Welcome to Macca's as McDonald's goes Aussie

SYDNEY Mon Jan 7, 2013 8:18am EST

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Looking for a McDonald's in Australia this month? You may bump into a "Macca's" instead.

The international fast food giant will temporarily change signs at selected stores across the country to "Macca's," the affectionate Australian nickname for the chain, in celebration of Australia Day, which falls on January 26 - a move that is its first such globally.

"We're incredibly proud to embrace our ‘Australian-only' nickname," said Mark Lollback, the company's chief marketing officer in Australia, in a statement on Tuesday.

"What better way to show Aussies how proud we are to be a part of the Australian community than change our store signs to the name the community has given us?"

Surveys have showed at least 50 percent of Australians use the nickname.

Thirteen stores will change their store signage this week, starting from the state of New South Wales on Tuesday, the company said. The regular signage will return from Feb 4.

Australian English has a number of unique turns of phrase. According to a national survey, "Macca's" is the second most recognized Australianism, just behind "footy" for Australian rules football.

The popularity of the nickname has also prompted McDonald's to call on Macquarie Dictionary, the authority on the English language in Australia, to include "Macca's" in their online version, a proposal supported by one third of Australians, the company said.

(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; editing by Elaine Lies)

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