Australian Words (part one)

Australians use the word nappy for diaper. When D was little I insisted on calling it diaper. Since he started creche (there's another word!) Australian words are slowly creeping into his speech, and mine by extension.

At first I thought the word nappy was related to the word napkin. You know, keeping clean and all.

Then I noticed another new Aussie word: serviette (pronounced so-vee-eht). Serviette is the British term for napkin, adopted from the original French. Sounds rather glamorous for a piece of disposable cloth, I would think. Formally, the napkin is the term employed by the upper class, whilst serviette was firmly lower or middle class. Funny, no? To my American ears serviette sounds more pretentious than the plain napkin. I've heard people call it serviette'kah, but that is just a yiddishism for the originally French word.

Either way, serviettes, napkins and diapers all serve to keep my children clean and home tidy. Who cares what they are called, so long as they get used!


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