Cricket is, in many ways, has a universal language. The game’s origins means that English is the common language between the major cricket-playing nations.
However, the variety of dialect across the cricketing globe is, and here are some of the best and most confusing.
If that happens, don’t be alarmed, although it will almost certainly mean that England probably aren’t doing all that well in the cricket.
A ‘stubby’ is a bottle of beer. More specifically, it’s a 375ml bottle of beer with a short neck.
They were originally introduced to Australia in the 1950s, and got their name from a typically Aussie ‘say what you see’ kind of idea for the simple reason that the looked like stubs of the more traditional shaped bottle.
Those traditional bottles are commonly referred to as ‘long-necks’ or ‘tall-ies’ now, and if someone offers you a ‘Darwin Stubby,’ they’ll absolutely expect you to neck a two litre bottle of beer, so you might want to clear your schedule.
The real mystery here isn’t why they are called ‘pokies.’ The Australian passion for shortening every possible word in the English language is well-known, and ‘pokies’ is a shortened term for ‘poker machines.’
No, the real mystery is why on earth they called slot machines poker machines in the first place, and for that I have no answer.
If you do accept a beer and a quick ‘pokie’ session from an Australian, especially a Darwin Stubby, there is every chance that babbelas is going to follow.
Babbelas is a word the South Africans us to describe a hangover, but not just any hangover – a bad hangover.
It can even be used as an adjective, as in: I am a bit babbelas today.
It derives from the ibhabhalazi, a Zulu word meaning ‘after-effects of drinking,’ so it literally makes sense.
Hopefully there will be no babbelas in the England camp when they wake up on Boxing Day to face South Africa at Centurion.
The Indians certainly love their hospitality, but definitely be alarmed if someone says yaar to you.
Not, I want to stress, because they are being unfriendly, as yaar literally means ‘mate,’ but you might want to panic because you’ve probably missed what they are actually saying.
Yaar is, an almost mind-bendingly versatile word. In India the smallest change in intonation or tone combined with yaar can just about change the entire meaning of the message.
“Are you kidding me?!” is one possibility, but it could also mean a friendly request you pass you a stubby or an exasperated expression of sadness.
Good luck with that one.
If you’re confronted by a West Indian and excitedly told ‘cheese on bread,’ I imagine things can get a little confusing.
However, cheese on bread is an exclamation used to describe many a Brian Lara cover drive, so don’t panic! It’s good thing, a very good thing.
It simply means, “wow”.
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