Every week it seems that I encounter a new Aussie word that requires translation. For example, a couple of weeks ago there was a story in the paper about "Bowser Rage," in which a man was punched in the face, hit his head on the concrete, and fell into a coma after apparently cutting in line while people were lined up for the next bowser. What's a bowser, my American readers are asking? Simple: a gas pump at a service station. According to the story, about 40% of Queenslanders reported experiencing bowser rage in the past six months. Oh my!
I confused two students this week while I was giving them feedback about papers. I told one that some information should be provided in parentheses. "What is that?" she asked. I soon learned that many Aussies have no idea that Americans refer to () as parentheses and  as brackets. For Australians, both are called brackets. I told another student that she needed to put a period after "et al" -- which prompted a blank look. The right term here is "full stop," like the thing that appears at the end of this sentence.
A few days ago I was sent the following video by a Kiwi living here in Brisbane. Back in March when I was at a conference in Wellington, I couldn't appreciate my Aussie colleagues' laughter about the New Zealand accent. To tell you the truth, I still have a hard time detecting it. There seems to be so much variation in Aussie accents that a Kiwi could easily slip in undetected. The humour of this video was therefore lost on me: