Three everyday words that exist in Australian English only!

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Ask what’s most unique about Australian English πŸͺƒ, the answers usually are our accent and slangβœ”οΈ.

However, there are also a number of uniquely Australian English words in regular use, even in formal situations, that Australians are surprised to find are not used everywhere else in the English-speaking world (OK, sometimes also in New ZealandπŸ₯, but definitely not always).

🀯 Here are three words that I’ve recently discovered are uniquely Australian after having casually used them in conversation, only to be greeted by blank stares 😳 and head-scratching πŸ€”

πŸ”‘ Spruik (verb), Spruiker (noun)

This means “to tout” or “to bark”. A “spruiker” is that (often annoying) person who stands outside of a shop or restaurant, often with a microphone 🎀 or loudspeaker πŸ“’, and entices people to come inside.

The verb also generally means “to promote” or “to plug”, previously solely with a negative connotation, as in selling a product in an excessive, tacky or aggressive manner, but now “spruik” can also be used in a positive sense.

Example: “He was spruiking his new product on social media the other day”

πŸ”‘ Receival (noun)

In English, this is the rare and somewhat archaic alternative for “receipt”, i.e. the act of receiving… except in Australia.

“Receipt” in Australia foremost means the paper document received for a proof of purchase 🧾.

In Australia, when you receive goods πŸ“¦ that’s a “receival”, and the note that comes with it is a “receival notice” which has a “receival date” on it.

πŸ”‘ Rort (noun and verb)

A “rort” is all about manipulating a system to gain a wrongful advantage, particularly the embezzlement of public funds πŸ’°, so this means “an illegal practice”.

This once slang term became standard in Australian English in the 1990s during the “Sports Rorts Affair” involving then Australian Sports Minister Roz Kelly.

Since then, there has been a long line of Australian politicians who’ve been caught “rorting the system” or some company has been doing “tax rorts”πŸ’Έ

🚩 It’s these unexpected unique words that make it so important for anyone wanting to crack the lucrative Australian market to have their content, documentation and texts properly localised for Australia. And likewise, Australian companies must not rely on their local content for communicating with markets and customers overseas.

πŸ”” If you have any questions about Australian English or how to make your content Australian, I’m here to help you! 🦘