Culture Speak: Origins of Australian slang and place names
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Australian slang - a story of Australian English | australia.gov.au

Australian slang - a story of Australian English | australia.gov.au | Culture Speak: Origins of Australian slang and place names | Scoop.it
Jennifer May's insight:

This official site of the Australian government could be used as introductory material for a Stage 3 unit of work on Australian colloquial language. The site provides a good summary of Australian slang, its development and its key influences, including:

- The influence of Aboriginal languages

- The influence of major events and developmental periods including the influx of convicts from Britain, the gold rush period, bushranging and the first world war.

- Features and styles of Australian slang such as comparisons, abbreviations and reversals.

 

The site also provides a starting point for discussions about the social function of slang language, for example the way slang can make a group of people who use it feel socially connected.

 

Teaching ideas using this site:

- Students create a guide to their locally used slang, based on colloquial words they use, as well as modern and traditional slang used by their parents. Students or small groups of students could be tasked with coming up with a list of slang terms that they use/have learnt.

 

- From the website, students consider the influence of the British in naming Australia. Using information from the ABS, students compare this influence to the current ethnic demographics of their suburb/area. This task would link HSIE to numeracy development. Link: http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/quickstats?opendocument&navpos=220

 

- Based on the activity above, students consider the influence of other ethnic groups in Australian language. Use the Georgraphical Names Board of NSW’s brochure ‘Multicultural Place Names in NSW’ as a starting point. Link: http://www.gnb.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/79462/GNB_dl_multicultural.pdf

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A History of Sydney Streets - YouTube

Historians Dr Shirley Fitzgerald and Dr Lisa Murray chat about the evolution of Sydney's streets and their names. For more Sydney History visit www.cityofsyd...
Jennifer May's insight:

This video provides an overview of how Sydney’s streets developed, and discusses how many of Sydney’s streets were named.

 

For example, the video discusses how some streets in Sydney were named after:

- Local businesses / industries

- Local land owners and their children

- Events that occurred in the area

- Notable citizens.

 

In addition, the video discusses how Sydney’s streets has changed over time, including a discussion of:

- The changing of street names due to political reasons. During World War I, the names of some streets that were Germanic sounding were changed, for example Hanover Street in Redfern was changed to Walker Street. (For more examples of this go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_place_names_changed_from_German_names )

- The demolition of certain streets, either for the purpose of widening narrow streets to make way for new transport (e.g. the introduction of motor vehicles) and population growth, or to rebuild areas which were deemed to be slums.

 

Whilst the discussion of street names takes place, the video pans through many images of historic Sydney, providing a visual reference point for students.

 

Teaching ideas using this site:

- Providing students with old and current maps of the area around their school and playing a game of ‘spot the difference’. This activity could be extended by challenging students to research why changes occurred.

 

- Using current maps of the local area, students could be tasked with finding street names that may indicate a natural or built feature, or a previous or current use of the street (e.g. Park Street, Boundary Street, Reservoir Street). Students can then research whether the feature indicated is accurate to the history of the street.

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List of Australian place names of Aboriginal origin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of Australian place names of Aboriginal origin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Historically, white explorers and surveyors may have asked local Aboriginal people the name of a place, and named it accordingly. Where they did not ask, they may have heard the place was so-named. Due to language difficulties, the results were often misheard and misunderstood names, such as the name of the Yarra River.

Jennifer May's insight:

This Wikipedia site contains a list of Australian place names of aboriginal origin.

 

In reference to the Queensland Studies' Authority 'Indigenous Perspectives Guidelines: Selecting and evaluating resources' (2007)the site makes reference to a range of Aboriginal languages, indicating cultural diversity of Aboriginal communities across Australia.  Although it contains insufficient citations for verification, it is useful as a starting point for further exploration into place names of Aboriginal origin.

 

Place names that students may recognise include:

- Barangaroo (named after a local Kamaraygal woman)

- Cammeray (named after the Cammeraygal, the Aboriginal tribe who once resided in the North Sydney area)

- Gymea (named after the indigenous name for a local plant)

- Jamberoo (derived from a local indigenous word meaning 'track')

- Kiama (derived from a local indigenous word  'Kiarama-a' or 'Kiar-mai', with the meaning generally given as 'where the sea makes a noise')

 

Teaching ideas using this site:

- Referring to the site, create a list of local place names from various origins. Ask students to sort the names into ‘of Aboriginal origin’, ‘of British origin’ and ‘of other origin’.

 

- Use in tandem with content from the Committee for Geographical Names in Australasia (CGNA), including their introductory video ‘What’s in a name?’ which can be requested from http://www.icsm.gov.au/cgna/lesson/getthevideo.html  

The CGNA website contains teaching resources around place name creation and the importance of place names.

 

- Use in tandem with content from the Australian Museum detailing Aboriginal names for coastal areas in Sydney, http://australianmuseum.net.au/Place-names-chart

Provide students with a map of Sydney harbour and ask them to re-label the map with Aboriginal place names, and identify the areas where currently used Australian English names are the same or similar to the original Aboriginal names.

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Australia For Everyone: Place Names

Australia For Everyone: Place Names | Culture Speak: Origins of Australian slang and place names | Scoop.it

A guide to how Australia's states and territories, cities and towns got their names.

Jennifer May's insight:

This searchable site lists the origins of many place names in Australia, including a detailed database of Sydney suburb name origins.

 

Teaching ideas using this site:

- Looking up the school's suburb to start an exploration into local history. For example, the history of Sydney suburb ‘Camperdown’ involves Governor Bligh and a naval battle between England and The Netherlands, as well as mentioning the history of the naming of the local Royal Prince Alfred hospital.

 

- Following the task above, students could use maps to identify all the suburbs around their school’s suburb. Small groups could then be tasked with investigating each suburb’s history starting with the origin of the name. Assessment of the task could involve a short presentation to their classmates about each suburb’s history.

 

- Using the site’s search function to search whether there are any other suburbs with the same name in Australia. Students could then research these other suburbs and compare them with the school’s suburb. This could include corresponding with a primary school in the sister suburb (if one exists), linking HSIE to literacy development. For example, there is a rural town called Camperdown in Victoria.

 

- Extension: Using the Australian Bureau of Statistics website QuickStats, students could extend the activities above and compare demographics, cultural & language diversity and core industries of each town. This task would link HSIE to numeracy development. ABS QuickStats: http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/quickstats?opendocument&navpos=220 

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Home - Australian National Dictionary Centre - ANU

Home - Australian National Dictionary Centre - ANU | Culture Speak: Origins of Australian slang and place names | Scoop.it
Jennifer May's insight:

The Australian National Dictionary website provides lots of great resources for learning about the origins of Australian words, including:

 

- A selection of Australian words, their meanings and etymologies at http://andc.anu.edu.au/australian-words/meanings-origins

 

- A history of the borrowings from Australian Aboriginal languages at http://andc.anu.edu.au/australian-words/vocabulary/borrowings-from-australian-aboriginal-languages

 

- A collection of suggested classroom exercises using dictionaries at http://andc.anu.edu.au/resources/for-schools/classroom-topics

 

- A monthly ‘Word of the Month’ publication that details the history of an Australian slang term or phrase. Previous words/phrases presented include examples such as ‘Neenish tart’, and ‘bogan’. Link: http://andc.anu.edu.au/publications/oxford-word-month

 

- Links to the ‘Aussie English guide’, a multimedia site that features cartoons, audio recordings and descriptions of some popular Australian slang. http://www.nma.gov.au/play_aussie_english/guide/ebook.html

 

Teaching ideas using this site:

- The site actually contains a list of suggested activities and includes a great exercise for Stage 3 children, ‘Make your own dictionary’. Details of the project can be found at: http://andc.anu.edu.au/resources/for-schools/dictionary-project

An exciting aspect of the project is that any new words found can be submitted to the Australian National Dictionary for potential inclusion.

 

- The site also contains a bibliography which could be used to extend student’s learning and provide further links to numeracy development by looking at colloquial language use within a specific area. Reference material is listed under topics such as ‘Colloquialism and Slang’, ‘Occupations’ (detailing language of specific groups) and ‘Aboriginal Words in Australian English’.

For example, under ‘Occupations’, there are listings for books detailing the language of police officers, Australian defence personnel and football enthusiasts.

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