Off for an al desko

Mar 09, 2020

Aussie Word of the Week

The clock ticks slowly towards lunchtime. Your stomach rumbles, you can't wait to get stuck into last night's leftovers, but your workload seems to be growing. You might need to tell your work buddies that you will be eating lunch al desko. Al desko is a nice piece of Aussie slang that riffs on the term alfresco, meaning 'in the open air' and commonly used in reference to dining.

The al desko has become so commonplace that people are questioning the etiquette of eating at your desk

Offices are full of slang and jargon, some of which jars and some of which is so commonplace we hardly notice anymore. One example is touch base, meaning to make contact with someone. You likely find yourself typing this in your emails as a kind of introduction or tentative hello. 

Get all your ducks in a row is another example of workplace jargon. Unfortunately, this does not mean to go and visit your local pond to feed the ducks but is in fact a colloquial way of saying you are going to get organised. 

Comment below if you have any other office slang we haven't heard before. Now, I'm off for an al desko...

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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David - March 20, 2020, 10 a.m.

How about when, in a meeting, someone will say to another person 'let's discuss that issue offline', meaning 'let's not take up the meeting's time with it - you and I can discuss it separately'.

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Lisa - March 31, 2020, 11:36 a.m.

A bit of trivia for you: when I was in a pseudo-military organisation, we used to call this "meal at post." It showed we were working hard and self-sacrificing by not taking the time away from our desks to partake in some sustenance.

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