Learn Australian English in this Aussie English episode of Traveling With Pete I take you guys to Point Lonsdale whilst also teaching you a bunch of English slang terms like YOU’VE GOT BUCKLEY’S CHANCE, DODGEY, SKETCHY, SHONKY and CHOCKAS/CHOCKABLOCK.
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Traveling With Pete E01: Point Lonsdale
What’s up guys? Welcome to this episode of, I guess, Driving Around With Pete. So, welcome to Aussie English. Today I’m going to sort of go for a bit of a cruise, go for a bit of a drive, and I’ll hopefully show you a bit of the coast down near Ocean Grove.
So, we’re in Ocean Grove at the moment where I currently… well I don’t currently live here, where my parents currently live. And I grew up down here. And so, I came down this weekend to get a massage, to see my folks, to see my sister and her boyfriend, and had dinner with them last night, and had a nice barbie on the deck, on the balcony of the back of the house. So, we had sausages, veggies, dad cooked up some onions and mushrooms and stuff, we had salad, some snags. And SNAG is the slang word in Australia for a sausage. A sausage that’s been cooked on a barbecue is A SNAG. And a BARBIE is obviously short, or a slang term, for a barbecue. So, yeah, we had a nice little BARBIE last night, had a few beers on the deck, on the balcony, hung out and just had a good yarn, had a good chat, had good times in general.
And then, today I went out this morning down to a café near the beach down near 7W. We’ve got signs all along the beaches along the coast here, and they all have different numbers sort of to tell you how far west or how far east of the bay you are. And so, because we’re on the west side the numbers all end with a W after the number obviously for these beaches. So, 7W is seven beaches west of the bay. And if you’re on the east side of the bay obviously the numbers would all be whatever number E. So, east of the bay. So, at the moment, anyway, we’re going to go get some petrol from the SERVO. So, we’re going to get some PETO from the SERVO if I use some Australian slang. PETO is slang for petrol, PETO, and SERVO is slang for service station or petrol station, but we call them a SERVO in Australia. So, we’re going to the SERVO to get some PETO, you’re going to the service station to get some petrol.
And I just have to make sure that there are no cars coming when I come out of this intersection. What’s some more slang that I can teach you guys? So, I’m going to have to do a UEY, a UEY, in a sec to go to the service station back there. So, I’m going to have to do a UEY, and a UEY is an Australian slang term for U-turn, a U-turn. And so, U-turn is obviously to do a turn in the car as I’m about to do as we go around the roundabout. A U-turn is to effectively do a 180. So, you’re turning in the shape of a U. And so, we just shorten that to a UEY. So, I’m turning in now to go get some petrol at the service station, at the SERVO, (to) get some PETO.
And then, we’ll go for a cruise, we’ll go check out some of the local towns around here. I might take you to some of the beaches. The weather’s not the best, but hopefully you guys will be able to see some of the just different locations around here, I guess. And I’ve just realised that there’s no entry to the petrol station from the entry that I just took into the supermarket here. So, I have to go around the back and enter through this side. So, (I) had to do another UEY, effectively, (I) had to turn around again, anyway.
So, as you guys can probably see here we’re at the service station. To give you an idea of what a SERVO is, obviously it’s where you get petrol and you’ve got options up the top here Unleaded 91, Vortex 95. So, those two are different kinds of petrol, and I think the 91 and 95 refers to the quality. So, the higher the number the better the quality. And then you’ve got diesel. So, most petrol stations here in Australia are going to have unleaded petrol, diesel, and gas. So, yeah, a bit of boring information for you there guys.
I might also add here, guys, you can see the ad there a special for two different drinks for $5 down on the lefthand side, and that’s an ad for Woolworths. And Woolworths is a chain of supermarkets all throughout Australia, and they’re often referred to as just WOOLIES, as WOOLIES. So, W-O-O-L-I-E-S, WOOLIES. That’s something you’re going to hear and see all throughout Australia. So, that’s just another slang term to teach you guys, WOOLIES.
So, I’ve brought you down here to Point Lonsdale, and at the moment we’re at the lighthouse. So, let’s go have an explore and see what we can find. Got to unplug all of my stuff here. Lock the car. Let’s go for a walk. So, as you can see the lighthouse is behind me, and we’ll go check out this sign, have a look. So, what does it say here. So, I guess I’ll just read out this sign for you guys. This is sitting here in front of the lighthouse.
“The voyage to Queenscliff on the paddle steamers lasted about 3 hours. At the end of the journey passengers disembarked and luggage was loaded onto a great trolley to be pushed to the other end of the Queenscliff pier. There waiting on the dusty roadway would be half a dozen horse-drawn carriages, the drivers loading competing for business. “‘Ere y’are, Point Lonsdale.” Our luggage would go on the roof. The 3 miles from Queenscliff to Point Lonsdale would take well over an hour, perhaps two, since there were many stops along the way to drop people staying at one of Point Lonsdale’s many great houses.”
So, let’s go for a walk up and check out this lighthouse. It’s massive, massive, massive. You can get tours here, and I think there’s a walk around the lighthouse. We’ll go check it out. But also, I think the lighthouse is mainly just used for weather nowadays, (it’s a) weather station. So, there’s all these bits of equipment at the top here at the lighthouse used for checking out the weather.
So, it’s definitely a beautiful view up here of the surrounding bay, and you can see the pier behind me, and there’s even a little shack here. And I’ll turn it around and show you a video of the footage (scenery*) around here.
So, I was just reading this sign, guys, behind me here, and it turns out that even I get to learn things from time to time. There’s a saying in Australian English, “You’ve got Buckley’s chance!” or “You’ve got close to Buckley’s chance!”, and I was reading on this sign the person from which that expression originates William Buckley, apparently he was a convict who was born in England, he was convicted, so, he was taken to court for some kind of crime and effectively imprisoned and brought out to Australia as a convict.
And I’m sure many of you will know that Australia was founded on convicts or on prisoners where they were forced to come out here and become the new, I guess, group of English people living here. So, they were forced to be the colonisers, the people who colonised the country of Australia at the time.
And so, I was reading on that sign that he came out here in the early 1800s and as soon as he got here he actually escaped. And so, he went into the bush and was living with the local people, the Wathaurong people, I think. And it was over in Sorrento that this happened, and Sorrento’s on the other side of the bay here. It’s a pretty popular destination. Anyway, so, he escaped, he lived with the Wathaurong local people, (he) learnt the languages and eventually was pardoned by, I think, the governor here in Victoria, and actually became, I think it was a constable and an interpreter for the Wathaurong people. And unfortunately the Wathaurong people, or at least full blood Wathaurong people died out in the late 1800s, I think 1885.
Anyway, so this expression, “You’ve got Buckley’s”, “To have Buckley’s”, it’s to have the same chance as Buckley. I guess it’s surviving. So, when he escaped he obviously probably didn’t have a great chance of survival, because, well, obviously there weren’t the same facilities that we have today in Australia. And so, he had to survive in the wild. He had to try and obviously join up with the aboriginal tribes and somehow not be, you know, killed or ostracised by them, and he managed to do it and he survived.
So, you can use this expression though today, “You’ve got Buckley’s”, to mean you’ve got a very low chance or something. So, you could ask someone a favour, you could say, “Hey, mate, can you… can you lend me $50?”, and if they said to you in response, “Dude, you’ve got Buckley’s, mate.”, that effectively means, “No. You’ve got no chance of getting that money from me.” So, you’ve got a very very slim chance but really if you say, “You’ve got Buckley’s”, it’s the idea of the chances are so slim they might as well be impossible.
So, another one could be, “Do you think I’m going to make this shot from the other side of the golf course? I’m going to have a swing of the golf ball and I’ll get a hole-in-one. What do you think my odds are? What do you think my chances are that I’ll get that?”. Someone could say to you, “Dude, you’ve got Buckley’s chance. You’ve got Buckley’s chance.” And it’s just, “You’ve got no hope. No chance. It’s not going to happen. It’s impossible. You’ve got Buckley’s chance, mate. You’ve got Buckley’s.”.
And so, obviously, that can be lengthened to the full, “You’ve got Buckley’s chance!”, which is the common way of saying it today, but it can also be shortened to just, “You’ve got Buckley’s. You’ve got Buckley’s.”.
Anyway, that’s just a little bit of history that I thought I would tie in there about this area, this lighthouse.
He lived in a cave as well for a little while. There’s a cave that’s around the cove here apparently that he lived in for a few months and subsisted in on just shellfish. So, he was only eaten shellfish. TO SUBSIST means to survive or to live. (It) tends to be off the land. So, to be able to food from your surrounding area and SUBSIST. So, you could be a subsistence farmer, for example, where you SUBSIST off what you can grow, off the things you can farm in that area.
And so, it’s uncertain whether or not he actually did live in that cave, or at least the cave that’s marked out as Buckley’s Cave, but apparently around this area there’s a cave. So, I might go have an explore and see if I can find it and show you guys a video of it if and when I find it. Anyway.
You’ve got to check out the rock formations around here. I’m going to get into this little cave here. All of this stuff is limestone. So, limestone is made up of sand, sediment from the ocean. So, like the sand that’s on the ground here slowly building up. Limestone is built up over millions and millions of years and it’s just layer after layer after layer of sand, shellfish and all the other little animals and stuff that get stuck in there. And the reason you get these really really cool lines is because different layers of limestone are obviously different densities, they’re different strengths, and they erode at different speeds. And so, you’ll have these holes like this, these little layers that obviously erode a lot quicker from wind, from water, and thus dig deep into the rock. You get these layers. And then there’s these other layers that are obviously eroding a lot slower. And so, you have these insane shapes that actually form over millennia, and even these things, like you can see a fossil up here of a… some kind of shellfish or worm that’s grown through the layer here that’s then later been fossilised. You can see the hole here. And it’s left this track from millions and millions and millions of years ago.
And so, I just love coming to these areas around Australia, but around the beach anyway, where you get to see some really ancient rocks, some ancient landscapes, and it just BLOWS MY MIND. And if you guys remember the expression TO BLOW YOUR MIND, if I’ve done that before, TO BLOW YOUR MIND is kind of like to make you just think, to make you be in awe of something, to just really surprise you. So, this stuff, these ancient rocks, and being able to come along and see fossils in them from millions and millions of years ago BLOWS MY MIND in that it’s just astonishing to me, it makes me think, it makes me wonder, it’s incredible.
And you can see, there’s some amazing stuff up here. Let’s see if I can point to it. Up here where you can actually see the bottom of, let’s see if I can get my hand in the right spot here, the bottom of this rock has completely eroded out, but there are all these little divots and holes and crevices left from the animals that were living in that layer at the time. And so, it just blows my mind how old this stuff is, and that I’m effectively sitting underneath what was once beaches, beaches, beaches with wave upon wave crashing down and, you know, these layers building up.
So, anyway, that’s just something I thought of showing you guys here as it really is some beautiful scenery around Point Lonsdale here. And I’ll give you a view, let’s see if I can do it behind me, of the ocean behind me. So, it’s just a beautiful beautiful spot. If you guys ever come down to Geelong or down to Victoria I really really recommend coming down to Point Lonsdale and just checking out the cliffs here, checking out the beach, having a little look at the history. And I mean, the history for us it’s only a few hundred years obviously. It dates back to maybe the 1800s, maybe a bit earlier around here obviously as we were talking about Buckley earlier who was out here in the late 1700s/early 1800s. But yeah, there’s some amazing stuff to see here even though it is relatively recent compared to other parts of the world.
I might add too guys that we’re actually at the mouth of the bay. So, if you walk around, the area just over over here across the ocean is about 2kms, maybe, give or take, so thereabouts, 2kms from here to the other side. And this side is obviously the Geelong side, the Bellarine Peninsula side, and on the other side is the Mornington Peninsula. And so, you’ve actually got, if I can guide my hand correctly, Sorrento around here, and that’s where the ferries go from Queenscliff to the other side of the bay.
And so, it is pretty amazing to think, at least for me personally, that side of the bay is only maybe 2 (or) 3kms away and yet I’ve never been there. It’s that close, but because it’s so far in terms of having to get there, if I want to drive or take the ferry, I’ve never actually been there. So, this is the entrance, the very entrance, to Port Phillip Bay. So, if I guide my hand up this way, Melbourne is actually up there about 75kms inland. And it’s just this small small opening at the front of the bay that all of the water comes in, all of the ships to the Melbourne port come in through this very little channel. And at the moment you can see the water’s actually moving out, and you can see that the tide’s going out over here in the bay.
So, anyway, (I) just thought I would show you that. And I guess something else cool that I’ve just noticed is a bunker from World War II, I believe. I think it’s World War II. So, we have them setup on either side of the bay here that were used to protect the opening of this bay. Anyway, (that’s a) World War II bunker.
Alright, so my guess is that Buckley’s cave is somewhere along the coast here further down. I might go do it another day as I want to go (and) show you a few other things guys. But yeah, this is Point Lonsdale, and the Point Lonsdale pier, the Point Lonsdale lighthouse. It’s absolutely beautiful. I definitely recommend you guys come down and check it out at some point.
Alright, so I’m walking along the beach here and there was another bunker that you may have just seen. And I noticed some graffiti in it from, it looks like it’s been dated, 1992. So, it just goes to show the random stuff that you find. So, I’m going to climb up in this bunker because this graffiti is actually a really cool slang term in Australian English, and it’s probably back to front* here. So, anyway, it reads DODGEY (or DODGY), D-O-D-G-E-Y, DODGEY. And so, if I sit down here on the little window outside of the bunker, let’s see if I can get DODGEY in the background, probably not, but DODGEY just means to be unsafe, not very well-made. SHONKY is another word. DODGEY.
So, if someone is DODGEY they’re a bit shady, they’re not trustworthy. If you think of someone as DODGEY that’s how I would use it. So, if this guy… if someone was unreliable, untrustworthy, they might be a friend, they might not be a friend, but if you use the word DODGEY it would mean that someone shouldn’t trust that person. They’re not reliable. If you use it on, say, machinery like if you’ve got a DODGEY car that would mean that it breaks down sometimes or it’s not reliable, again. It’s that idea of it not being a reliably well functioning car or piece of machinery, whatever it is that you want to talk about. If it’s DODGEY it just doesn’t work as well as it should, as efficiently as it should, as it’s supposed to. It may work most of the time, but every now and then it breaks down, it doesn’t work when you need it to 100% of the time. And so, you can just use that phrase DODGEY. DODGEY, DODGEY, DODGEY.
And, this is definitely the kind of phrase that I would use a lot in Australian English. So, whether explaining a person or explaining a car or an item or some kind of object. You could also use it to explain situations.
So, imagine that you want to go for a walk, say, along a cliff edge like this, and there’s a path, but there’s no rail, there’s no safety rail. And so, as you’re about to walk out on the path you could say well that looks a little DODGEY, as in it doesn’t look safe, the path doesn’t look reliable, it looks like I could get injured. We might be able to do it safely but because it looks DODGEY I think I’d prefer not to do it. It doesn’t look 100% safe, it looks about SKETCHY.
So, there’s another one, SKETCHY, SHONKY and DODGEY. These are all Australian English terms you can use to pretty much mean the same thing. They might be (have*) subtle differences that I might go over in the future, but for now SKETCHY, DODGEY and SHONKY are all ways of explaining things that are unreliable, that a person is untrustworthy or unreliable, you know, they’re a bit SKETCHY, they’re a bit DODGEY, they’re a bit SHONKY, or objects or situations, again, that are a bit that’s… that doesn’t little safe, it doesn’t look reliable, it’s a bit DODGEY. That path looks a bit DODGEY. It’s a bit SHONKY. I wouldn’t trust it. Just be careful.
So, anyway, that’s just some more slang that I thought of off the top of my head as I was walking around, and I guess that’s the basic idea of these videos guys. It’s just TO WING IT. TO WING IT and make it up as I go along and see what we can come up with, what we can find, and (to) continue helping you guys with your Australian English. (I’ll) chat to you in a sec.
Here’s probably a good example of SHODDY, SHONKY, DODGEY, SKETCHY. The way out of this bunker is a little bit DODGEY. There’s no stairs, it looks a bit SKETCHY. I’m going to have to take care, (I) don’t want to get injured. So, there you go, another one.
So, there you go guys. That was just a cheeky little look at Point Lonsdale and the Point Lonsdale lighthouse. We might go for a little cruise now where I can show you the main street of Point Lonsdale. And I might make this one a video instead of a time-lapse just so that I can sort of chat to you guys and commentate at the same time about stuff.
So, (I’m) just driving down past, I guess, THE MAIN DRAG in Point Lonsdale. And THE MAIN DRAG is usually the main street. So, imagine like a drag race where two cars are driving or racing against one another in a straight line down a road. Often we use THE MAIN DRAG to refer to the main street, sort of a straight line that goes through a town or city. THE MAIN DRAG. THE MAIN DRAG of Melbourne would probably be Swanston Street. And I’ve forgotten the name of this street here in Point Lonsdale, but yeah, this is THE MAIN DRAG.
So, it’s obviously a pretty quiet nice seaside town. This is what I’m pretty used to down here where I grew up. So, I grew up in Ocean Grove, which is the next town along, along the coast, and it was very similar to Point Lonsdale where it’s just very chill, very relaxed. There’s a lot of holidaymakers who come down particularly at this time of year. So, you’ll see a lot of people, a lot of cars come down from the cities and the population tends to boom a little bit where you’ll probably have two or three times the number of people in these little coastal towns. I remember specifically Ocean Grove, there used to be a population of maybe 10-15,000 all year round that live in that part of the town, but then during summer or school holidays you would have massive massive amounts of people come down holidaying whether they were staying in camping areas or caravan parks, etc. or if they were renting out houses. So, quite often you would have people come down and rent houses to stay down here during these periods, and they’d just go to the beach every day, you know, they’d have parties. It was a pretty beautiful place to grow up, to be honest, and I guess I’m appreciating it more and more now that I live in Melbourne, the big city, as to just how relaxed and lovely these sort of coastal towns are, and why so many people came down.
So, I remember that growing up in Ocean Grove I used to always complain about the number of tourists that came down. And getting back to, I guess, the amount of people. So, you would have maybe 10-15,000 people that lived in Ocean Grove all year round and then during summer that would boost, that would increase up to like 50-70,000 people, and maybe it’s even more nowadays.
So, I remember going down to the main beach during summertime and you would not be able to find somewhere to put you towel. There would be that many people on the beach that there was no space and, you know, you would go out in the water, you would go for a boogieboard or a bodyboard, or maybe even a surf, maybe a bodysurf, maybe just a swim, maybe a paddle, and there would just be no room. There would be so so many people at the beach, you know, holidaymakers as well as just locals that there was just no room.
And, I guess, I could use an Australian slang term to explain that situation where you would refer to that as CHOCKABLOCK or just CHOCKA, CHOCKAS, meaning that there was a lot, a lot, a lot of people. So, to quickly sum up what CHOCKAS or CHOCKABLOCK or CHOCKA-FULL means, you would use that phrase in Australian English to mean a lot of or incredibly full. So, if there are a lot of people down at the beach taking up space, and you can’t really find anywhere to sit, you can’t get in the water and go for a swim then you can refer to that beach as being CHOCKABLOCK FULL of people. The beach is absolutely CHOCKAS FULL of people. The beach is CHOCKAS. There’s just a shit load, a heap, a ton of people down at the beach here. So, yeah, that’s one little Australian slang term that you guys can practice.
I’ve tried to fill in quite a few Australian slang terms today in this little Point Lonsdale edition. So, I hope you guys are enjoying it. I hope you guys like the sort of way that I’ve set it up where I’m trying to show you a bit of Australia at the same time as teach you English, teach you guys Australia English but also just teach you standard English and chat to you as if you guys were here with me in the car. You know, chat to you as if you were a good friend of mine. I’m not really changing how I would speak at all when I chat to you guys. I’m just doing my thing, I’m just talking like usual, and trying to share a bit of Australia with you.
So, let’s see if we can find our way through this little part of Point Lonsdale. Hopefully, I’m going in the right direction. I haven’t been down here. So, I thought it would be kind of cool to go for a little drive and show you guys, I guess, the backstreets of these small surf towns.
So, Point Lonsdale was one where I used to come here all the time, because one of my best friends from high school actually lived in a big house across the road from the beach. And so, we would always come down here after school or on weekends and hang out with him, and go to the beach, and just have parties at his house. But yeah, that was a lot of fun.
But Point Lonsdale is definitely a very stereo(typical), stereotypical town for this part of Australia, definitely down the coast here. So, if you guys come down to Geelong, most of you, especially if you’re tourists in Australia or you’re traveling in Australia or even working, but you’re here, you’re probably going to come down to Geelong in order to go to Torquay, which is that really really famous surfing town down near Geelong, past Geelong on the coast. And then you’re probably going to turn right once you et to Torquay, as opposed to left, which is the way you’d come to get here, you’d turn and go down the coast in order to go down The Great Ocean Road. So, if you come down here to see The Great Ocean Road, first and foremost, I definitely recommend that you go down The Great Ocean Road and you check out Airey’s Inlet and the great… what am I wanting to say? The Twelve Apostles, and all the sites down there. It’s an absolutely beautiful beautiful part of Victoria. So, I definitely recommend you go down there. But then also there are places that are kind of tucked away, hidden away, that don’t necessarily have the same kind of big tourist attractions that pull a lot of people, but I would argue are also pretty interesting and worth coming to see, like Point Lonsdale, like Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, and Queenscliff, that will give you a real snapshot, will give you a real idea of what this part of Victoria’s like for the rest of us. So, for all of, you know, the Australians who live around this area. You’ll get to see what our day to day life is. Whereas, if you go down The Great Ocean Road you’re probably not going to really get a good handle of what it’s like to be an Australian who lives in this area. Although, you’ll get to see some amazing things like koalas, like that part of Australia, the coastline, and all these crazy geological features like The Twelve Apostles down there.
But yeah, so, I love, I love these little streets where a lot of people obviously live in the houses on either side of it. But you have these tea trees and banksia trees and gumtrees sort of on each side of the road, especially, as you can see on the left here. The tea trees, they are all over the place here in this part of Victoria. So, this is definitely very nostalgic for me as someone who grew up in this area, whenever I come down here and see these trees it reminds me of what I think of as home and where I grew up.
So, I guess we’ll just keep driving around. I might just go home after this and put all these videos up, and edit this for you guys. And definitely let me know what you think, because I’m wanting to do more travel related stuff like this, guys, where I get to show you bits of Australia whilst also obviously teaching you English and just chatting to you guys. Teaching you slang words, teaching you all sorts of expressions that come to mind, that I think of, that suddenly appear when I’m talking and explaining them to you guys. As you probably know by now that’s kind of my style where I don’t really want to set things up as a very organised class where I go through incredibly specific basic aspects of English. I’m more interested in kind of hanging out with you guys, spending time with you guys, chatting to you guys, and just explaining words and expressions that come up that I think you guys might have difficulty with or may not be familiar with, that you may not already know well as they could be Australian slang terms or strange idiomatic expression terms that I use that are common for me to use that may not otherwise be incredibly common for you as someone learning English.
Anyway, so this is THE MAIN DRAG, I guess, again, on the way back to Ocean Grove. So, it’s just another straight line street that goes and heads back to the town that I’m from. I might chuck it onto a time-lapse here guys where you can watch me do this trip in probably something like 5 or 10 seconds. Anyway, I’ll see you in a sec guys.
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