Obama tries to speak Aussie English: Hit or miss? (VIDEO)


US President Barack Obama is hugged by a student as he arrives with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (R) at Parliament House in Canberra on November 16, 2011.


Jim Watson

President Obama may not support photo-ops in traditional garb, also known as "silly shirts," but he apparently has no problem going local. He tried to impress his audience during a visit to Canberra, Australia, Wednesday night with some phrases from Down Under.

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"Tonight with your permission, I'd like to give it a burl," he said in his dinner speech to members of Parliament, sparking laughter in the crowd.

He called his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard a "chinwag"

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He said that their meetings are always productive, "not just a lot of ear-bashing."

Obama then paused, looked up at the crowd and added as if off-the-cuff: "That's a good one, ear-bashing. I can use that in Washington."

Obama took a moment to be serious: "The alliance between the United States and Australia is deeper and strong than it has ever been."

And he then ended with a bang: "Spot on."

Australia's ABC News blogged that Obama's efforts were well-received.

"Not since Crocodile Dundee stormed American pop culture in the 1980′s have we been treated to so many Australian catchphrases – and Obama got some good laughs out of it," it stated.