Australians have learnt to approach any foreign attempt to capture the essence of their culture with some caution. Many of us can forgive the way The Simpsons depicted our country, but not the fact that most Americans think it was accurate. So it’s with a sense of nervousness that we look to Irish Around Oz, a site dedicated to the smooth integration of Irish folks moving to Australia, and their guide to Australian “food slang”.
It’s a mixed bag, as one might suppose for a list compiled by a black pudding company. I mean sure, “esky” and “sausage sizzle” are reported fairly faithfully, but “Swags” stands out a bit. Not just for the fact that it’s not food slang, but the fact that any Irish person rocking up to Australia and yakking about their swag will get more than a few odd looks – no matter what Banjo Paterson might think.
Beyond that, what on earth are “capsicum” and “zucchini” doing here? They might not be what you call them in Ireland, but they aren’t slang, are they? It’s not like Aussies heard the word “courgette” and thought, “too long and fancy, we’ll just call ’em zucchinis for short”. Or maybe they think it’s rhyming slang – what capsicum rhymes with we can only imagine.
In any case, we’re guessing that for most Irish immigrants, it’s only really the last two entries–“stubby” and “bottle-o”–, that they’ll need to be au fait with.