Australia 46

Listen to Australia 46, who is 18 years old and from Mount Magnet, Western Australia, Australia. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.

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AGE: 18

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 16/08/2005

PLACE OF BIRTH: Perth, Australia (but raised near Mount Magnet)

GENDER: non-binary

ETHNICITY: Australian/Caucasian with European ancestry

OCCUPATION: university student

EDUCATION: high school


The subject has never lived outside Australia. Raised on a station near Mount Magnet, the subject lived in a boarding school with other rural teenagers from ages 12 to 16 and has lived in Perth since the age of 16.


The subject has a Welsh mother, a father with a broad accent, and older sisters with General Australian accents. The subject’s father is Australia 38.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Rhea Dowden (subject)






All right, so I got four things to talk about: I got my childhood, I got, uh, damn it, what was the second thing? Oh, that’s right, place names, local place names, and then the local way people talk where I’m from, and then whatever else.

So, number one, my childhood: I grew up, um, very isolated. I grew up on a station near the town of Mount Magnet, not even in the town, near it, um, with just me and my sisters and my parents, um, and the occasional worker or backpacker who’d come down from Mullewa or France or wherever. I did School of the Air. Um, unlike my dad, who, who’s also on this website — my dad did School of the Air same place, same station, growin’ up there — we grew up in the same place, but um, he did School of the Air over radio, like little, little, um, those pedal-powered radio — like, electric radios. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t actually know, like, the hand-crank? I don’t even know if, if it, if it was hand-cranked; I don’t know if he was that old, but [laughs] I know he had those; I know he, um — he’s told me a story about one time when he was at boarding school; he, um, he got a copper wire from one of those hand-crank radios and he’d, he, he and his mate strung it over the, the urinal in the boy’s bathroom at the, at the boarding school, and then they, they hid the, they hid themselves and the radio in the, in the toilet cubicle just next to the urinals. And so whenever someone went up to the urinal and started, started usin’ it, they’d start hand-crankin’ this radio, and the electricity’d go through the copper wire and straight into whoever, whatever poor sod was sat there at the urinal! Or stood there! [Subject laughs.] Um, any, anyway, my dad grew up on radio, I grew up on computers, um, my sisters before me, they all had this big, massive, hunkin’ ol’ thing that was like, like a cube, and then I had a more normal, modern computer.

Um, local place names are very interesting. They mostly come from the local languages, which are Badimaya and Wajarri, or, or “Wajarri” as they call it. Um, a lot of the place names: We’ve got no idea what they mean. Like, there’s, there’s Challa Station; there’s, there’s Meeline; there’s Windimurra; there’s Boogardie; there’s all these, um, Yoweragabbie! Yoweragabbie: We’ve got kind of an idea of where that come from; “yarra gabbie” kind of sounds like the Badimaya phrase “yara gabi,” which means “water,” “water will come.” Um, but it’s, it’s spelt completely differently, which seems to imply that it used to be pronounced differently too. So we’ve got no clue about most of these places; like, we’ve, we’ve got, um, Yakenyarra, um, Naa Mulla Mulla, all these different, all these different place names near us that we’ve got no idea where they come from. Some of them we do; like, there’s a dam called Jinna, which, uh, which, J-I-N-N-A, which comes from either Badimaya or Wajarri; the word’s the same in both languages, and it means “foot.” And I don’t know why it’s called “foot,” but it is.
My dad actually knows a lot of, a lot of Badimaya words. So, so weirdly, we use “bungarra” to mean, um, like, like, a, an Argus monitor, I think it’s called. Um, and then my — the Badimaya people would’ve used “bangara” to mean a perentie, and the lizard we refer to as a “bungarra,” they would’ve called a “queeul,” or a “guwiyarl.”

All the kinda middle-aged people in, in my area have their weird little slang which they kind of, like, take from Aboriginal languages that they grew up around. So, like, my dad and all his mates: They would say “balayi.” I don’t know, when they’re, when they’re, like, workin’ together and then, like, a rock falls down or somethin’, they’d shout “balayi!” And to like, to like, alert one another, [laughs] or, um, or just as an exclamation that somethin’, somethin’s happened. There’s one word, there’s one crazy word that my dad and his friends use, which is “giburrim,” which I think [laughing] I think, uh, my dad says that it’s an imitation of an, an old Aboriginal accent saying “give it to him,” um, but I don’t know how that corresponds to “giburrim,” with like, a trilled R. Um, that’s, that’s, that’s really interesting.

So the weirdest thing about the way people talk out our way is probably the Indigenous loanwords; that’s the most, like, unique thing. Um, then there’s also, like, there’s a weird amount of Irish influence, um, so like, sayin’, I dunno, “them books” instead of “those books,” or that kind of thing. There’s also “yous”; we all say “yous.” Um, there’s actually, from the Aboriginal languages, there’s a singular-dual-plural distinction in the, in, in our pronouns. Um, so we say, um, “you, yous twos, and yous,” um, “them, them twos, them.” There’s words like “bate” for, for, like, “I, I, I bate him in a race” instead of “I beat him in a race.” I think that comes from Ireland. Then there’s “writ” for, for “wrote,” which, or, or, or “written,” which I think is, like, maybe just a general old-fashioned thing that certain dialects have, have maintained. I say a few weird things, like “tomater sauce” instead of “tomato sauce,” or, like, “photers” instead of “photos.” My dad pronounces, um, “yellow” as “yuller,” [laughing] like, like Y-U-L-L-E-R, I guess.

City people and country people are very different in a few ways, I think. Like, um, city people are very, very insular. Um, they’re like — I’ve got — I’m livin’ in the city now, and I’ve got no clue who my neighbors are on any of my sides; neighbors just don’t wanna, don’t wanna know each other. They don’t, they don’t care who lives next door to them, whereas in the country, it doesn’t matter if your neighbor’s a hundred kilometers away from you, you’ll go and, you’ll go and meet ’em and have a cuppa tea with ’em. But it, but there are good’uns! Of course, it’s not like all city people are just whingin’, whingin’ lazy people; no, there’s, there’s [laughs] I’m just makin’ generalizations because I, I think it’s fun to make fun of people from the city. In reality, I think people from the country are all jealous of people from the city because they’ve got it so much easier. That includes me, so I, I reserve the right to bully city people because they’ve got it so much easier [laughs].

But, nah, every now and then, you’ll find people in the city who are tryna, like, do community organizing stuff, like little clubs, or, or meetings, or, or things like that. And they’re, they’re pretty uncommon; they’re pretty difficult to find, but they’re still there, and those people I think would be just as suited to livin’ in the country as they would be in the city. Think that’s the most important, the most important difference to life in the country versus the city, is the difference in community and the strength of bonds that people have in one place over, over another.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Rhea Dowden (subject)






The subject mixes broad and general forms throughout the text. They have mainly masculine speech patterns and phonology, but also several features that are usually associated with feminine speech patterns, such as the use of “like” as a filler word, insertion of a weak vowel at the ends of some words, and vocal fry at the ends of utterances.

COMMENTARY BY: Rhea Dowden (subject)


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