On speaking terms
‘‘I’M just taking the old Henry down the servo to get some juice before I go bush bashing.’’
It wouldn’t mean much to foreigners, but this motoring slang is as Australian as a cattle dog in the back of a Holden ute.
Motoring slang is an endearing, sometimes derogatory, but always colourful way of referring to man and his machinery.
Most of the slang we use here is home-grown, but some is based on British terms and there are some foreign terms that have started creeping in, mainly from the US, such as ‘‘stick’’ for manual gearshift.
Car and bike marques and models are targets for some playful derogatory slang, such as Bitsaremissing (Mitsubishi) and Hardly Driveable (Harley-Davidson).
Some get several mentions, such as Commodore which is alternatively Dunny Door, Bomb-a-door and Commode.
We’ve compiled a range of motoring slang which is by no means a definitive list, and certainly not the end of the story, with new terms being invented all the time by the Generation Y of rev heads.
To keep it brief, we’ve omitted obvious abbreviations such as Merc, speedo and Suzi and avoided acronyms such as ATV, ABS and AWD.
But we invite readers to extend our list by sending in their slang terms to [email protected]