Feature: Colloquial Waterloo

Date posted: 28 May 2015Author: STC

Battle of Waterloo Rehearsal
Photos of cast members Luke Carroll, James Slee and Shari Sebbens in rehearsals by Hon Boey. 

Set in the inner Sydney suburb of Waterloo, Battle of Waterloo is a love letter to the place that playwright Kylie Coolwell calls home. Kylie has written her play in the local dialect specific to the Aboriginal community in Waterloo.  

The characters are a close-knit family, and like all families, they love hard, fight with passion and make each other laugh. Actor Shari Sebbens, who plays Cassie, has said; ‘Kylie has created a mad, beautiful, truthful world’.

The characters in Battle of Waterloo occasionally use words that originate in traditional Indigenous languages or English language colloquialisms. Below is a glossary of the terms used in the play:

AMS – an acronym for Aboriginal Medical Service

Balung – woman / can be a white woman

Budoo – penis

Budgi-gan – gay

Bunty – bum

Charge – alcoholic drink

Cold biting – asking strangers for money

Doobai / Doob - a black woman

Doot – vagina  

Durri – sex

Emu pills – a traditional Aboriginal medicine taken by Aunty

Gammin – nonsense / untrue

Garras – testicles

Guarnie – mad

Gubba – white person

Hottie – stolen car

Jarjums – children

Miri – dog

Mulagah – man

Naringah – crazy / mad

Smallie – a small bottle of port

Walung – money

Yarndie – cannabis

Jiliwah – toilet

Battle of Waterloo, 1 – 27 Jun, Wharf 1 Theatre. Limited tickets available. Book here

Read more about Battle of Waterloo in our excellent and insightful play program, available from the theatre for $10.

There is frequent strong language and a sex scene in this production.