My friend in New Zealand wrote to me recently, saying that she was looking forward to doing something in the ‘arvo.’ I had no idea what she meant, briefly wondering if an arvo was a make of car that I hadn’t heard of before.
She’s lived and worked in Australia a lot, so I’ve become used to hearing of ‘barbies’ for barbeques, and arvo turned out to mean afternoon. One of the funniest Australian abbreviations, to my mind anyway, is that their outlaw biker gang members are known as ‘bikies’ – which make them sound like cuddly toys.
I knew an Australian woman who married a Cornishman and settled here. She was wildly amused by the expression ‘have a root around in my drawers’, meaning to search for an item, as to root means something considerably ruder in Oz.
If any of you are thinking of creating an Australian character, you could get some good tips from this video.