It doesn’t really seem to matter where you go, there’s always that one person that has to yell out “put another shrimp on the barbie” as soon as they meet someone from Australia. It’s meant in a positive way but I can only imagine how tired Aussies have to be of hearing it..
Love For Abbreviations
As annoying as it understandably must be, there’s just something special about the way Australians love using abbreviations and/or slang words. Of course stereotypes about Aussies and their language are exaggerated, just like they are about any other culture but that’s what stereotypes are, exaggerated.
However, Aussies do have an endearing way of shortening their words and practically turning it into a whole new language, one that most of us wouldn’t understand.
Examples of epic Australian slang
- Breakfast – Brekkie
- Relative – Rellie
- Mosquito – Mozzie
- Afternoon – Arvo
- Barbeque – Barbie
You can see how all areas of life get a little extra love through Aussie abbreviations and it’s only fair that casinos get theirs as well. Since the early days, the word “Pokies” has been thrown around a lot and if you’re wondering what it means and what it comes from, today is your lucky day.
I’m going to give you the answer to the popular question – Why do Aussies call slots pokies?
Making Their Way Down Under
As you may recall from one of my previous articles about the history of slots, the first ever slot machine was invented in 1895 in California. It was an immediate success and as you can imagine it didn’t take long before slots and/or poker machines were being shipped all over the world. This of course included far away places such as Australia and New Zealand.
It wasn’t until the 1950s when Aristocrat, an Australian company, developed its first slot machine game, which was known as the Clubman.
Slot Machines Are Illegal – Let’s Call Them Pokies
Despite its popularity, slot machines were illegal in Australia all the way to 1956. Don’t get me wrong, illegal clubs and bars were full of them and people loved playing but they had to keep looking over their shoulders for the police while doing it.
Like many other illegal interests throughout history, in order to be able to play, people started using slang in order to avoid suspicion. The word “Pokie” is the abbreviated version of “poker machine” and this was the name that was used.
By the time the authorities came around and made it all legal, the name Pokie/Pokies had stuck and people simply continued using it.
An Ongoing Love Affair
No matter how popular pokies were before 1956, taking the step and legalizing it was a game-changer and the incredible love affair between Australians and their pokies has been growing stronger and stronger ever since. Today, Australia is one of the biggest markets for pokies.
Other Nicknames for Slot Machines
If you go to England, slots are often referred to as fruit machines. I’m sure you know that was the original name for slot machines when they were first developed. Besides fruit machines, in Scotland you might even hear the word “Puggies” being used in the same way.
More of your favorite Aussie slang:
- Petrol – Petty
- Cup of Tea – Cuppa
- Biscuit – Biccy
- Laptop – Lappy
- Cab driver – Cabbie
- Postman – Postie
Play Some Pokies
So, the next time you are down under, in Australia or even New Zealand, don’t be afraid to ask around where you can play some pokies. In the meantime, you can explore all the best slots and other casino games the industry has to offer at any of my favorite crypto casinos.