American expat baffled after noticing VERY different terms used for the same objects

An American expat living in Australia has started a ‘war’ between the country’s states after noticing that people in different areas have varying slang terms for the same items.

Lara Fourie, 18, moved to Melbourne three years ago from Houston, Texas, settling in Victoria with her family to attend school, and she soon learned that life is very different Down Under. 

The young brunette noted that different states and territories in Australia call food products, school canteens and even water fountains different things, so she decided to ask her Aussie followers which phrase they used on TikTok

The result were thousands of comments with people disagreeing on which terms were correct. 

Scroll down for video 

Lara Fourie (pictured) moved Down Under three years ago, settling in Melbourne with her family to attend school and learning pretty quickly that life is very different in Oz

Lara Fourie (pictured) moved Down Under three years ago, settling in Melbourne with her family to attend school and learning pretty quickly that life is very different in Oz

'Do you call a chicken parmigiana a parma or parmy? Is it a drink tap or bubbler? An icey pole or ice block? Canteen or tuck shop? Wagging or jigging school? Four square or downball?' She asked in the video

One man from Victoria said he used parma, drink tap, icey pole, canteen, wagging and four square for each of the objects and places

‘Do you call a chicken parmigiana a parma or parmy? Is it a drink tap or bubbler? An icey pole or ice block? Canteen or tuck shop? Wagging or jigging school? Four square or downball?’ She asked in the video

‘Do you call a chicken parmigiana a parma or parmy? Is it a drink tap or bubbler? An icey pole or ice block? Canteen or tuck shop? Wagging or jigging school? Four square or downball?’ She asked in the video.

One man from Victoria said he used parma, drink tap, icey pole, canteen, wagging and four square for each of the objects and places.

While someone from New South Wales said parmi, bubbler, ice block, canteen, jigging and handball. A Queenslander said the same except they exchanged canteen for tuck shop.

Someone from Western Australia piped up by calling them a parmi, water fountain, icey pole, canteen, wagging and four square.

A canteen or tuck shop is the place students visit at school for a sandwich or treat

Parma and parmi are short for chicken parmigana, a meal with crumbed chicken, cheese and tomato paste on top

Someone from New South Wales commented and said parmi (right), bubbler, ice block, canteen (left), jigging and handball.

What terms mean the same thing in Australia?

* Icey pole and ice block

* Canteen and tuck shop

* Chicken parma and parmi

* Drink tap, water fountain and bubbler 

* Devon, pork fritz, German sausage

* Bathers, cossies, togs

* Wagging and jigging 

* Downball, four square and handball 

 

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A drink tap and bubbler is the same as a water fountaion

Wagging and jigging are used to say someone is skipping school or class

Lara compared the use of the word ‘drink tap’ and ‘bubbler’ (left) as well as ‘wagging’ and ‘jigging’ (right), which is used when someone skips school or class

And a South Australian said parmi, drink tap, ice block, canteen, wagging and four square.

No one from the Northern Territory, ACT or Tasmania have commented on the thread. 

What else has Lara noticed differs from America? 

No one from the Northern Territory, ACT or Tasmania have commented on the thread

 No one from the Northern Territory, ACT or Tasmania have commented on the thread

Takeaway food is different in Australia

‘KFC is in both America and Australia but surprisingly it’s way more popular in Australia. But in America they sell mac and cheese there which is really good,’ she said.

In Australia Burger King is called Hungry Jacks and they don’t have Chick-fil-A, one of Lara’s personal favourites when it comes to takeout food.

In America you can visit a ‘freestyle soda machine’ in the restaurants to mix and match the soft drinks you want, with free refills after you purchase your cup.

At McDonald’s restaurants the sizes and proportions of both food and drinks is ‘way bigger’ than in Australia and Americans have both a ‘dollar menu’ and sweet tea, which is like iced tea.

Whereas in Australia there are more dessert options in the McCafe, Frozen Coke and they sell a burger called the 'chicken and cheese' (pictured)

Australians also have chicken salt on their hot chips

Whereas in Australia there are more dessert options in the McCafe, Frozen Coke and they sell a burger called the ‘chicken and cheese’ (left), which Lara enjoys

Whereas in Australia there are more dessert options in the McCafe, Frozen Coke and they sell a burger called the ‘chicken and cheese’, which Lara enjoys.

In general Lara is thoroughly enjoying ‘chicken salt’ – a seasoning of spices Aussies put on their hot chips – and Kangaroo meat, something she ‘never knew existed’ before travelling to the southern hemisphere. 

In separate videos Lara outlined some of the things she wished she’d known before landing in the sunburnt country, like that avocados are very expensive and plenty of men enjoy having long locks.  

Magpies are the most dangerous animal

Poll

What’s something you wish you knew about Australia before coming to the country?

  • Magpies are dangerous creatures 69 votes
  • Groceries are expensive 162 votes
  • There are different phrases for common terms 62 votes
  • Netball is a sport 18 votes
  • Men have long hair 29 votes

Now share your opinion

In spring the dreaded male magpie is known for ‘swooping’ on innocent Australians.

Late August to late October is mating season for the breed and they experience a huge increase in the hormone testosterone that encourages them to protect their young.  

‘In Australia we have these hellbound creatures called magpies, and there has always been an ongoing joke that the animals here will attack you but these will literally swoop down from trees and peck at your head,’ Lara said in a video.

With the country now entering the spring season, Lara is terrified of coming across them while she lives in the country.

In spring the dreaded male magpie bird is known for 'swooping' on innocent Australians (stock image)

In spring the dreaded male magpie bird is known for ‘swooping’ on innocent Australians (stock image)

Men have long hair

Australian men prefer to grow their hair to shoulder length, Lara has noticed since moving to Melbourne.

‘One thing I first noticed is that a lot of the guys have long hair. In America you don’t see that,’ the 18-year-old said.

‘You very rarely see a guy with hair past his chin but it’s very common here.’ 

While there are no statistics for how many men choose to grow their hair in Australia, surfers can be known to sport ‘man buns’.

Australian men prefer to grow their hair to shoulder length, Lara has noticed since moving to Melbourne (stock image)

Australian men prefer to grow their hair to shoulder length, Lara has noticed since moving to Melbourne (stock image)

There are different phrases used for common things

Lara said that in America an ice block is called a ‘popsicle’, whereas some Australians refer to them as ‘icy poles’.  

‘In America we say swimsuits whereas they say cossies, togs or bathers. And we have four square whereas in Australia it’s called hand ball,’ she said.

Before she moved Lara had never heard or used the word ‘bogan’ before; something that was embarrassing to note when it came up in conversation.

‘The equivalent in America would probably be a redneck,’ she said.

Also, in the United States students get into college with a GPA whereas in Australia it’s called an ATAR. 

‘Everyone in your state is ranked against each other and that’s how you get into university,’ she said.

Lara said that in America an ice block is called a 'popsicle', whereas some Australians refer to them as 'icey poles'

Lara said that in America an ice block is called a ‘popsicle’, whereas some Australians refer to them as ‘icey poles’

Avocados are really expensive

While the food options – like takeaway sushi – were remarkably ‘better’ Down Under, Lara acknowledged that groceries were extremely expensive.

‘Avocados are cheaper in the States, like in Texas they are 60c, whereas in Australia they can be $2 or $3 each,’ she said. 

Eating out for most is a ‘special treat’ because of how much money can be spent on a single outing. 

While the food options - like takeaway sushi - were remarkably 'better' Down Under, Lara acknowledged, that groceries were extremely expensive (stock image)

While the food options – like takeaway sushi – were remarkably ‘better’ Down Under, Lara acknowledged, that groceries were extremely expensive (stock image)

Netball is a sport       

Lara didn’t know netball even ‘existed’ before she moved to Australia. 

‘It’s a sport they play here in Australia and it’s kind of like basketball… although I don’t really know the rules,’ she said.

While she did say it was made for women, mixed netball teams are extremely popular in the country, particularly as an extra-curricular activity at university.  

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