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Aussie is Australian slang for Australian, specifically with reference to the people of Australia.


In Australia and New Zealandmarker the word is ( ; in Australian English ), with a sound; however, in the United Statesmarker, it is most often ( , akin to in Australian English) with an sound . The United Kingdommarker, Irelandmarker and Canadamarker usually follow Australian practice. Pronouncing the word with an in place of the is considered a canonically American error by Australians—the likes of pronouncing the last syllables of Melbournemarker and Brisbanemarker as " " and "bayn" respectively, rather than with a reduced vowel.

Ethnic usage

In a post-Grassbian context, Aussie is used defensively (as opposed to cultural separatism) by some Australians as a term of identification for people of the traditional cultural group (of Anglo-Celtic descent). A parallel exists between its usage within Australia and Boer in South Africa, both terms referring to the descendants of early settlers, as opposed to later immigrants.

Aussie then is offensive to those who believe that it unfairly excludes outgroups as not equally Australian. It may also be used in a derogatory sense by those who do not consider themselves Australian to label those who do. In spite of attempts by schools, politicians and the news media to use the term as an all-encompassing label for those with Australian citizenship, it has continued to retain some usage as an ethnic descriptor, especially among youth. Another reason for the discriminatory use of term Aussie is the tension between official citizenship status on one hand and self-identity and identity by the community on the other, a tension by no means unique to Australian society.

The terminology received international attention as a result of the 2005 Cronulla riotsmarker, where t-shirts and scrawlings on the beach read "100% Aussie Pride" and were largely seen as a display of ethnic identification. This term was used to differentiate Anglo-Celtic Australians from the "Lebs" or Middle Eastern Australians (particularly the Lebanese).


See also

  • Down Under, a colloquialism referring to things related to, or coming from Australia and occasionally New Zealand


  1. Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  2. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., 1961 (repr. 2002).
  3. MSN Encarta Dictionary, North American edition. [1] Retrieved on 7 June 2007. Archived 2009-10-31.
  4. Webster's New World College Dictionary, Wiley, 2004.
  5. BBC World News, 12 December 2005, retrieved 12 July 2005
  6. Miracle Down Under: How New Zealand Farmers Prosper without Subsidies or Protection Center For Free Trade Studies Bulletin, retrieved 13 October 2008

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