Understanding Australian Slang

Aussie Slang

Australian slang is something I have grown up with. To me its just a part of life. Many will argue the large amount of slang is as a result of an uneducated population who  can’t be bothered to use the Queens’ English. I am not sure about slang originating from the uneducated but I would agree with we can’t be bothered. Australians are not very serious. We like a good prank and we love a laugh. Most of the slang words I use are used in jest or because they are funny.

Many are used because they are a part of our culture and how we communicate. Grommit for example is a word used to describe young surfer. What other word is there to describe a 12-14 year old boy who is mad about surfing and yet not old enough to hang with the older boys. He may be skilled enough and he may be cool enough but not yet mature enough.


Click here for an entertaining video on How To Speak Australian.

Enjoy reading – I love when people don’t understand our expressions. Especially the French. Are they mad – they must have an equal amount of expressions that only work in French. Having a point of difference is what makes the world go around right?

The List

A Cold One: Beer
Ack Willy: AWL or Absent without leave.
Aerial pingpong: Australian Rules football
Airships and clouds:  Sausages with mashed potato
Amber fluid: beer
Animal: a derogatory term for an Officer or NCO
Ankle biter: small child
Apples, she’ll be: It’ll be alright
Arvo: afternoon
Atta-boys: was the abbreviation for pills taken for prevention of malaria, but now is a common slang for well down.
Aussie salute: brushing away flies with the hand
Aussie: An Australian
Avos: avocados
B.Y.O.: unlicensed restaurant where you have to Bring Your Own grog, also similar party or barbecue
Back of Bourke: a very long way away, similar to referencing Timbuktu
Bail (somebody) up: to corner somebody physically
Bail out: depart, usually angrily
Bail: to cancel plans
Banana bender: a person from Queensland
Bangers and mash: sausages and mashed potato
Barbie: barbecue (noun)
Barrack: to cheer on (football team etc.)
Bastard: can be either a term of affection or the opposite!!
Bathers; Swimsuit
Battler: someone working hard and only just making a living
Beaut, beauty: great, fantastic
Big-note oneself: brag, boast
Bikkie: biscuit (also “it cost big bikkies” – it was expensive)
Billabong: A pond in a dry riverbed
Billy: Teapot (In the Outback on the fire)
Bities: biting insects
Bitzer: mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)
Bizzo: business (“mind your own bizzo”)
Black Stump, beyond the: a long way away, the back of nowhere
Blimey: Not good
Bloke: man, guy
Bloody beaut: fantastic
Bloody oath!: that’s certainly true
Bloody: very. Used to extenuate a point
Blot: bum, arse, rear end
Blow in the bag: have a breathalyzer test
Blowie: blow fly
Bludger: lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things
Blue: fight (“he was having a blue with his wife”)
Bluey (or Blue): blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings) which is an excellent working dog. Everyone’s favourite all-Aussie dog.
Bluey: pack, equipment, traffic ticket, redhead
Bob’s your uncle: It will be alright
Bogan: an Australian that is equivalent of American white trash but not always whote in this example
Bonzer: great, ripper
Boogie board: a hybrid, half-sized surf board
Boomer: a large male kangaroo
Booze bus: police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers
Boozer: a pub
Bottle shop: liquor shop
Bottle-o: liquor shop
Brass razoo, he hasn’t got a: he’s very poor
Brekkie: breakfast
Brizzie: Brisbane, state capital of Queensland
Brolly: Umbrella
Brown-eyed mullet: a turd in the sea (where you’re swimming!)
Brumby: a wild horse
Buckley’s: No chance
Buck’s night: stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding
Bull bar: stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos
Bullshit, to: To tell lies
Bundy: short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that’s made there
Bunyip: mythical outback creature
Bush: the hinterland, the Outback, anywhere that isn’t in town
Bushie: someone who lives in the Bush
Bushranger: highwayman, outlaw
Cab Sav: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cactus: Dead, Broken
Cark it: to die, cease functioning
Chewy: Chewing gum
Chick: girl
Choc A Bloc: Full
Choccy Biccy: Chocolate Biscuit
Chokkie: chocolate
Chook: a chicken
Chrissie: Christmas
Chuck a sickie: take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy
Chuck a yonnie: Throw a stone
Chunder: vomit
Cicky’s daughter: A farmer/ grazier’s daughter
Ciggy: a Cigarette
Clayton’s: fake, substitute
Click: kilometre – “it’s 10 clicks away”
Clucky: feeling maternal
Cobber: Very good friend
Cockie: farmer (see above) also a cockatoo
Cockroach: a person from New South Wales
Cocky: a farmer/ grazier
Coldie: a beer
Come a gutser: make a bad mistake, have an accident
Compo: Workers’ Compensation pay
Cooee, not within: figuratively a long way away, far off – England weren’t within cooee of beating Australia at cricket
Cop a squat: take a seat
Coppers: Policemen
Corroboree: an aboriginal dance festival
Counter lunch: pub lunch
Cozzie: swimming costume
Cranky: in a bad mood, angry
Cream (verb): defeat by a large margin
Crook: sick, or badly made
Crow eater: a person from South Australia
Cuppa: cup of tea or coffee
Cut lunch: sandwiches
Cut snake, mad as a: very angry
Dag: a funny person, nerd, goof
Daks: trousers
Damper: bread made from flour and water
Deadset: true, the truth
Dekko: have a look
Dero: tramp, hobo, homeless person (from “derelict”)
Devo: Devastated
Digger: a soldier
Dill: an idiot
Dinki-di: The real thing
Dinkum, fair dinkum: true, real, genuine (“I’m a dinkum Aussie”; “is he fair dinkum?”)
Dipstick: a loser, idiot
Dob (somebody) in: inform on somebody. Hence dobber, a tell-tale
Doc: Doctor
Docket: a bill, receipt
Doco: documentary
Dodgy: of inferior quality
Dog: unattractive woman
Dole bludger: Somebody on social assistance when unjustified
Doodle: penis
Doozey: something very pleasant
Down Under: Australia and New Zealand
Drink with the flies: to drink alone
Drongo: a dope, stupid person
Drum: information, tip-off (“I’ll give you the drum”)
Duffer, cattle: rustler
Dummy, spit the: get very upset at something
Dunny rat, cunning as a: very cunning
Dunny: Toilet
Durry: cigarette
Earbashing: nagging, non-stop chatter
Esky: large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.
Exy: expensive
F*ck Me Dead: that’s unfortunate, that surprises me
Fair Dinkum: Honest
Fair dinkum: True, genuine
Fair go: Give us a break
Fairy floss: candy floss, cotton candy
Fanny: front bum
Figjam: F**k I’m good; just ask me. Nickname for people who have a high opinion of themselves.
Fizzer: bit of a flop, or didn’t match the hype
Flake: shark’s flesh (sold in fish & chips shops)
Footy: Australian Rules football
Fossicking: searching, rummaging (“fossicking through the kitchen drawers, comes from gold rush period”)
Freckle: anus
Frig About: potter around but not actually do anything productive
Frothy: Beer
Fruit loop: fool
Full: drunk
G’day – Hello/hi, typical Australian greeting
Galah: fool, named after the bird of the same name which flies south in the winter – a bloody silly thing to do in the Southern Hemisphere
Garbo – Person who collects the garbage
Garbo, garbologist: municipal garbage collector
G’Day, Gidday: hello!
Give it a burl: try it, have a go
Going off: busy, lots of people
Good oil: useful information, a good idea, the truth
Good on you: good for you, well done
Goon: Goon is a cheap, boxed wine that will inevitably become an integral part of any Australian backpacking experience.
Greenie: environmentalist
Grog: liquor, beer
Grouse (adj.): great, terrific, very good
Gyno: gynaecologist
Handle: beer glass with a handle
Hard yakka: Hard work
Heaps: loads, lots, many
Heaps: a lot, e.g. “thanks heaps”, “(s)he earned heaps of money” etc.
Hoon: hooligan
Hooroo: goodbye
Hotel: often just a pub
Hottie: hot water bottle
Icy pole: popsicle, lollypop
Jackaroo: a male station hand (a station is a big farm/grazing property)
Jillaroo: a female station hand
Joey: baby kangaroo
Journo:  journalist
Jumbuck: sheep
Kelpie: Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie
Kero: kerosene
Kindie: kindergarten
Knickers: female underwear
Knock back: refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)
Knock: to criticise
Knocker: somebody who criticises
Larrikin: a bloke who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster
Legless: Someone who is really drunk
Lippy: lipstick
Liquid laugh: vomit
Lob, lob in: drop in to see someone (“the rellies have lobbed”)
Lollies: sweets, candy
Loo: toilet
Lucky Country, The: Australia, where else?
Lurk: illegal or underhanded racket
Maccas: McDonalds
Mate: buddy, friend
Mate’s rate, mate’s discount: cheaper than usual for a “friend”
Metho: methylated spirits
Mexican: a person from south of the (Queensland) border
Mickey Mouse: excellent, very good
Middy:  285 ml beer glass in New South Wales
Milk bar: corner shop that sells takeaway food
Milko: milkman
Mob: family or herd (?) of kangaroos
Mob: group of people, not necessarily troublesome
Mongrel: despicable person, dog of mixed breeding
Mozzie: mosquito
Muddy: mud crab (a great delicacy)
Mug: friendly insult (“have a go, yer mug”), gullible person
Mull up:  roll a joint and smoke it
Mull: grass (the kind you smoke)
Naff: not cool, un-chic
Naughty, have a: have sex
Never Never: the Outback, centre of Australia
Ninkum poop: a fool
Nipper: young surf lifesaver
No Worries: it’s Ok
No-hoper: somebody who’ll never do well
Not the full quid: not bright intellectually
Nuddy, in the: naked
O.S.: overseas (“he’s gone O.S.”)
Ocker: an unsophisticated person
Offsider: an assistant, helper
Old Bird: older lady
Old fella: man or a male apenditure
Oldies: parents – “I’ll have to ask my oldies”
Outback: interior of Australia
Oz: Australia!
Pash: to kiss
Pav: Pavlova – a rich, creamy Australian dessert mad mostly of meringue and cream
Perve (noun & verb): looking lustfully at the opposite sex
Piece of Piss: easy
Piker: Someone who doesn’t want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early
Piss Off: go away, get lost
Piss Up: a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions
Piss: to urinate
Pissed: Intoxicated, Drunk
Plonk: cheap wine
Pokies: Gambling Machines, slot machine
Polly: politician
Pom, pommy: an Englishman
Port: suitcase (portmanteau)
Postie: postman, mailman
Pot: 285 ml beer glass in Queensland
Pozzy: position – get a good pozzy at the football stadium
Prezzy: present, gift
Quack, or off to the quack: the doctor, or off to the doctor
Quid, make a:  earn a living – “are you making a quid?”
Quid, not the full: of low IQ
Rabbiton: talk a lot
Rackoff: get lost
Rage on: to continue partying – “we raged on until 3am”
Rage: party
Rapt: pleased, delighted
Ratbag: younger, cheeky person.
Raw prawn, to come the: to bullshit, to be generally disagreeable
Razzo: not worth much, another phrase is “brass razoo”
Recce: have a look or reconnaissance
Reckon!: you bet! Absolutely!
Reckon: for sure
Reg Grundies: undies
Rego: vehicle registration
Rellie: family relative
Ridgy-didge: original, genuine
Right: okay (“she’ll be right, mate”)
Ripper: great, fantastic
Road train: big truck with many trailers
Roo: very angry
Root (verb and noun): synonym for f*ck in nearly all its senses: “I feel rooted”; “this washing machine is rooted”; “(s)he’s a good root”. A very useful word in fairly polite company.
Rooted: Tired
Ropeable: very angry
Rotten: drunk (“I went out last night and got rotten”)
Rubbadedub: bar or hotel
Rubbish: to criticize
Runners: Trainers, Sneakers
Salute, Aussie: brushing flies away
Salvos, the: Salvation Army, bless them
Sandgroper: a person from Western Australia
Sanger: a sandwich
S’Arvo: this afternoon
Schooner: large beer glass in Queensland; small beer glass in South Australia
Scratchy: instant lottery ticket
Screamer: party lover; “two pot screamer” – somebody who gets drunk on very little alcohol
Servo: petrol station
Shark biscuit: somebody new to surfing
She’ll be right: Everything will be OK
Sheila: a woman
She’ll be right: it’ll turn out okay
Shonky: dubious, underhanded. E.g. a shonky practice, shonky business etc.
Shoot through: to leave
Shout: turn to buy – a round of drinks usually (“it’s your shout”)
Sickie: a sick day off work
Six pack short of a case: of low IQ
Skite: boast, brag
Slab: a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer
Slag: a promiscious woman
Sleepout: house verandah converted to a bedroom
Smoko: smoke or coffee break
Snag: a sausage
Sook: person or animal who is soft, tame, inoffensive. Hence sooky (adj.)
Spag bol: spaghetti bolognese
Spit the dummy: get very upset at something
Sprung: caught doing something wrong
Spunk: a good looking person (of either sex)
Station: a big farm/grazing property
Stick it in your kick: Stick it in your pocket
Stickybeak: nosy person
Stiffy: Erection
Stoked: Happy, Pleased
Stone the Crows: Heaven forbid!
Straya: Australia
Strewth: exclamation, mild oath (“Strewth, that Chris is a bonzer bloke”)
Strides: trousers
Strine: Australian slang and pronunciation
Stubbie: a big Beer
Stubby holder: polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby
Stubby: a beer bottle
Stuffed, I feel: I’m tired
Stuffed, I’ll be: expression of surprise
Sunbake: sunbathe
Sunnies: sunglasses
Surfies: people who go surfing – usually more often than they go to work!
Swag: items, luggage etc. carried by a swagman
Swaggie: swagman
Swagman: tramp, hobo
Ta muchly: thank you very much
Tall poppies: successful people
Taswegian: a person from Tasmania
Tea: Evening meal. Usually main meal of day
Technicolor yawn: vomit
Tee-up: to set up an appointment
Thingo: Wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit
Thongs: Flip flops/sandals
Thongs: cheap rubber backless sandals
Throne or, on the Throne: toilet or, on the toilet
Thunder box: toilet
Tickets, to have on oneself: to have a high opinion of oneself
Tinny: can of beer, small aluminium boat
Togs: swim suit
Too right!: definitely!
Top End: far north of Australia
Tosser: someone who thinks highly of themselves
Truckie: truck driver
True blue: patriotic
Tucker: food
Tucker-bag: food bag
Turps, hit the: go on a drinking binge
Turps: turpentine, alcoholic drink
Two up: gambling game played by spinning two coins simultaneously
Undies: Underpants
Uni: university
Unit: flat, apartment
Up oneself: have a high opinion of oneself – “he’s really up himself”
Ute: utility vehicle
Vee dub: Volkswagen
Veg out: relax in front of the TV (like a vegetable)
Vegies: Vegetables
Vejjo: vegetarian
Waggin’ school: playing truant
Walkabout, it’s gone: it’s lost, can’t be found
Weekend Warriors: Army Reserve personnel
Whacko: You beauty! (an exclamation.)
Whinge: complain
White pointers on the beach: topless (female) sunbathers
Wobbly: excitable behaviour (“I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly”)
Wog: flu or trivial illness
Wombat: somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also root)
Woop Woop: invented name for any small unimportant town – “he lives in Woop Woop”
Wowser: straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport
XXXX: pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland
Yabber: talk (a lot)
Yakka: work (noun)
Yanks: Americans
Yewy: u-turn in traffic (“chuck a yewy at the traffic lights”)
Yobbo: an uncouth person
Youse: you (plural)

Find another version of how to speak Australian here.  


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