.
Others shared the ‘funny’ looks they received when they talked about ‘grog’, which is slang for alcohol (stock image)
One man said his previous American boss couldn’t ‘get his head around’ the term ‘chalk and cheese’, which is an expression to describe two people who are very different from each other and they have nothing in common.
‘Servo’, which is slang for a petrol station, was another term that left many foreigners scratching their heads.
‘I told an American friend that “I just have to duck up the servo”, they had absolutely no idea what I was saying,’ one man said.
One woman said the expression ‘carrying on like a pork chop’ was always a ‘mystery’ to her, to which some explained it meant when someone behaved foolishly.
‘Why wouldn’t the saying be “carrying on like a squealing pig” then? I agree, it makes no sense,’ one man said, while another added: ‘I always wondered why it was a pork chop specifically.’
Another expression that topped the list was ‘kill a brown dog’, which is used to describe food when it tasted disgusting or unpalatable.
‘I never really understood why brown dogs were singled out for this,’ one said.