A is for Australia, a b***** foul mouthed nation

When Australian tourism launched its TV advertisement overseas saying, “Where the bloody hell are you?” it was met with outrage in the UK and the USA. Even the Canadians had a go at it, but not for the foul language but the portrayal of people drinking beer in the ad. So the ad fell short of what it hoped to do, and that was to speak as Australians do to the rest of the world and entice people to come and to visit. Well, it has not stopped people coming to Australia but what it has done is to make people wonder what the b***** fuss is all about.


A lot of people don’t get us. We are, after all, ‘down under’. We have recently returned from both Europe and Japan, and the knowledge of Australia comes down to ‘you are a long way away’ and ‘kangaroos’ in the main. We often had to explain that we were not ‘Austrians’ and ‘say’ kangaroo to indicate where we were from. This happens on many of our trips. When we were in Sri Lanka we learned very quickly to say “Warney” to indicate that we were Australian and doors would fly open at the mention of their hero. Shane Warne, is a brilliant Australian cricketer, serial womaniser and a bit of a worry. However the Sri Lankans adore him, so we made the most of that.

So it makes you wonder what the b**** fuss was about the ad when so many people know so little about us.


Attempting an ad that was using normal speak for us, was not going to work.

We don’t see the word ‘bloody’ as swearing. Bugger and crap are also just normal day-to-day words for us. So are other words that you can probably guess. These are not unusual words for many Australians.

We had a friend over from the States who said “s**t” and then “pardon my French”. We all thought it quaint, strange actually and totally odd. I mean he only said s**t”. So we took the piss out of him mercilessly.

Our past Prime Ministers have often dropped the ‘f’ bomb in public and international situations. Now there are times and places for foul language and many people know how to rein this in, just a few of our ex PM’s forgot such is the common usage of these words.


Is it because Australia is such a laid back country and that we have been swearing so much and for so long that the swear words have lost their meaning and don’t bother us anymore?

We know that when the song ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ by the Angels is played, that everyone will call out the chorus. Look that one up. We pay similar respect to international artists like Mumford and Sons, song ‘Little Lion Man’; we will help them out with that chorus too.

Are we trying to be offensive, to see how much our visitors can cope with? Really don’t think so. Is it our convict past? Doubtful, as we are such a very multicultural country. What I can tell you is that it does not take long for people who come here for any period of time to b***** well adapt.

Anyhow “I’m bu******” so I am off to bed.



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51 Responses to A is for Australia, a b***** foul mouthed nation

  1. Yes, I did become more “sweary” after studying in Melbourne – but oh the fun and the food and the fine wine (and the footy)! I love Australia 😀

  2. Good luck with the challenge! I’m doing it as well!

  3. I too am one of those b***y Australians who use “relaxed” language…I blame it on The Angels being played at my hight school social! Ha…!

  4. B***** good first Challenge post. A Day is a great time to be an Aussie. Fellow Aussie and challenge ambassador dropping in to say hi. I love our laid back and bantering ways. Our colourful language has cemented many a friendship.

  5. Congrats guys on the first post!! Awesome start to the A to Z Challenge and this really cracked me up because I can relate to this quite a lot. It’s the same old stuff here in the States when you are a British lad and bring the proverbial Queen’s English here. Always have a good crack with the Aussies though and I love the fact that you are a laid back bunch – even though you generally beat us Brits at most sports! No mentions of the recent Ashes debacle please.

  6. I did find it odd when I first landed here in Sydney… But now I am just used to it :) I somehow love the laid back attitude here :)

  7. Great post! Its strange how people react to language nowadays. Language that my grandmother would frown upon is now used frequently in all manner of conversations without anyone blinking an eye and yet for some reason there are still certain words that people react badly to. I don’t think that the British are so ‘stiff upper lip’ today and I know that the words that I use, along with the people around me, definitely fall into the same category as the ones you have mentioned above. :)

  8. Love this post. Had me in stitches. As an Aussie living in England I often get funny looks at my sometimes inappropriate language. We are moving back to Oz at the end of the month – can’t b***** wait!

    • Thank you, I didn’t realise that the rest of the world don’t have our way with words. Some of the things that I would have loved to have written but reined it right back. Take care :)

  9. A New Zealander here. I’m chuckling a little as I read your post. Whenever we travel it’s Lord of the Rings, the All Blacks and during a visit to India, it was cricket and Richard Hadlee.

    I always love popping over to Australia for a visit. The language doesn’t bother me – I suspect I’m used to it :)

    • I think that you guys are like us, we virtually don’t exist as far as the rest of the world goes. Lord of the Rings put you on the map definitely. Thanks for the comment, we appreciate it. By the way, New Zealand is also a great country :)

  10. Sometimes I think people only know Australia through our so called sporting heroes. We had a similar experience in Turkey where after thinking we were from Austria, it was only the name Harry Kewell that made the locals understand we were from OZ! B***** hell!
    Great first post…Looking forward to the next 25!

  11. b***** good start to the challege!!! Loved the bit about warney-he sure gets door and hell lotta things opened:-) He is much loved in Nepal as well.Cheers and god bless guys.

  12. Love this post! It’s the same title as my first A-Z post, but yours is more…flowery!

  13. Great start to the challenge – we are doing it to and found our way here from the signup page. I’m glad I did as your post was pretty entertaining. Unfortunately we haven’t made our way to Australia yet but we’ve got some Aussie friends that have moved to Canada – all I can say is they are always a good time!

  14. That was a bloody good blog; I like ya buggers down under! A great, engaging start!

  15. What a bloody ripper of a post! AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE, OI OI OI!

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  17. Huh. In the US we don’t even use the term “bloody” unless something is, well, bleeding. I can’t imagine that ever causing an uproar here. I think people would just laugh and dig it!

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  21. lol, I love this. And I love swearing really loud to that Angels song.

    And it is completely bizarre, isn’t it, how some words are perceived. A friend of mine moved from the States to be with her Australian boyfriend, who has 3 kids from a previous marriage. Shortly after she came here, one of her partner’s kids, aged 12, said the word “dammit” in conversation, and she almost grounded him. Her partner had to take her aside and gently explain to her that dammit is a pretty tame word here. lol
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  27. Haha great post. I don’t know what the controversy is all about… My husband, a Brit says I have a ‘potty mouth’, but to me I am just talking the talk of the nation. I’m born and bred Aussie who calls it as she sees it, and if that means chucking in a b****y or d**n along the way to add some colour to my story then so be it :)

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  30. True that Paula. People may know nothing about where Australia is but they do certainly relate to some of our fauna and sporting heroes.

    On the swearing front, yes many expletives are spoken harmlessly by Aussies. In fact, I believe laborers and tradesmen would accomplish little if they refrained from swearing. In many a workforce in Australia you simply cannot get understood without throwing the f-word into almost every sentence. And doubling a swear word adds imports as in f^*king f^*k.

    What some visitors to Australia fail to understand is that Aussies use inflection as much as words to convey their true meaning/emotion. This is also true with non-taboo words. e.g. The word “sure” can be any number of ways: for confirmation, as a challenge, in indignation, as a spiteful retort, and even in hurtful ways. “Sure, I’m sure you’re sure.” can mean so much more than the mere spoken words.

    In my novel “The Auschwitz Garden” I have a section dedicated to using the f word and other nuances of ‘strine’ (As in Australian or English as spoken by Australians). The lead-in is “A lesson in the proper use of the word ‘fuck’ in Australia”. Sorry I couldn’t use f**k in a verbatim quote.

    Pausing between words is another thing we Aussies aren’t good at. I remember once greeting new arrivals from the Dallas area of the USA with “Howyagoinjahavagoodflight”. They stood flummoxed until one of them said very slowly “I know you are speaking English but what did you just say?” Apparently they needed pauses between their words. What a complete waste of time!

    • LOL Dan – you have nailed it. I love “Howyagoinjahavagoodflight” because that is how people hear the way we speak. Perhaps it should have read “Howyagoinjahavagoodf***inflight”.

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