Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Translation Tuesday- At the beach

Even though it's autumn (fall) here in Queensland it's still warm enough to swim in the ocean, as it is most of the year.

At the beach I like to wear thongs, I can hear that collective intake of breath as you imagine my ample backside in a thong, or even trying to fit into multiple thongs, no it's not because I'm that big that I need to wear more than one thong,  not a thong but a pair of thongs................
on my feet.
These are known as flip flops in the rest of the world.  This particular word can cause a lot of problems and misunderstandings for Aussies overseas, or for overseas visitors here.
Thongs. Image from here
You should wear your sunnies at the beach to protect your eyes from the sun, you can also hide behind them while checking out the "scenery".

You are sure to find at least one or two Aussie males at the beach wearing budgie smugglers or Speedos (regardless of whether they are Speedo brand), both names are used for the item of clothing in the next two photos.
A famous Aussie politician wearing budgie smugglers. Image from here
 image from here

or togs, this term pretty much covers any kind of clothing that you would use to swim in,

or boardies (boardshorts). 
Image from here

There are a few other names that Aussies have thought up for swimwear, we do have a long summer here - swimmers, bathers, cossie/cozzie (short for costume) and others which I won't go in to here, because they are not for delicate ears/eyes.

Back to the budgie smugglers as I think they need an explanation.  I'm not sure who on earth would have thought about this and came up with the name. Budgie is short for Budgerigar, a native Australian bird that is very common as a household pet. North Americans will probably know it as a parakeet.
Imager from wikipedia
Someone decided that swim wear like in the photos above, supposedly looks like  a budgerigar has been stuffed down their swimming costume and that's how they became known as budgie smugglers. Another Australian word that I'm sure you will be able to drop casually into any conversation!!!!!!


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  2. The man in the white budgie smugglers need to be pointed in the direction of the swimming shorts. Not pretty! But great post. ;-)

  3. Great explanations Marg! I note you didn't identify the gentleman in the first budgie smuggler photo!

  4. Ah! Thongs and the old 'budgie smugglers' gotta love summer in Oz. Why is it those who could don't and those who REALLY shouldn't DO???? Another great post Marg. Still chuckling :)

  5. by the way - have you seen this advert? It might help people understand the whole "budgie smuggler" thing ;)

    1. Thanks Kat, I'd totally forgotten about that ad, it's great isn't it!!!!

  6. Ugh...budgie smugglers. Just the thought of tons of those on the beach makes me feel ill. Why is it that only old wrinkly men tend to wear them ?

    I've had both types of thongs are various times.

  7. What a fun post...imagining any of us mature stitchers in A THONG is quite hysterical!!!

  8. We have budgies here too, but ours are smaller and daintier. I'm saying nuffink about the men... ;o)

  9. lol - i tried to explain 'budgie smugglers' to a very large american gentleman (he was an absolute honey)and he laughed like a drain for the rest of the day :)

  10. I'm not touching the budgie smugglers (oh eer). I love flip flops as a name, I like saying it. Its fun - having a name that sounds like something so exactly. I've never liked the word thong - its just wrong!

    And yes - I've just re-read the above paragraph and realise it makes me sound like a total nutter.

  11. You're a crack up Marg!! Excellent post!! I've made the mistake of mentioning thongs whilst traveling and have had some very funny looks. I wonder how come we got it mixed up? The budgie smugglers are a hoot!!

  12. Getting well primed for my hols!! Luckily my sis has often mentioned her thongs which sends me into hysterics!!

  13. Well done Marg. I think you covered the topic well!

  14. Great post Marg gave me a good laugh to start my day. Our language and sayings are out on their own.

  15. Very educational post, especially the commercial. I'll have to ask My Guy if he ran into any one wearing budgie smugglers when he was in Darwin a couple of years ago.

  16. What a fun post! My mom always called flip flops thongs so that didn't throw me. Budgie smugglers! I really don't like speedos -- they look cute on toddlers, but that's about it. Love the sunnies and the boardies.

  17. Growing up in Canada the flip flops were always thongs until the last 10 years or so when they became flip flops because people started wearing thongs as underwear to avoid panty lines. So thong underwear is not really considered that racy here, just practical. No one but very beautiful women would dare wearing swimsuit thongs. And men just don't wear such swimsuits much here anymore, thanks for the words, here we just called them speedos as that is the brand that made this style popular with the body builder types and some others who never ever should have.

  18. Giggle... love that saying, budgie smuggler. Old blokes should not wear them though.. eeew. Thongs on my feet are very comfy whereas the other thong, well, very uncomfy for this well endowed with backside lady. Enjoying these Aussie 'lessons' Marg, and it is amazing how many we have once you start examining them like this. :-)

  19. Great post! Love the link Kat left as well :-)


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