An ANU study reveals that using Aussie slang makes you more likeable.
Whether you’re from Tassie, Franga or Townie, so long as you pronounce your town name as such, your likeability increases, according to an ANU study on the use of Aussie slang.
Lead researcher on the project, Dr Evan Kidd from the Australian National University’s Research School of Psychology says the use of Aussie slang makes the speaker more likeable to their fellow Australians.
Shortened words such as ‘uggies’ (Ugg boots), ‘cappa’ (cappuccino) and ‘telly’ (television) are no longer viewed as mere lazy talk, but are instead seen as an indication of social closeness that promotes common ground between Aussies (Australians) – so long as you say it in an Australian (Strayan) accent.
Participants in the study talked with an actor who alternately spoke in shortened Aussie slang and normal terms. Respondents were then asked to rate the likeability of the actor.
"We found that if the actor used the slang, the participant liked them more," said Dr Kidd.
An Australian-Asian actor was then asked to do the same, only they alternated between pronouncing the slang terms in their Australian-English accent and their Australian-Asian accent.
"If she used slang in her Australian English accent, they liked her more. However, if she used slang in a foreign accent it didn't change the amount they liked her," added Dr Kidd.
The results of the study suggest that Aussie slang is only seen as positive if it is pronounced with a typical Aussie accent.
It also looked at the generational differences in the use of slang. Younger Australians will generally shorten words to one or two syllables then add an ‘s’ sound to the end (i.e. totally = totes), whereas older Australians are more likely to shorten a word then add the quintessential ‘ie’ or ‘o’ (cigarette = ciggie, compensation = compo).
Words that have been shortened to two syllables and have an ending of ‘ie’, ‘o’ or ‘a’ are called hypocoristics, which, when translated from the Greek, means ‘to use child talk’. It typically occurs when giving someone a nickname (Bazza for Barry) and is meant as a term of endearment.
According to Dr Kidd, Australians use more shortened slang than any other English-speaking culture.
"In British English, this language will be used mostly for baby talk. In Australian English, you will use it in a greater amount of circumstances," he said. "You hear it everywhere, you see it in newspaper headlines, news readers use it, politicians use it. It's an entrenched part of our vernacular."
Read more at www.anu.edu.au
Do you use Aussie slang? Do you find people more likeable when they use hypocoristics? Should we refer to them as hypos from now on?
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