Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Australian School Uniforms and Swearing in Australia, Bloody Hell Dammit

Pop into the shops in most Aussie suburbs between the hours of 3 and 4pm, and you will most likely be quite entertained as you see kids of all ages gussied up in their adorable Australian school uniforms.

After four years here, I am sold on the whole uniform thing.  In fact, I'll go as far as to say, the more formal the better.  Dare I declare... it sets a tone; it creates an atmosphere.  It makes boys acting naughty, still be, boys acting naughty; but they look extra adorable while doing it, haha.  In my opinion.

So you can imagine the cuteness factor a couple of years ago, when my oldest child was in Kindy (that's Aussie for Kindergarten) and I would walk into their classrooms and see all their cute little Aussie friends, with all their cute little Aussie accents, in their cute little uniforms.  And one day, whilst the kids were putting their "morning tea" (that's Aussie for "snack") in their designated spot, a little boy I was quite fond of drops his bag on the floor, exploding with an enthusiastic, "Dammit!".

My jaw probably dropped to the floor, and in my best Homer Simpson voice, I was like, "Doh???".  Did that little mister five-year old cutie-pants just shout out "dammit" and no one even blinked an eye?  Huh?  I'm no Pollyanna, and I can swear like a truck driver when necessary...  or, for no reason at all.  

Anyway, so over the last couple of years there have been many a playdate and/ or a birthday party and/ or a school drop off, where "dammit" and "what the hell" are flying out of babes mouths like it's nothin'.   So finally, I asked a friend of mine... (about 10 seconds after her son said both these words in front of all of us), "Um, hey girlfriend--  are dammit and hell bad words in Australia, or are they not?  Because in the U.S. you really wouldn't hear little kids talking like that."  (At least as far as I know, but then again, my kids were two and three years old when we moved here).

And then I stopped, and then I thought-- hmm, I wonder if the word "bloody" is actually worse than "hell" or "dammit".  So I asked the question-- who knows, could that be true?  Guess what, assuming my friend wasn't just messing with me... "bloody" is actually worse.

You'd think after all my time here, I would have picked this knowledge up along the way.  Apparently, I'm a little slow on the uptake, but now I am well-informed of what the really bad word is.

So last week, newly enlightened on the swearing front, I stood by as the boys and their classmates were slowly unpacking their morning tea bags, so I chimed in with, "Speed it up kiddos, and get the fuck out to the field."  The Aussie mums (moms) quickly turned around and glared at me (more than usual).

And I'm not really sure where this all went awry -- it's not like I said bloody field.  
I guess I'll never really fit in here.

**Update:  I didn't really swear at a bunch of seven year olds, and if my kids said "dammit" or "hell" there totally would be no ipods for who knows how long :). 



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23 comments:

Jen said...

ROFL!!!! You go girl!!! you are my hero... rofpml

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Thanks Jen, and I was thinking people would read this and say, "What the hell dammit?". haha

Fiesty red head said...

You crack me the fuck up!! Love ya!

steck said...

Oh, bollocks (I mean that in a nice way).

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Fiesty Red Head my most bestest biatch. I love you matey.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

steck- I totally don't get it, is bollocks a bad word. I need to google the meaning... ugh I am so Aussie ignorant. And do Aussies say "cussword"?

NessaKnits said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NessaKnits said...

Bollocks = bullshit! Dammit. (My daughter got pulled up by a school mate for saying "Damn" recently at school. "Christ" and "Jesus" would not be looked upon favourably either, FFS.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Is getting pulled up being told on? Dobber?-- another Aussie word I have to embrace more...

NessaKnits said...

I call my kids "Dibby Dobbers" when they tell on one another. Pop that one in your vocab.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Taking it onboard!

South Beach Mom said...

I love their uniforms! Funny, we went for new uniforms yesterday.

stephfw said...

That is bloody hilarious! :)

IWASNTBLOGGEDYESTERDAY said...

thats bloody funny lol

I remember being a small child in the 60's when ...hell,damn and bloody, meant something!!! lol you'd get the soap on the tongue,now not so many aussies are church goers and people have forgotten why they are "swear words"(not cuss words,no)

kids have to drop clangers like shit or fuck, etc for ppl to look twice.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

South Beach- Didn't you just get OUT of school? new uniforms already, whew.

Steph- thx!

IWASNTBLOGGED- Yep. All that.

American in Norway said...

OMGoodness... I want my children to wear adorable little uniforms like that! Ain't gonna happen over here...
& Swear words... SHIT it everywear... All of the first graders say it... The teacher said it at our parent teacher conference.. I just try to not let me jaw hit the ground..
We are going back to the states next week & I have reminded my son over & over that he can not say SHIT... & if he feels the need to cuss... he most do it in Norwegian-. Ha. BTW spit my coffe out when I read.. get the fuck out on the fiels... love it.

Kotaatok said...

Think about this I went the other way. Aussie to UK and a very conservative part of the UK at that they are very strict church goers round hear and it was not that long ago this part of the world was dry as in temperance dry. I had to learn not to truck and blind by way though life with the colourful adjectives while gasping for a cold one. I am originally a top end girl so lets say I have mouth like a trooper.

I could not say bull shit but I am allowed to get away with bollocks or shite. And why is "dogs bollocks" a positive expression ie great. How is it that different from bollocks meaning crap?

You would have thought I murdered someone when I said bugger or for fuck sake or fucking brilliant with the instant inhales of disapproval.

I am on the school walk right near the crossing and entrance gate to the school. I have been reprimanded by the school for my language on more than one occasion. We had a new principal at the primary school this year and I got a polite little hand written note asking could I please refrain from education the Grade 3 boys in colourful language the afternoon after I trucked and blinded my way though the morning with a flat tyre including somehow managing to break my right foot changing the offending flat tyre so I could drive myself to hospital. Yes I was in pain I expressed it.

Juli said...

I love this post. But I still don't understand why "bloody" is a bad word. My six-year-old tells me off when I say it. Like it's worse than the "F" word.

Americano in Oz said...

This is hilarious! I'm still learning & this post certainly helps "heaps" :-) I've been noticing the kiddos in their uniforms all over the place & think I will enjoy when/if I have children that they wear a uniform {less fuss, I hope, over 'what to wear', for one}. The words, I even heard someone who is quite religious say 'dammit' recently, so you hit the nail on the head with that one as well. Great post!

Catherine said...

WTF! Don't believe it! The kids outside of Sydney do not swear like that. I think the parents wouldn't take it stride here on the central coast like they seem to from your post. (Or maybe it's just me).

Marvin the Martian said...

Ha, they look like Angus Young! Very cool.

Kate said...

Uniforms definitely best - especially with girls. No early morning arguments about what to wear. As for the swearing, as a Brit married to an Aussie, I've had to coach him to tone it down over the years. Had to explain to him prior to meeting my parents that "f***in" isn't an acceptable synonym for "really".

The Meanderers said...

I SWEAR we're on the same bloody wavelength! First, the school uniforms have been a topic of conversation wherever I go to whomever I'm with. I'm so fascinated and obsessed (in a non-pedophile sort of way, of course...)

And the swearing! One morning my hubby and I were watching the news when the newsanchor said 'sh*t'. Hubby said, "did they just..." Oh yeah. They did!

Your posts are cracking me up! I love the Costco one... I miss free refills!!