Scoot on my scooter

We’ve written several articles about the differences between UK and Australian English, such as; Aussie English – Embrace or resist? and Does Billy want to be a Firey, a Postie, a Techo, a Garbo, or a Polly?

One verb that we keep hearing, because we have a son who loves hanging out at the skate park, is “scooter”. For a while I’ve been wondering if this is Australian English, or if there’s a US influence. Or maybe we’re wrong when we say our children “scoot” down the street. What do you say?

We scoot to the park

We’ve had scooters around the house since our eldest son turned three; in London he used a scooter to scoot to preschool. In Australia, he’s had a few scooter upgrades and enjoys scooting around the skate park and is learning some good tricks.

We often hear Aussies talk about “scootering” i.e. “we scootered to the shop”. When we first heard it, it sounded strange, but we’re getting quite used to it now.

Mum’s consulted the Collins Free Online Dictionary and “scoot” is a verb: “to leave or move quickly”, but is it the term we should use to talk about the modern scooters used by our kids? Collins don’t appear to recognise “scooter” as a verb.

They scooter to the park

Interestingly the Macquarie online dictionary confirms that “scooter” is a verb: “to go, or travel in or on a scooter” although it references a motor scooter rather than a kid’s push along scooter.

I’m gonna scoot on my scooter

Of course, it doesn’t really matter what you say. Whether you say scoot or scooter people will know what you mean. There are loads of Aussie words that we’ve adopted since living in Sydney, scooter might eventually make its way into our vocabulary. For now we’re going to stick with “scooting” on our scooter, and we’ve taken comfort in the fact that we’re in good company. Check out this song from Justine Clarke’s Big World CD for kids: I’m gonna scoot on my scooter. If you’ve got scooter loving littlies, like us, they’ll love this song.

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