Speaking Like a Local in Melbourne

Speaking Like a Local in Melbourne

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.

To cheer for a team or player. (Never say you “root” for someone. In Australia, root is slang for sex.)

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.

A small glass of beer. In Melbourne bars, you order either a pot (10 ounces) or a pint (20 ounces).

Buying drinks for your friends. As in: “It’s my shout, so you’re getting Carlton Draught instead of some expensive microbrew.”

Breakfast. Australians have a confounding habit of turning everything into a diminutive that ends in y. (See “Specky,” above.)

Chris Baty accidentally founded National Novel Writing Month in 1999, and oversaw the event’s growth from 21 friends to more than 300,000 writers in 90 countries. Chris now serves as a Board Member Emeritus for NaNoWriMo, and spends his days wrangling words at Figma and endlessly revising his own novels. He’s the author of No Plot? No Problem! and the co-author of Ready, Set, Novel. His quest for the perfect cup of coffee is ongoing, and will likely kill him someday.