Car Terms and Definitions - Torrens 400

By: Glenn Torrens

Presented by

bonnet not hood bonnet not hood

Using the right words is just as important in car culture as it is elsewhere in life, reckons Glenn Torrens

 

What do you reckon? #6 - Bonnet not hood!

On ANZAC day, I eat Anzac biscuits, not cookies. When I’m watching TV, I lie on my lounge, not a couch. I take holidays, not a vacation and the black stuff put on roads is bitumen, not tarmac. I drink a few beers with my mates, not buddies. They’re all good blokes, not dudes and some of them drive Holden and Falcon utes, not pick-ups.

An automobile is what our yank mates call a car. A truck is what they call a lorry. If it has a big comfy cabin, five seats and a tailgate, it’s probably a wagon, not a station sedan, shooting brake or estate car. Cars and trucks have mudguards, not fenders or wings and I carry stuff such as tools in the boot, not a trunk.  When driving, if I want to turn, change lanes or overtake, I’ll let others know with an indicator, not a turn signal.

Cars these days have a laminated windscreen, not a windshield. The radio is connected to the aerial, not antenna. You can maybe interchange engine and motor… but either way, your car’s power-plant is installed under the bonnet, not the hood. But have you ever heard anyone say: ‘I need to fix my driver-side electric window engine’?

My lovely Holden Calais V8 is an automatic but everything else I drive is a manual, not stick. The Calais and my Mitsubishi Sigma run on petrol, not gasoline, but my Hilux also runs on LPG. I fill them all from a bowser, not pump. And when I service them, I’ll put fresh oil in the sump, not the oil pan and I’ll be handling spanners, not wrenches, to get the job done.

A car wreck is a wrecked car… not the crash that caused the damage that a panel beater (not body repair man) will hopefully be able to fix.   Fall is something you might do when you’re under the influence of alcohol – in other words, pissed – not what happens in the months after the stinking heat of an Aussie summer. That’s autumn. And Aussies don’t swap pissed with pissed-off.

A period is a chunk of time and full stops happen at the end of sentences. When I ask for a light beer, it’s because I want less alcohol in it… not less carbohydrates. No-one wears fanny-bags in Australia because we have bums. And no-one wears them anyway!

When I jump in a 4WD (not SUV) for a weekend adventure away from the city, I’ll probably be driving along tracks, not trails. I will be venturing into the bush not the jungle or a forest… unless it’s been man-planted. If I’m lucky enough to go interstate for work (or play) I might hire a car at the airport; I don’t rent one.

Out the back of my house is a veranda, not a porch and if I need to water the garden, I’ll connect the hose to a tap, not a faucet. My letterbox is next to the footpath, not sidewalk and a car parked in the street will be at the gutter, not the curb.

If I get some info from one of my mates about a forgotten old car, chances are they’ll be ringing me on my mobile, not cell, phone. Cars left in paddocks – not fields – are often rusty but if I prise open the doors to find a Cinderella classic car, it’s a shed find… because we don’t have barns in Australia!

Now more than ever, I reckon using our time-honoured Aussie terms and colloquialisms is cool.

What do you reckon? Let us know! uniquecars@bauertrader.com.au

 

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