Australian men are known for it. They’ve turned it into an art form.
If your name is Robert, I’ll apologise now, because you’ll never ever be called Robert, when you set foot in Australia.
I am serious.
You may be called, Rob, Robbo, Bob, Bobby, Bert, or worse. But not Robert.
If your name is Harrison or Edward, you can kiss goodbye to hearing that name too. You’ll be Harry, Hazza and Eddie, Ed, Ted, The Tedstar, Teddy, Wardy or worse.
N.B. If your name is long, Australians will shorten it, if your name is already short like Todd, you can bet your life, Aussies will lengthen it to Toddie, Toddster or something that rhymes with Todd.
I once worked with a guy who was named Brendan, but his mates called him, “Slug.” My enquiries as to why he was called after a shell-less terrestrial gastropod, were left unanswered.
Tradesmen and workers on construction sites are rarely addressed by their birth name. Instead, industry gets creative. Especially in construction. Often derogatory, a nickname should be taken as a sign of acceptance and friendship, and isn’t intended to be offensive.
Generally, however, nicknames are a sign of affection and mocking humour in Australia. A bit like a caricature. Designed to instigate a chuckle or two. Although I have wondered if the names might serve a dual purpose? A covert way of referring to the boss or colleagues on the work site?
Warning: Politically Incorrect Humour following. It is all in fun, cos, well, we all need a laugh these days.
Nicknames for Workmates in Australia
Example Australian Nicknames:
- Perth – he’s always 3 hours behind everyone else
- Noodles – thinks all jobs take 2 minutes
- Wheelbarrow – only works when pushed
- Cordless – charges all night but only works for 2 hours
- 2-Stroke (lawn mower) – hard to start and always smoking
- Deck Chair – folds under pressure
- G – Spot – you can never find him
- Sensor Light – only works when someone walks past
- Blister – appears when the hard work is done
- Show bag – full of shit
- Pothole – always in the road
- Olympic torch – never goes out
- Dentist – always filling in for others
- 10 mm Socket – can never be found when you need him
- Wicket Keeper – puts on the gloves, then stands back
- Limo – carries 8 other people
- Kinder Surprise – melts in the heat
- Stingrays – stand around with hands on hips (aka safety officers)
I have worked with a few Olympic torches, one or two Blisters and definitely a Limo.
We have probably all worked with a few show bags from time to time!
The guy in the photo might even be in danger of being nicknamed, ‘Call Centre’ – always on the phone!
Do you recognise any of your work colleagues on the list?
Funny Way to Keep Baby Asleep
Entirely unrelated but just had to share this reel I came across on Insta.
I so needed this 31 years ago!