Favorite Australian Slang: The Aussie Salute


bush fliesThis is part of an ongoing series of posts on my favorite Aussie slang. Be sure to check back for updates, or subscribe to my RSS feed to get updates to your reader automatically.

A trip to the outback in Australia will always bring a person to doing the Aussie salute. How do you do it, you ask? It’s easy! Just lift your arm (left or right) to one side of your face, and then proceed to move it left and right from one side of your face to the next. Is it starting to look familiar? Well, it should because the Aussie salute is nothing more than swatting flies!

Flies in the outback areas of the country are some of the most persistent flies in the world. One step outside into the open air and flies will start flying directly at your face. For some reason, they have a really unhealthy obsession with my eyeballs, so I’m always in sunglasses and saluting like crazy.

cork hatThese flies are so annoying that some people even resort to wearing bug net hats that go over their heads. Another interesting contraption is the cork hat, and just like it sounds, it is a hat with wine corks hanging off the brim. The cork hat actually does the Aussie salute on your behalf whenever you turn your head.

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Oprah did a bit of the Aussie salute on her recent adventure to Uluru, and she even commented on it to the press. If you check out this site, there is a video that captures her doing the Aussie salute in full-force towards the end.

Otherwise, this video pretty much covers the insanity that can be flies in Australia, although I haven’t quite had this happen to me. Perhaps this was a freak occurrence? Anyone else have fly troubles this extreme?

Photo credit: 1, 2.