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Speaking Like a Local in Melbourne
“Ball!” An exhortation that fans of Australian Rules Football yell when the opposing team is illegally holding the ball. True fans also yell this whenever their rivals are in control. Barrack To cheer for a team or player. (Never say you “root” for someone. In Australia, root is slang for sex.) Specky Short for “spectacular mark,” or catch. For a play to rank as a specky, a footy player must run up his opponent’s back and snatch the ball out of the air. Pot A small glass of beer. In Melbourne bars, you order either a pot (10 ounces) or a pint (20 ounces). Shout Buying drinks for your friends. As in: “It’s my shout, so you’re getting Carlton Draught instead of some expensive microbrew.” Brekky Breakfast. Australians have a confounding habit of turning everything into a diminutive that ends in y. (See “Specky,” above.) —Chris Baty
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