seppo

[sep-oh]

What does seppo mean?

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Seppo is a mildly derogatory Australian slang term for an American, shortened from septic tank.

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Examples of seppo

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Examples of seppo
Haha just got called a Russian by some insane seppo centrist.
@rowansut, February 2018
Listening to a Seppo podcast and for some reason they diverge off into talking about good Sydney is and I’m sitting in go nowhere traffic on the M5 thinking “actually it’s pretty shit when you think about it”
@mattjhatton, February 2019
Ball Memes

Where does seppo come from?

The term seppo is Australian slang used to make fun of Americans. It’s said to come from rhyming slang, with Yank rhyming with septic tank. Septic tank was ultimately shortened to seppo, with the O-ending common in Australian slang (cf. avo for avocado). Seppo is attested to by at least 1967.

And what do Americans have to do with septic tanks? Well, as mentioned above, Yank rhymes with septic tank, so there’s that. But also, this slang term implies some Australians’ view of Americans: that, like septic tanks, they’re full of shit.

The United States was dubbed Seppo-land as early as 1996.

Less crappily, Seppo is the name of a Zen Buddhist Master mentioned in several koans.

Another famous Seppo is the nickname for the character Ilmarinen in the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. This Seppo means “smith” and is often used as a name in Finnish and other Scandinavian languages.

Who uses seppo?

Seppo is most often used by Australians and New Zealanders. It’s mostly used to contemptuously refer to Americans, those bloody seppos.

It can be a serious or humorous insult. It’s often a little bit of both.

Like the Japanese baka gaijin, seppo is sometimes adopted by Americans living Down Under in humorous self-deprecation.

As noted, Seppo is also a male given name in Finland and the the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Apparently, it was most popular in the 1940–50s, but it is still somewhat used today, including by a popular Finnish dog.

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