Doona

This is the word I usually use when asked for an example of a word that is different in Australia. What we would call a comforter or a duvet in Canada, the Aussies call a Doona, and I have no idea why. Maybe the word is a bastardization of duvet? Anyway, it’s different enough to make people realize that yes, Australian English is a lot different than Canadian. It was a weird one for me at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. I’m definitely ready to fight back when my partner tells me I’m hogging all the doona.

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No Perogies in Australia

It’s Wednesday night. You’re tired as hell and don’t really want to cook but need a satisfying dinner. You head to the store and pick up a pack of frozen cheemo perogies, an onion or two, and some Kolbassa sausage, fry it all up, and congratulate yourself on feeding a family of five for under fifteen dollars. Except you don’t do any of that, because you’re in Australia.

When I first realized that frozen perogies do not exist in Australia, I was in shock. Perogies are a staple in Canadian cuisine. For the Australians out there, perogies are polish dumplings made with various fillings such as potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, or meat. There are also dessert varieties such as strawberry and blueberry, but the most common are those filled with mashed potatoes, cheese, and onion. They are usually served with sour cream, are incredibly delicious, and are most importantly, cheap.

I have two theories as to why perogies don’t exist in Australia. One, perogies are a fairly heavy dish, not suitable for the harsh heat of long Australian summers.  Two, Polish and Ukrainian cultures have long been integrated into Canadian identity, as these people pioneered the unforgiving Canadian prairies over 100 years ago. Not so in Australia. Here, the core culture has a decidedly British flavour.

No matter. One day I will start a frozen perogy business here and make my first million. Australia doesn’t know what it’s missing.  

Cool As

This is more of a grammatical post than a slang or word choice one, but I didn’t want to simply put “as” as the title, so here we are. To put it simply, wherever Canadians would use “so”, Australians more often use “as”. For example:

Canadian: “That snowboard is so cool”

Australian: “That snowboard is cool as”

Or

Canadian: “It’s so cold out today”

Australian: “It’s cold as today”

A lot of Canadians express frustration upon hearing this grammatical miracle, begging aussies to explain “Cool as WHAT?” and finish their sentence. To be fair though, the Canadian version is also guilty of sentence fragmentation. The snowboard is so cool that what? It’s so cold out today that what? Technically the statements above stand on their own, but the verb “so” often begs the use of a dependent clause to have any useful meaning.

Never mind. Language does not bend to the rules of grammar, and I slide easily enough into either way of speaking whenever I switch continents.