Monday, August 24, 2009


These are words I love that I heard a lot in Bali (mostly). They're mostly English and Australian words since not too many Americans travel all the way over there.

"kinder": so practical, almost nobody over here refers to kindergarten as kinder - we always have to say the entire word. Why? because no-one would know what we were saying? because so many other commonly used words begin with "kinder"?

"nappy": just sounds more fancy than diaper. In Bali I'd find myself asking in my broken Indonesian where the diapers were and they'd just look at me like I was crazy...until I remembered and said, "I mean, the nappies."

"cheeky": a way cuter way of saying sassy. I guess I'd rather my child be cheeky than sassy.

"lolly": our friends from New Zealand referred to all candy as lollies. I never thought to ask what they call a lollypop.

"mozzies": I specifically remember a girl from England on our honeymoon cursing the "mozzies" while swatting them off her skin. (mosquitoes). Most of these words I don't use, but this one has stuck.

"bangers & mash": I just think this sounds funny. It's a popular English breakfast of sausages and mashed potatoes. But the name for it is so dramatic, and maybe sounds a little indecent at first.

"tidak apa apa": this is Indonesian and is said all the time. It means "nevermind", but people use it like we would say "no problem" or "no sweat".

"sudah": also Indonesian, means already. I just thought it was interesting how much this answer was used. From what I could tell, it was used more than "yes," and I'm sure there's some deep cultural meaning for this, but I don't know it. You might say "sudah", when a new friend asks you if you're married (which is pretty much the first question out of someone's mouth), or maybe to "did you go to the store today?" "sudah". etc.

"electric": this is actually from Kyrghystan, where the electric goes off frequently. It, too, sounds fancy.

I just like these words. But I don't use (most of) them. If I was in Bali I would, but I'm not, so it would just be funny.

(Jen, I'll bet living in Australia, you hear these words all the time...probably say them too.)


Larissa said...

Ooo I love words too! I like "mozzies"!

I am sure there were interesting Ghanaian-English phrases, especially with their British roots, but I don't have a great memory.

I did love that any adult older than you was an "Auntie" or an Uncle. So much more respectful.

Another quirk of Twi I loved was they have a lot of words like "fefe" meaning beautiful and "fefeeefe" meaning very beautiful. I love that the word is just extended in order to add emphasis, heehee.

Foreign languages and phrases are so much fun! some of the most interesting parts of travelling.

cabcree said...

what a fun list! I have a friend from England that uses moggy a lot for reference to her cat.

Anonymous said...

I definitely hear those Aussie/British words and phrases on a daily basis. Although, usually kindergarten is referred to as "kindy". However, kindy is more like preschool and prep is actually what Americans would call kindergarten. One of my faves is "dummy spit" which means temper tantrum (dummy means pacifier). I'll have to listen out for the Indonesian phrases when we go to Bali. We leave in 10 days!


Anonymous said...

We have Australian neighbors and two words that caught me off-guard were "Chrissy" for Christmas, and "nurse" for holding, as in "Can I come over and give your baby a nurse?" That one took some getting used to! -Kelli

Anonymous said...


I haven't hear the "nurse" one. I tend to hear "cuddle" instead of hug a lot though. As for "Chrissy", Aussies tend to shorten and add -y to just about any word (mozzy for mosquito, brekky for breakfast, etc.) It's almost like a code!


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