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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.