16. Vocabulary Breakdown

Topic Progress:

It’s the first warm day after a cold winter and mates Pete and Dave have decided to slip, slop, slap and hit the local beach.

  • Mates – friends
  • Slip, slop, slap – An old SunSmart Campaign telling people to slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat before going out in the sun.
  • Hit + a location – go to a location

They throw their bathers, towels, and surf boards in the car and head on down.

  • Bathers – (Aussie slang) swimming costume
  • Head on down (to somewhere) – go in a downwards direction (to somewhere)

Pete: Man, the surf looks like it’s going off today.

  • Man!(Exclamation) used to show shock, surprise, that you’re impressed, etc.
  • Be going off – For there to be a lot of action, e.g. at a party or event.
    • Used here to show the waves will be very good at the beach (i.e. there’s a lot of movement)

Dave: Yeah, I knew it was going to be a ripper of a day. Glad we decided to come.

* A ripper (of a + something) – (Aussie slang) a very good thing.

Pete: Well, by the looks of how chockas the beach is, I don’t think you were the only one.

  • Chockas – (Aussie slang) very full.
    • From “chock-a-bloc”

Dave: Yep. So, where are we going to set up shop? Should we go for a swim first and then a surf later on?

  • Set up shop – establish oneself in a location.
  • Later on – at a time in the near future.

Pete: Yeah, sounds like a good plan. The lifesavers always pick the safest spot to swim and mark it with those yellow and red flags, so let’s set up shop there.

  • A good plan – a favourable idea.
  • The safest spot – the most secure location.

Dave: You beaut.

* You beaut! – (Exclamation) Used to show excitement or approval.

Pete and Dave wander down the beach and find the perfect patch of sand to lay down their towels and get ready for a dip.

  • Wander down (to somewhere) – go down to somewhere by walking slowly.
  • A dip – (Aussie slang) a swim.

They strip off, chuck on their bathers, and then head to the water.

  • Strip off – take off all your clothes.
  • Chuck something on – put something on quickly.

Pete: I didn’t realise we were wetsuiting up today, Dave? You worried it’s going be a bit chilly?

  • Wetsuit up – putting on wetsuits to go swimming, diving, surfing, etc.
    • Nouns are often turned into verbs in English informally, and by adding “up” here to make it a phrasal verb, it means to “completely + verb”.

* Chilly – a little cold.

Dave: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mate, it’s Spring! The water’s still freezing after winter even if it is a sweltering day. By the way, nice budgie smugglers! You’re brave.

  • Freezing – very cold.
    • Often used not literally to just say it’s very cold.
  • Sweltering – very hot.
  • By the way – incidentally (used to introduce a new, less important topic).
  • Budgie smugglers – (Aussie slang) speedoes; male underwear bathers.
    • A jocular reference to a man’s tight-fitting swimming costume or swimsuit appearing as if he has a budgerigar concealed inside it, ie. his bulging genitals.

Pete: Yeah, no shame. I couldn’t find my boardies and wettie, to be honest, so it was this or my birthday suit, and I have a feeling the lifesavers will call the cops if I’m starkers.

  • No shameshort for “I have no shame”, meaning I’m not embarrassed by anything.
  • Boardies – (Aussie slang) board shorts.
  • A wettie – (Aussie slang) a wetsuit.
  • One’s birthday suit – (Aussie slang) naked.
  • The cops – (Aussie slang) the police.
  • Starkers – (Aussie slang) naked.

Dave: You never know. They might call the cops on you as it is.

* As it is – the way things are.

Pete and Dave run down the beach and through the cold waves.

They dive in and start swimming out the back when all of a sudden…

* Out the back – (in the ocean) behind where the waves are breaking.

Pete: Bugger me! Dave, I’ve… I’ve lost my bathers.

* Bugger me! – (Aussie slang; an exclamation) Used to show shock, surprise, or being impressed.

Dave: What do you mean you lost your bathers?

Pete: I think they came off when I duck-dived that last wave. Shit! What am I going to do?

  • Duck-dive (something) – dive head first under the water while swimming.
  • Shit!(Swear word) used here to show anger, irritation, frustration.

Dave: Sucks to be you, mate! Well, I’m going to catch this one in. You’re on your own!

  • Sucks to be you!used to point out someone’s bad circumstances and how unfortunate they are.
  • Catch this one in – Catch the coming wave in to the shore.
  • You’re on your ownyou are by yourself and neither I nor anyone else is here to help you.

Pete: You bastard! Now they really will call the cops on me.

* You bastard! – (Informal/swear word) used to show contempt, frustration, or anger with someone, often used in a light-hearted way with male friends.

Dave: Don’t stress. Don’t stress. I’ll head in, I’ll grab something, and I’ll be back in a jiffy.

  • Don’t stress – don’t worry about things.
  • Grab something – (Informal) get or retrieve something.
  • Back in a jiffy – (Aussie slang) return shortly.

Dave bodysurfs a wave into shore and disappears up the beach for a few minutes.

* Bodysurf – catch a wave by swimming and using one’s body.

Eventually, he heads back into the water holding something.

Pete: How’d you go? Did you grab my towel or shorts or something?

* How’d you go? – How did you go – Were you successful?

Dave: Yeah… I got you something.

Pete: Is that a bunch of seaweed, Dave?

* A bunch of seaweed – A large amount of large algae growing in the sea or on rocks below the high-water mark.

Dave: Beggars can’t be choosers, Pete.

  • Beggars can’t be choosers – (Expression) people with no other options must be content with what is offered.