Monday, March 08, 2021

Gas

While Australia is not as divided by two common languages as the UK and US, we are still somewhat divided from the US here.

A line from a novel. "I've got Blue Cross". That'd be health insurance. Another, "I've got gas". The latter would refer to wind, burping or farting I suppose.

Every few months we buy gas. That is for our barbeque. There are still some cars around that use gas as fuel and some service stations that have gas bowsers. In the US, buying gas would be more frequent, to fill a car with fuel. 

Our gas is LPG, Liquid Propane Gas, for a few cars, barbeques and camping lights and camping stoves. Natural gas is what comes through pipes for your hotplates and oven unless you are in the country and buy bottled gas, which is LPG.  As in the US gas is petrol for a vehicle, they can't use gas for LPG, so it is called just Propane. I'd be quite happy with using that here but I would not be happy calling petrol, gas. Petrol is a liquid after all.

Where to you buy petrol/gas in the US? We buy it at a petrol station or a service station, abbreviated to a servo. Are you confused? I am.




22 comments:

  1. I like the Aussie slang dictionary. Servo is in. https://www.koalanet.com.au/australian-slang.html

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    1. It's a recent addition Tasker and wasn't used when I was young.

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    2. Really? I've heard Servo for years. Must be a Bogan thing.

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    3. "Bogan" is listed as well.

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  2. India and Australia have the same language 😎

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    1. Kind of ME. Maybe we just arrange the words a little differently.

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  3. For cars, and most US cars run on petrol, we use gas, which is short for gasoline. There are few diesel cars in the US, most heavy trucks are diesel. There is a lot of piped natural gas in the US for heating homes, and cooking, commonly referred to as gas. LPG, is commonly referred to as either propane, or simply gas. Then there is butane, I have a portable single burner sort of a camping stove, that runs on butane, another form of gas to buy.

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    1. Travel, I forgot the word gasoline. I think butane is what goes into cigarette lighters too. Thanks for the explanations.

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  4. We buy bottled GAS for the cooking hob, and PETROL for the car. Here some buy ESSENCE and others FUEL. I also buy COMBUSTIBLE for my small oil heater.

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    1. Cro, Essence is an interesting one. I hope you have clear in your mind the difference between combustibles, consumables and comestibles.

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  5. I never understood why my uncle in the US went to the gas station to get gas which in reality was the petrol ! Here now more and more people buy hybrides petrol/electricity, that's wonderful and cheap I had this car for 7 years !! The battery is charged each time you break !

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    1. Gattiina, hybrid aren't quite as common here but I think most of our taxis are hybrid.

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  6. I have noted those differences too. I am sure there are others which escape my early morning mind at the moment.

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    1. EC, I was just pondering why the word propane is used and my mind ran away.

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  7. Americans buy gas at a gas station, naturally! We do say service station, too, but never abbreviated to servo. As Travel said, gas (as in petrol) is short for gasoline, which obviously isn't the same as a compound or element in a gaseous state. I have no idea where the name gasoline comes from. I should look it up.

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    1. Steve, no, you wouldn't say servo. Australians have such a habit in this area, although we also extend some words at times.

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  8. if someones 'got gas', it generally means they've got some 'get up and go', a bit of energy

    Bodily functions generally dont make
    their way into conversations to the extent they do in Australia or the uk

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    1. Ian, it is so long ago I can't remember the context and you are probably right.

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  9. It's all been explained so I don't need to say anything more.

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  10. Oh man, that's the first time I've ever been confronted with the idea that the gas at the service station is a liquid and its stupid to call it gas. Well here's what is said about that on some website: Petro comes from the latin petroleum which means rock and oil. Gasoline is well....here's the explanation: So why do Americans call this ancient rock-oil ‘gasoline’? Petroleum as a word was around in Europe back when the North American mainland was being filled with enthusiastic European settlers and so it’s likely those first English-speakers were aware of the term, but it’s only when this ‘rock oil’ was started to be split into different compounds did the term ‘gasoline’ come about. In a lot of organic chemistry, -ene or -ine is used (think benzene/benzine), and so the part of the petroleum distilled-off and used in motor vehicles was the part of highest volatility, and in time was dubbed gasoline. Until recently it was thought the ‘gas’ part of it was due to it’s nature of being quite gas-like, however, it may have actually come from a brand name of Cazeline (a product sold and imported into the UK by a Mr John Cassell, and so named after him – Cassel + ine), which, when made by others who were not allowed to use the brand name, began being sold as Gazeline – or, in time, ‘gasoline’.

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    1. My goodness Strayer. I would have never guessed it came from a product and personal name. Thanks so much for the research.

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Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.