We def went through our phase of abbrevs in the US. Some people hated it, some people did it on the reg and some people still do it. But none of that compares to here.
Australia is the land of abbreviations. Everybody abbreviates here. Girls, guys, grandmas & grandpas abbreviate. Even Hungry Jacks (aka Burger King?) abbreviates on their signs.
One explanation is that when Sydney first started out as a convict colony, abbreviations were used to confuse guards and disguise the language. Now it’s just become part of the culture.
More abbreviations & diminutives are used in Australian English than in any other language.
Here are just a few :
Arvo = afternoon
Aussie = Australian
Avo = avocado
Barbie = barbecue
Brissie = Brisbane
Chewie = gum
Cossie = swimming costume (swimsuit)
Cuppa = cup of tea
Eets (debatable) = sweet
Footy = football
Johnno = a nickname for someone named John (can add o to any name)
Maccas = McDonald’s
Mozzie = mosquito
Pressie = present
Roo = kangaroo
Sazza = a nickname for Sarah! Adding za is a common way to make a nickname
Sunnies = sunglasses
Tassie = Tasmania
Uni = university
Last year when I was in Turkey an Aussie girl in my room at the hostel asked if anyone has some toothpaste she could “bozza.” At first everyone looked at her blankly, and if it wasn’t for my friend Rosalyn who told me about the “za” abbrev (she’s the one who calls me Sazza) I wouldn’t have known she was asking to borrow toothpaste.
Like in England, Australians also pronounce z “zed” instead of “zee” and h is “hache” instead of, well, h. And then they just replace words that were perfectly fine to begin with.
For example, pepper is capsicum (????)
Raisins are sultanas (???????)
Stop making up words!
Here’s a bonus one: who can guess what a “muso” is?