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Strayan Dictionary

As one of the founders of the popular show The Chasers, Domenic Knight knows a good deal about the English language and of course how to speak ‘Oztrayan’ or Strayan, the new Aussie style of speak that somehow seems to have taken over from Strine, the old ‘Oztrayan’.

To prove it, he has spent hours and hours researching words along with other things, to create the Strayan Dictionary for those who don’t get Strayan and the wonderfully colourful words that make up the lexicon of the Strayan person.

Not only has he researched the words, but also some of the many quaint customs, err sorry history, that go with the vernacular such as, interestingly enough, the word A.AAARDVARK common as the first entry into all Yellow Pages phone books created before Google took over the marketplace making phone books almost obsolete.

Moving right along though, the word Cobber, no longer in modern use, has been replaced by the word mate, which men use eloquently when out in male groups, but originally appears to have come the Yiddish word ‘chaber’ meaning comrade! Who says we are not a multicultural country?

Nasho was word in common use during the Vietnam War, when men of 20 years old were drafted into National Service. It was a lottery where, if you won you went into Military Service for two years, while everyone else got on with the lives.

A more modern addition is Seachange, based on a former television series, where the protagonist moves from a hectic city life, to what is meant to be a fresh, more peaceful life by the ocean. Treechange has derived from this terminology, but sadly the price of Seachange and Treechange lifestyles have gone up exponentially over the years in between, making this a not so desirable option for the everyday Strayan.

Ugg boots or ‘Uggies’ to those initiates, are beautiful warm boots made from sheepskin and worn by bogans, which would be a point to be seriously disputed by owners of beloved ‘Uggies’, and possibly bogans!

And believe it or not the Yidaki should not be confused with a Didgeridoo, or ‘Didge’ even though they look almost the same! A Zac was a sixpence back in the day, pre decimal currency and the Zuytdorp rose to fame by becoming wrecked off the West Australian Coast and now rises to fame once again as the very last, yep, very last, on the list of Australia Post’s alphabetical list of postcodes.

In between A.AAARDVARK and Zuytdorp is a world of wonderful, glorious quirky facts which go to make up the background history of the everyday Strayan, and their colloquialisms. Perhaps the Strayan Dictionary should be given to, or included in every tourist pack, before they, tourists, come to this wonderful, idiosyncratic country known as Australia, or Oztraya, depending on your place of birth, so they totally get How Good is this Lucky Country of ours.


Author Dominic Knight
Publisher Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781760529352
Distributor Allen and Unwin
Released dECEMBER 2019