Cultural differences are very beautiful but sometimes the miscommunications that come out of them can be pretty hilarious. If you’ve ever been to America, then the enormous portion sizes of their food and the excessive amounts of advertising might have been a bit of a shock or a laugh, depending on your sense of humour.

If you’ve been to the south-eastern parts of Asia, then you’ve probably been baffled with just how many family members people could fit onto a tiny scooter.

But of course, Australians do a lot of things that confuse foreigners too. Here are our top 6 things that foreigners find weird about Aussies:


cap compressorSpeaking of drinks, you’d find BYO or BYOB signs in restaurants. It’s an acronym for Bring Your Own Bottle, although it usually refers to just wine. Yes, you can bring your own bottle of wine for a small corkage fee. A lot of foreigners are perplexed by this concept.

“How are you going?”

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I remember an American responding to this with “Uh, on foot I guess?” It’s up there with the American greeting “What’s up?” and the old English “How do you do?”

These are courtesy greetings; sometimes people are genuinely interested in how you’ve been. Other times, they just expect you to say, “I’m good”.

Sandmen, Barbies, and Summer On Christmas Day
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Because of the widespread influence of American films and advertising, most people see Christmas as a biting cold season with fluffy beds of white snow. Things are a little different down under, since it’s summer around December. Cheeky Aussies build sandmen instead of snowmen. It’s perfectly normal to find grilled meats and seafood on a barbeque and some people will be swimming and surfing by the beach on Christmas day. It is pretty strange if you’re used to a “White Christmas”. But since Australia is a melting pot of different cultures, you’ll still find people who go with traditional English pot roasts, ham, and sweet pies despite the heat.

The Ridiculous Number Of Words That Mean Swimwear

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When you have a bazillion words that mean the same thing it gets a little tricky to keep up. Trust me, I get it. Depending on where you are (and which generation you’re from), different types of swimwear can be called togs, swimmers, bathers, cossies, speedos, boardies, sluggos, dik daks, lolly bags, marble bags, budgie smugglers, among other things.

“Have you seen my thongs?”


Again, this is the American influence at work. To most people influenced by American language, a thong is an undergarment or piece of underwear. To most Aussies though, a thong is simply one half of what others would call “flip flops” or “slippers”, nothing overly scandalous.

When you think about it, the differences are kind of funny. What are your everyday Australian things that your foreigner friends find weird? Let us know at @alphacarhire

Want to experience the beautiful and quirky multitude of cultures around Australia? Make it a road trip! You’re going to love the unique experiences on each stop. Just be sure to book reliable, comfortable, and cheap car hire for a stress-free travel.