View Full Version : Help from Australia please

04-15-2010, 06:20 PM
I'd be really grateful if someone could help with the following.

1) I need a couple of Scottish tunes that would be recognised by Australians. I'm thinking Mull of Kintyre and Amazing Grace - would that do it?

2) Are these terms in general use in Australia:


mobile (for cell phone)

walkman (personal CD player with earpiece)

04-15-2010, 06:41 PM
1) Yes to both (although Mull of Kintyre's not really a Scottish song per se, is it?). Also, Auld Lang Syne, and the Skye Boat Song. These are all internationally recognised songs and especially so as Scottish culture had a strong influence on Australia. Bagpipe renditions are de rigueur at small town ceremonies across this land.

2) Squatter is in use, although it has a specific historical meaning -- referring to early European settlers who went out and claimed land (compare American 'homesteaders'.) An Australian would assume you were using it that way.

Mobile: yes, this is the standard.

Walkman: Noone I know says that these days unless they mean the old mini cassette players. You'd probably call it your iPod, or MP3 player if it's a contemporary setting. If it's the 80s or 90s, sure.

04-15-2010, 07:01 PM
Thanks, Albedo, that's very helpful. iPOD would do it.

In UK, a squatter is someone who takes up illicit residence in an empty building, so I was way off line with that one.

04-16-2010, 04:54 AM
Actually, qwerty - inner city people would recognise that definition of squatter. It would just depend on context. Albedo is quite right though that it has the historical thing as well

I don't think of Amazing Grace as Scottish.... Are you sure?

Ms Hollands
04-16-2010, 10:57 AM
...although squatters in Australian cities aren't really the same as squatters in the UK either. I think they have far more rights in the UK, and it's definitely a more common and accepted thing in the UK compared with Australia.

Aldebo is spot on for everything else.

04-16-2010, 01:02 PM
I agree to everything Albedo said, although I have heard the term 'squatters' rights' plenty of times, meaning: if you occupy a space long enough you have some claim over it. Definitely go with the ipod over the walkman:)

04-16-2010, 03:35 PM
Thanks, guys. All helpful stuff.

I don't think of Amazing Grace as Scottish.... Are you sure?

No, I'm not sure, and you're probably right. It's just that it lends itself to the eeriness of bagpipes wailing through a highland mist. Which means my original post didn't ask the right question. But, by default, I got it anyway in that I now know both tunes are internationally recognised.

So, thanks again,

Rufus Coppertop
04-16-2010, 06:14 PM
Loch Lomond and Scotland the Brave would be recognized.

05-09-2010, 04:06 AM
I don't know Mull of Kintyre, though I might recognise it if I heard it. Someone mentioned the Skye Boat song though, and I remember being taught that in school.

It depends on the age of the people - elderly and middle aged people probably would have been taught more of them when growing up, when we were still more influenced by British culture. Now our culture is more internationally influenced, especially by America, young people are much less likely to know traditional songs like that.

We would use the term 'squatter' for someone illegally taking up residence in a building, but it would have to be used in context. If you just said 'he was a squatter' people might get confused between that type of squatter and the historical one.

Mobile, yes, though most people just call it 'my phone' without being specific.

CD player - would be called a CD player, if that's what it is. If it's an mp3 player then you'd call it by the brand - iPod, Zune, etc.

05-10-2010, 09:49 AM
In regards to squatter, its definitely in the context. Apart from the historical and illegal squatters, the other one that came to mind was someone squatting on a bush toilet. That could just be me, though :D