Topic

3. Vocabulary Breakdown

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Alf and Richard have just arrived by boat to Fraser Island where they have planned a weekend of camping and four-wheel-driving on this Queensland Island.

  • Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand island, stretching over 120km, located in southeastern Queensland, Australia.
  • Camping – the activity of spending a holiday living in a tent.
  • Four-wheel-driving – the activity of using a car or truck that has four wheels each of which receives torque from the engine. I.e. all-wheel-drive, 4×4 or 4WD.

Alf: There she is, mate. Fraser Island!

  • She – (Aussie slang) it – used to refer to something not usually regarded as female
  • Mate – used as a friendly form of address between men or boys.

Richard: You little beauty! I’ve been looking forward to this camping trip for months!

  • You little beauty – used to express enthusiasm or excitement!
    • As if you were calling the thing you see or that is being talked about “You are a little amazing thing!”.
  • A beauty – an amazing thing; ST very appealing.

Alf: Alright, the boat’s just letting people drive off now. Jump in the four-wheel-drive and let’s get into it, Rich!

  • Jump in (to ST) – Get in (to ST); enter (ST).
  • Let’s get into it! – Let’s begin!

Richard: Righto, Alf. Let’s go!

  • Righto – used to expression agreement or assent. – Okay!

Alf and Richard get into the four-wheel-drive and start driving down the beach south to where they’ll be camping for the night.

Alf: Far out, what a beautiful spot. I’ve wanted to come here since I was a kid.

  • Far out! – used to expression shock, surprise, or being impressed.
  • A spot – a place, location, etc.

Richard: No kidding? I hadn’t even heard of the place until you’d mentioned it to me. I guess I’ve been living under a rock this whole time.

  • No kidding? – Are you serious? As in, “You’re not kidding around with me?”.
  • Be living under a rock – be oblivious or ignorant to what happens in the outside world.
  • This whole time – this entire period of time.

Alf: Yeah, it’s a beautiful island. 123 kms from north to south, pristine beaches, picturesque freshwater sand dune lakes, shipwrecks, rainforests, and, man, the wildlife! Did I tell you about the wildlife? What else could you ask for?

  • Pristine – in its original condition; unspoilt.
  • Picturesque – (of a place or building) visually attractive, especially in a quaint or charming way.
  • A sand dune lake
    • A sand dune – a hill of loose sand built up by the process of wind or water.
    • A lake – a large area of water surrounded by land.
  • A shipwreck – the remains of the destruction of a ship at sea by sinking or breaking up, for example in a storm or after striking a rock.
  • A rainforest – a luxuriant, dense forest rich in biodiversity, found typically in tropical areas with consistently heavy rainfall.
  • Wildlife – wild animals collectively; the native fauna (and sometimes flora) of a region.
  • What else could you ask for? – What more could you want?

Richard: Wow, all that on one little island? You sure the weekend’s going to be enough to do it all?

  • You sure – (Are you sure) – Are you certain.
    • This is an example of dropping words in English. The first word ARE has been dropped to speed up the spoken English, as it is obvious who the speaker is talking to, and what the verb that has been dropped would be.

Alf: Yeah, well, I don’t know about “all” of it, but we’ll definitely see the best bits. Four-wheel-driving through the dunes and swimming in the freshwater lakes and streams, that’s going to knock your socks off.

  • The best bits (of ST) – the most desirable parts (of ST).
  • A stream – a small, narrow river.
  • Knock SO’s socks off – amaze or impress someone.

Richard: Awesome. I’m pumped and looking forward to it.

  • awesome – used to express enthusiasm.
  • pumped – excited.

Alf: And here we are. This is the spot where we’ll be camping tonight. Let’s set the tent up and cook some tea.

  • A tent – a portable shelter made of cloth, supported by one or more poles and stretched tight by cords or loops attached to pegs driven into the ground.
  • Cook some tea – prepare some dinner.

Richard: Yeah, sounds good. I’m starving.

  • Starving – literally, to be dying from lack of food; figuratively, to be very hungry.

Alf hops out of the car and pulls the tent out of the back of the four-wheel-drive. Richard clears the camp site of sticks and rocks before they set the tent up.

  • Hope out (of ST) – get out (of ST); exit (ST).
  • Clear ST – remove an obstruction or unwanted item or items from.
  • A camp site – a location when you are going to set up a tent and stay the night.

Alf: Alright, so shall we set her up here, you reckon?

  • You reckon? – Do you think?; Is it your opinion?

Richard: Looks like the spot. Hand me the pegs and poles, while you’re unfolding the tent.

  • Looks like the spot – (This looks like the spot) – This seems to be the desirable place
    • This is a good example of word dropping in English. Instead of saying “This looks like the spot”, THIS has been completely dropped from the start of the phrase.
    • It can be done when it is incredibly obvious what you’re referring to.
  • A peg – a short pin or bolt, typically tapered at one end, that is used for securing something in place, hanging things on, or marking a position.
  • A pole – a cylindrical piece of metal used for supporting a tent, i.e. a tent pole.
  • Unfold ST – open or spread out from a folded position.

Richard: Ah… Alf… There’s a bloody dingo behind you. He just walked out of the bushes.

  • Bloody – used for emphasis in Australia and the UK. Polite version of “Fuck”.

Alf: Don’t worry, mate. We didn’t bring any babies. She’ll be right.

  • She’ll be right – everything will be okay; it’ll be fine.

Richard: Ah, yeah. “That dingo stole my baby!”. Very funny…

  • “That dingo stole my baby!” – this is a popular culture reference to the mysterious story of baby Azaria Chamberlain being believed to have been taken away and killed by a dingo near Uluru in 1980.

Alf: Bugger me. The sneaky thing didn’t come for any baby. He’s flogged the pegs and nicked off!

  • Bugger me – (Aussie slang) used to express shock, surprise, or being impressed. Polite and colloquial version of “Fuck me!”.
  • Sneaky – sly; cunning; deceptive.
  • Flog ST – steal ST; nick ST.
  • Nick off (with ST) – run away with ST, usually ST that’s been stolen.

Alf: Come back here, ya flamin’ mongrel!

  • Ya flamin’ mongrel – You son of a bitch! – this is a popular culture reference to the character Alf Stewart from the TV show Home and Away. The TV show was G-rated (for people of all ages, adults and children) and couldn’t have him swear on TV, so instead of saying “Fucking” he used the polite version “Flaming”.
  • Ya – the slang spelling and pronunciation of “You”.
  • Mongrel – Literally, a dog of no definable type or breed; figuratively, used as an insult, usually for a man.