Australian Accent Is All Down To Early Settlers ‘Getting DRUNK Every Day’

Aussies slur their words and use only two-thirds of their mouth to speak because early settlers spent most of their days DRUNK, academic says

  • The Australian language developed because early settlers were often drunk
  • Academic claims the constant slurring of words distorted the accent
  • The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity
  • The drunken speech has been passed down from generation to generation

The Australian accent developed because so many early settlers were drunk and slurring, an Australian academic has claimed.

The first British arrivals to the country were such big drinkers that the distortion to their speech caused a verbal hangover that persists to this day, according to Dean Frenkel, a communications expert at Victoria University in Melbourne.

Proud Australians may be offended by the claim, which comes on top of the unavoidable truth that Australia began its modern life as a penal colony for our criminals.




But academic Mr Frenkel unashamedly wrote in Australian newspaper The Age: ‘Let’s get things straight about the origins of the Australian accent.

‘The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol.

‘Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns.

‘For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children.’

Bemoaning the still ‘slurred’ Australian accent, Mr Frenkel continued: ‘The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity – with one third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch; and that’s just concerning articulation.

‘Missing consonants can include missing “t”s (Impordant), “l”s (Austraya) and “s”s (yesh), while many of our vowels are lazily transformed into other vowels, especially “a”s to “e”s (stending) and “i”s (New South Wyles) and “i”s to “oi”s (noight).’

Concluding with a call for Australians to improve their diction, the academic added: ‘It is time to take our beer goggles off.

‘Australia, it is no longer acceptable to be smarter than we sound.’


The Australian alphabet that ‘was spiked by alcohol’ and that the distortion to their speech caused a verbal hangover that persists to this day


1788 – Colonial settlement established. A new dialect of English begins to take shape

1830 – By the end of the early Colonial settlement era major features of the accent, called ‘General Australian’, had developed, wi the country’s love of abbreviated words became part of everyday language

1850 – The Gold Rush leads to internal migration, spreading the general dialect around the continent

1880 – Extensive migration from England led to an emphasis on elocution and British vowels, which formed the Broad Australian dialect

1914 to 1918 – Australia’s national identity was galvanized during WWI with the creation of terms like Anzac and digger. Australians start to become proud of their accent.

1950 – In the second half of the 20th century, any emphasis on Broad Australian dwindled because of weakening ties with Britain and the General Australian accent became widely accepted as the national norm

1964 – The term Strine was coined to describe the country’s accent, which the majority of people continue to speak today   

  • Information from Macquarie University and Oxford English Dictionary




Previous accent theories have included suggestions that the Australian accent is a true reflection of the 18th and 19th century accents of British arrivals, while the American accent reflects the way 17th century early settlers from Britain spoke.

The suggestion has been that it is native English accents which have changed, while former colonies have clung to old ways of speaking.

Winston Churchill described the Australian accent as ‘the most brutal maltreatment ever inflicted upon the mother tongue.’

Aussie Drinking Slang

Words for “beer”:

  • grog (can mean any alcohol)
  • piss

Words for “drunk”:

  • legless
  • off one’s face
  • maggot (really drunk)
  • pissed

Different sized drinks:

  • schooner – 425ml glass of beer, except in SA where it is a 285ml glass
  • middy – half-pint of beer / same as a pot
  • pot – 285ml glass of beer in QLD or VIC
  • pint – 570ml glass of beer
  • long-neck – 750ml bottle of beer
  • tinnie – can of beer
  • stubby – bottle of beer
  • slab – 24 pack of beer

More drinking terms:

  • esky – a cooler
  • goon – cask or box wine
  • shout – to buy someone a drink
  • bottle shop / bottle-o – a liquor store
  • chunder – vomit
  • drink with the flies – drink alone
  • rage – party
  • skull/skol a beer – drink a whole beer without stopping

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