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AUSTRALIAN SLANG

Cars, Trucks, 'n More

In colonial days, bullock teams did the bulk of moving heavy goods over long distances. They travelled a speedy 16km (10miles) per day. Seriously, they were responsible for making it possible to start new towns and open up areas to settlers.

It wasn't until roads improved that people got the luxury of riding in coaches such as those run by the famous Cob & Co. in the 1850s. By the 1870 their coaches were travelling 28,000 miles per week. However, the development of railways gradually drove the coaches out of business. Today, the vehicle industry has fully grown and people use vehicles for many different day to day needs.

Rego car registration
Number Plate license plate
L Plates required small sign with an L on it to let people know the car is driven by a learner-driver. Sign is attached to the front and back of a car.
Bonnet hood of a car, part that covers the motor
Boot trunk of a car
Carbie carburettor
Anchors brakes
Tyre tire, as in a car tire
Big Set of Boots extremely wide set of tyres on a car
Speedo speedometer. Not to be confused with speedos which are a famous Australian made cossie (swimsuit).
Windscreen windshield in a car
Holden Australian make of car
Ute utility vehicle (in the USA a pickup truck)
Yank Tank American car
Kombi any small multi-purpose van-like vehicle
Caravan trailer or motor home
Divvy Van police van used to transport arrested people. Name comes from the divider between the police and those arrested. Also called a paddy wagon.
Booze Bus police van used for random breath testing for alcohol
Comby a 1 tonne van
Road Train large truck pulling several trailers
Tip Truck garbage truck
Tipper truck with a tray that can be raised and lowered
Bike motorcycle
Skid-lid helmet worn by a cyclist
Torch flashlight
Spanner wrench

How about cars?
Motor vehicles arrived in Australia in the 1890s. Although some enthusiasts had built their own machines a few years earlier such as Charles Highland from Sydney, who fitted a Daimler engine onto a three-wheeled carriage.

By 1917 Australia had about 45,000 motor vehicles travelling on the roads. That amounts to 1 vehicle for every 11,100 persons. That number drops to 1 vehicle for every 2 persons in 1982.

Did you know the ute (utility vehicle) was designed by an Aussie? Fair dinkum. Lewis Bandt at Geelong based his design on the needs of the Australian farmer.

The very first ute rolled off Ford Motor Company's Australian assembly line in 1934 and has been a popular vehicle for farmer and non-farmer alike ever since.

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