Australian Slang

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When you learn English you’re taught how to speak and write ‘proper’ English. Then you visit an English speaking country and start hearing some very strange slang terms.

Like I’ve said in my last post,  have a friend here from Aussie and I thought it would be fun to list some Australian slang that I have never heard before, some of it I have heard, but most of it is certainly ‘interesting’!

Although Australia is an English speaking country, arriving into the country with little knowledge of the most popular Aussie slang words may just get you into a few awkward situations. It’s worth noting that Aussies have a tendency to shorten most words in the English vocabulary as well. You will soon become accustomed to this! Here are a list of some common slang words (some found in other English speaking countries) that should help you get by…


A Cold One – Beer

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Accadacca – How Aussies refer to Australian band ACDC

Ankle Biter – Child

Arvo – Afternoon (S’Arvo – this afternoon!)

Aussie Salute – Wave to scare the flies

Avo – Avocado

Bail – To cancel plans. ‘Bruce bailed’ = Bruce isn’t going to turn up.

Barbie – Barbecue

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Bathers – Swimsuit

Beauty! – Great! Most often exclaimed as “You Beauty”

Billabong – A pond in a dry riverbed

Billy – Teapot (In the Outback on the fire)

Bloody – Very. Used to extenuate a point

Bloody oath – yes or its true. “You right mate?”… “Bloody Oath”

Bludger – Someone who’s lazy, generally also who relies on others (when it’s someone who relies on the state they’re often called a ‘dole bludger’)

Bogan – This word is used for people who are, well let’s say, rednecks. Or, if you like, just call your friends a bogan when they are acting weird.

Booze Bus – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers

Bottle-O – Bottle Shop, basically a place to buy alcohol

Brekky – Breakfast

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Brolly – Umbrella

Bruce – An Aussie Bloke

Budgie Smugglers – Speedos

Bush – “Out in the bush” – “he’s gone bush” In the countryside away from civilisation

Cab Sav – Cabernet Sauvignon

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Cactus – Dead, Broken

Choc A Bloc – Full

Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit

Chook – Chicken

Chrissie – Christmas

Ciggy – a Cigarette

Clucky – feeling maternal

Cobber – Very good friend. ‘Alright me ‘ol cobber’.

Coldie – Beer. ‘Come over for a few coldie’s mate.’

Coppers – Policemen

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Crack the shits – Getting angry at someone or something

Crikey – an expression of surprise

Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook’

C*nt, the “C” word – Used when exchanging pleasantries between close friends or family member. If someone calls you the “C” word in Australia (and you haven’t done anything to make them angry), then breathe a sigh of relief… it means you have entered the mate zone.

Dag – Someone who’s a bit of a nerd or geek.

Daks – Trousers. ‘Tracky daks’ = sweatpants (tracksuit pants)

Dardy – meaning “cool”, is used amongst South West Australian Aboriginal peoples and has also been adopted by non-indigenous teens. – source

Deadset – True

Defo – Definitely

Devo – Devastated

Drongo – a Fool, ‘Don’t be a drongo mate’

Dunny – Toilet

Durry – Cigarette

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Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers)

Facey – Facebook

Fair Dinkum – ‘Fair Dinkum?’ … ‘Fair Dinkum!’ = Honestly? … Yeah honestly!

Flannie / Flanno – flannelette shirt

Flat out – Really busy – “Flat out like a lizard drinking” – As busy as a bee

Footy – Football (AFL / Aussie Rules)

Frothy – Beer

F*ck Me Dead – that’s unfortunate, that surprises me

Furphy – rumours or stories that are improbable or absurd

G’day – Hello

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Galah – an Australian cockatoo with a reputation for not being bright, hence a galah is also a stupid person.

Gnarly – awesome – often used by surfers

Going off – busy, lots of people / angry person “he’s going off”

Good On Ya – Good work

Goon – the best invention ever produced by mankind. Goon is a cheap, boxed wine that will inevitably become an integral part of your Australian backpacking experience.

Hard yakka – Hard work

Heaps – loads, lots, many

Hoon – Hooligan (normally driving badly!)

Iffy – bit risky or unreasonable

Knickers – female underwear

Lappy – Laptop

Larrikin – Someone who’s always up for a laugh, bit of a harmless prankster

Legless – Someone who is really drunk

Lollies – Sweets

Maccas – McDonalds

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Manchester – Sheets / Linen etc. If you’re from England, finding a department within a shop called Manchester could seriously confuse you.

Mongrel – Someone who’s a bit of a dick

Mozzie – Mosquito

No Drama – No problem / it’s ok

No Worries – No problem / it’s ok

No Wucka’s – A truly Aussie way to say ‘no worries’

Nuddy – Naked

Outback – The interior of Australia, “The Outback” is more remote than those areas named “the bush”

Pash – to kiss

Piece of Piss – easy

Piss Off – go away, get lost

Piss Up – a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions

Piss – (To Piss) to urinate

Pissed – Intoxicated, Drunk

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Pissed Off – Annoyed

Rack Off – The less offensive way to tell someone to ‘F Off’!

Rapt – Very happy

Reckon – for sure. ‘You Reckon?’… ‘I reckon!’

Rellie / Rello – Relatives

 

There are so many more, but I didn’t want this post to be too long. Reviewing all the good Aussie words and phrases, I noticed how easily each of them sticks in my mind right from the first time. Perhaps, it can be explained by the uniqueness of the Australian expressionsbecause each saying contains the people’s fondness and respect for own language.

 

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