One of my friends (whom I also work with) lives in Australia and I hear him from time to time use the expression “Down under”, such as “That’s all from down under” and I have also used it myself as “How goes down under?”

As most people know; ‘down under’ refers to Australia (and New Zealand) but why? I mean, down under could also be South America or South Africa but nope, that is just not the case. The Wikipedia does have an explanation (See here):

It locates Australia as “The land Down Under” because unlike Africa and South America, that continent lies totally within the southern hemisphere and typically world maps and globes show Antarctica at the ‘bottom’, with north appearing to be “up” and south appearing to be “down”.

What about the other way around. Since we have defined that north is equal to up and south is equal to down. Then why don’t the Australians used ‘up over’ such as “Any news from up over?”

Yes, I know, it does sound a bit silly, but why not? Is there any expression that is used like ‘Down under’ to refer to us? Oh, do people in Japan say ‘down under’ also for Australia.

I really wonder why I think about these things, but it just hit me today. So if anyone out there knows more about this up/down under/over then drop some comments.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Contamination

    Japanese people say “O-su-to-rariya” and that by itself makes my skin crawl.

  2. Sam Nova

    If you know then would you be so kind to translate that :)

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