The video comes from user Kaymie Wuerfel (@kayywuerf), an American who now teaches at a school in Australia.
Her clip is part of a larger trend in which TikTokers are sharing the biggest “culture shocks” they’ve faced while living abroad. In the past, users have pointed out why Swedish people “only” eat candy on Saturdays, what “chips and salsa” look like in Italy and the stark difference between British and American restaurants.
Wuerfel, who is 23, has a TikTok page full of the things she’s learned while living abroad. However, one of her more recent clips seemed to particularly baffle American viewers.
In the video, which has more than 2.3 million views, Wuerfel shares the things she “had to learn” after moving to Australia. The majority of them are seemingly common slang terms that, to an American, sound completely nonsensical at first.
The first term Wuerfel shared: “slip, slap, slop.” As it turns out, this phrase is basically just a reminder for kids to put on sunscreen when they’re outside in the heat. The term comes from a long-running health campaign, which told people to “slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat.”
Then, there’s “Zooper Doopers.” This phrase, which Wuerfel also learned after moving to Australia, is actually just a brand of frozen popsicles that, in some regions, has become a sort of ubiquitous term. It’s like calling a tissue a Kleenex, only way tastier.
Lastly, Wuerfel expressed her confusion when the school staff told her there was an upcoming “swimming carnival.” Apparently, these events are regular swimming competitions between schools or youth groups. They’re commonly called “swimming galas” in the U.K., South Africa and elsewhere.
On TikTok, many commenters shared in Wuerfel’s initial confusion.
“Please educate this non-Aussie on these terms,” one user wrote.
“OK, but what’s a swimming carnival?” another added.
Meanwhile, Australian TikTokers seemed amused.
“I’m from Australia and these videos make me laugh so hard because it’s so normal to me,” one commenter wrote.
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