I was reminded today just how colorful and/or odd Australian sayings can be.

I was talking with a colleague the other day about how someone seemed less than pleased with a certain turn of events, and I used the expression that the person was ďlips of string.Ē This garnered a bit of a blank expression, so I tried to elucidate by throwing in ďpinch nostrilled.Ē This evidently rang a bell, as she came back with ďoh you mean thin-lipped!Ē I had to laugh Ė I hadnít used that particular phrase in such a long time Iíd quite forgotten it.

So try using some of these the next time you want to impress or addle your friends:

Want to intimate that a town is in the middle of nowhere? Try this one: Fifty miles south of Woop Woop. Want to tell someone to go away? Try rack off. Itís your friendís turn to buy the drinks? Itís your shout.

Try translating this lot:

Iím taking a sickie so Iím just ducking up the shops, going to the milk bar, then Iíll go to Maccas. Be home later. Oh pull your head in, sheíll be apples.

Iíll give you a hand: Iím taking a day off work so Iím just running to the mall where I will visit the convenience store, then MacDonaldís. I will be back soon. Oh donít worry, everything will be all right. Just doesnít have the same ring to it, does it?

And this:

Oh fair go mate, fair suck of the sav. Donít stand there looking like a stunned mullet and stop playing silly buggers. No really, itís fair dinkum, I promise Ė itís ridgy didge.

Oh, I can see a blank expression or two out there. Let me help: Oh do give me a chance, let me have my say. Donít look so surprised and stop kidding around. No really, itís true Ė I promise itís legitimate.

At your next barbecue:

Iím flat out like a lizard drinking getting the barbie going, darl. You go tart yourself up before me mates arrive, then come out with the snags and crack me a tinnie while youíre at it Ė youíre a little bewdy.

Iím busy getting the grill lit, darling. You go and get ready before my friends get here, then come on out with the sausages and open a beer for me while youíre at it Ė youíre a good lady.

And then of course there are the different words Aussies and Americans use which can confuse matters as well. I never know whether I need a light bulb or a light globe. Is it a windshield or a windscreen? Does the car have a trunk or a boot, a hood or a bonnet? Do I need to take the lift or the elevator Ė and when I get there, do I ask for the bathroom, the loo or the restroom?

No worries, sheíll be apples!

Annie Dear lives in Leeís Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com.