Expat Magazine

Australian School Uniforms and Swearing in Australia, Bloody Hell Dammit

By Floridagirlinsydney
Australian School Uniforms and Swearing in Australia, Bloody Hell Dammit  Pop into the shops in most Aussie suburbs between the hours of 3 and 4pm, and you will most likely be quite entertained as you see kids of all ages gussied up in their adorable Australian school uniforms.  In America, prior to my boys being school-age, I wasn't sure where I stood on the  "uniform issue", which in Australia isn't an issue at all, it's just the way it is. In Florida, the uniform debate went on for years...  Should there be a uniform?  How will the children express themselves?  Won't uniforms prevent kids from teasing each other about their clothes?  or will they just find something else to tease each other about?  Which I can now tell you from experience... they will, but that's a whole other post. Anyway, after four years here, I am sold on the whole uniform thing.  In fact, I'll go as far as to say, the more formal the better.  Dare I declare... it sets a tone; it creates an atmosphere.  It makes boys acting naughty, still be, boys acting naughty; but they look extra adorable while doing it, haha.  In my opinion.   So you can imagine the cuteness factor a couple of years ago, when my oldest child was in Kindy (that's Aussie for Kindergarten) and I would walk into their classrooms and see all their cute little Aussie friends, with all their cute little Aussie accents, in their cute little uniforms.  And one day, whilst the kids were putting their "morning tea" (that's Aussie for "snack") in their designated spot, a little boy I was quite fond of drops his bag on the floor, exploding with an enthusiastic, "Dammit!".  My jaw probably dropped to the floor, and in my best Homer Simpson voice, I was like, "Doh???".  Did that little mister five-year old cutie-pants just shout out "dammit" and no one even blinked an eye?  Huh? Listen, I'm no Pollyanna, and I can swear like a truck driver when necessary...  or... for no reason at all.   In fact, though they haven't yet, I'd rather my kids swear then watch violent TV shows.  Hmmm, I'm just asking for trouble here, aren't I?
Anyway, so over the last couple of years there have been many a playdate and/ or a birthday party and/ or a school drop off, where "dammit" and "what the hell" are flying out of babes mouths like it's nothin'.   So finally, I asked a friend of mine... (about 10 seconds after her son said both these words in front of all of us), "Um, hey girlfriend--  are dammit and hell bad words in Australia, or are they not?  Because in the U.S. you really wouldn't hear little kids talking like that."  (At least as far as I know, but then again, my kids were two and three years old when we moved here).  And then I stopped, and then I thought-- hmm, I wonder if the word "bloody" is actually worse than "hell" or "dammit".  So I asked the question-- who knows, could that be true?  Guess what, assuming my friend wasn't just messing with me... "bloody" is actually worse.  You'd think after all my time here, I would have picked this knowledge up along the way.  Apparently, I'm a little slow on the uptake, but now I am well-informed of what the really bad word is.   So last week, newly enlightened on the swearing front, I stood by as the boys and their classmates were slowly unpacking their morning tea bags, so I chimed in with, "Speed it up kiddos, and get the fuck out to the field."  The Aussie mums (moms) quickly turned around and glared at me (more than usual).  And I'm not really sure where this all went awry -- it's not like I said bloody field.  I guess I'll never really fit in here.

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