E011 Cooee

Welcome to English with Kimberley.

In this episode, I want to talk to you about the word ‘cooee’ which is used in Australian bush to help find your way, or let someone know where you are.

How about a little quiz first?

What is ’the bush’ in Australia, is it…

a) a small tree that Koalas live in?

b) a tool for painting with?

c) the rural and little-populated part of Australia?

or d) a popular herb used in cooking?

OK. Let’s hear the question again.

What is ‘the bush’ in Australia, is it…

a) a small tree that Koalas live in?

b) a tool for painting with?

c) the rural and little-populated part of Australia?

or d) a popular herb used in cooking?

OK. Now you’ve had a think, did you answer ‘c’ – ‘the rural and little-populated part of Australia’?

Yes, the ‘bush’ is like the ‘countryside’ of other countries – only in Australia it has few people living there and is a long way from what you might think of as a town or city.

Anyway, although ‘cooee’ is not used much these days, it is – very much a part of – Australian culture.

‘Cooee’ is shouted with a change in pitch between the ‘coo’ and ‘ee’ – a bit like the siren on a police car

– like this: ‘coo // EE’ ‘coo // EE’

‘Cooee’, when shouted, can travel great distances in the bush – where there are few people and big open spaces –  and so can be heard by people if you are lost or injured

So, finally, are end-of-podcast quiz.

Why would you shout, ‘cooee’?

Is it because you…

a) would like someone to help you in a shop?

b) are lost in a place and would like someone to find you?

c) have seen someone attractive?

or d) need to stop a taxi?

Let’s just repeat the question.

When would you shout, ‘cooee’?

Is it because you…

a) would like someone to help you in shop?

b) are lost in a place and would like someone to find you?

c) have seen someone attractive?

or d) need to stop a taxi?

OK. Did you get ‘b’ – ‘are lost in a place and would like someone to find you’?

But remember, ‘cooee’ is not used these days because we all have mobile phones, don’t we? So, we don’t get lost like we used to. But you can still hear it being talked about in movies, books and even general conversations – because it’s just something all Australians know.

You can leave your feedback about this podcast on iTunes.

You can also find a script of this podcast at www.goaustralia.biz

I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.