A study conducted by Amazon revealed the sense of pride the nation has for Strayan phrases.
Aussie vernacular makes modern Australians proud to be Aussie (53%), more so than our iconic sporting culture/greats (49%), food culture (48%) and music legends (33%).
Not only is the unique Australian slang creating a sense of patriotism and national pride, a third (32%) say that using uniquely Australian phrases is an important part of who they are.
Amazon integrates Aussie slang into Alexa
To ensure Alexa understands some of Australia’s most unique, popular and need-to-know phrases when customers speak to their Echo devices, Amazon has teamed up with the recognisable voices of Sophie Monk and viral comedy duo The Inspired Unemployed.
Alexa understands over 100 Aussie phrases from “flick it on” to switch on the lights, “bucket down” to get a weather check and even “sparrows fart” when you need to set a morning alarm.
Sophie Monk said, “It is not a secret that I am a self confessed bogan, but I honestly love the way that Australians talk as it is unique and unlike anywhere else in the world.”
“It is extremely funny to me because I was born in the UK and yet I am such a true blue Aussie. I can’t shake it, even living overseas for 10 years didn’t make a difference.”
“People had no idea what I was saying but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It makes me feel at home. That’s why I’m excited to help Alexa understand the Aussie phrases we all love.”
Strayan is its own brand of unique, and that makes it feel like home. Just like Sophie, 38% of Australians have had to explain classic Aussie terms when abroad, but it’s that uniqueness that makes the Aussie turn of phrase an important part of the way we create community.
Over half (53%) of those surveyed say hearing Aussie slang makes them feel at home and 41% say they find it endearing when someone uses classic Aussie phrases.
Aussie sayings pop up in unexpected situations particularly for younger generations.
A fifth (22%) of Aussies aged 25-34 use slang in professional documents like essays and presentations and walking down the aisle is even becoming a true-blue event.
A sixth (14%) of those aged 25-34 gave their proposal or wedding vows a little Aussie flair.
You are what you speak. Our favourite phrases reflect our famously laidback culture.
In favoured Aussie slang, “Yeah/nah” (38%) is top, followed by “Mozzie”(32%), “Barbie” (28%), “Give it a crack” (28%) and “Flat out like a lizard drinking” (21%), all understood by Alexa.
Dr. Amanda Laugesen, an expert on the Australian English vocabulary, explains why these particular words have won Aussie hearts, “Australian English has so many distinctive features, yet it’s telling that our favourite sayings are things like “Yeah/Nah” and “Give it a crack”.
Words aren’t just a way of communicating, they’re a form of self-expression and phrases like these, and our tendency to shorten words, reflect the laid-back attitude we pride ourselves on.
“Yeah/Nah” is a great example of this transformation and we are disagreeing but in a way that doesn’t invite conflict. Australian English definitely has that distinctively relaxed and informal quality and that is part of the reason why we all love and adore it so much.”
Aussie English is evolving as Aussies share a love of Strayan phrases. The words we use are shifting and changing across generations. Amazon ensured that Alexa understands the slang.
21% of those over 64 years old have had to ask younger family members to explain new slang.
While Gen Z might have to explain TikTok phrases like “Cheugy,” “Hey Bestie,” or “Vibe check” to granny, Amazon has made sure Alexa has no problem understanding the assignment.
Alexa is becoming even more Australian
Alexa’s expanded vocabulary doesn’t just celebrate our love of Aussie slang and how it’s changing, but reflects how Aussies already communicate with Alexa.
These new words build on Alexa’s extensive understanding of Australian slang with “footy” “devo,” and “barra” already amongst the most frequent terms used by Alexa customers.
What was that about Aussies shortening words?
Country Manager for Amazon Alexa, Kate Burleigh explains, “Before launching in Australia, our team worked hard to make sure Alexa could understand uniquely Australian phrases and we know our Aussie customers love how easy and natural it is to communicate with her.”
“Alexa has learnt a lot in the last three years down-under. With the help of some iconic Australians, Alexa is getting even more smarter to adapt to client needs.”
“Our research shows just how important the quirks of Aussie English are, and we’re proud of the work we’re doing to make sure that Alexa gets all Aussies, whether they’re 18 or 80.”
Test out Alexa’s Aussie knowledge for yourself on Alexa-enabled devices like Echo smart speakers, Echo Show smart screens, and Fire TV devices, or via the Alexa app.
Some new commands you can try
- Alexa, tell me something Aussie
- Alexa, play an absolute banger
- Alexa, day for it!
- Alexa, wake me up at sparrows fart?
- Alexa, do you like savvy b?
- Alexa, find a chicken parmi recipe
- Alexa, is this look cheugy?
- Alexa, should I chuck a sickie?