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. Australian slang is certainly ‘interesting’! Whether you’re dreaming of visiting Australia, have just arrived or have been in this gigantic island of paradise for a while, there are a few Australian slang words that you should learn to help you get through day to day life.
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…
If we’ve missed any please free to leave a comment below.
125 Australian Slang Words & Phrases
- 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 aboganwhen 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
- Buckleys Chance – little chance (Buckley’s Chance Wiktionary)
- Budgie Smugglers – Speedos
- Buggered – Exhausted
- 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. – wikipedia
- 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.Goonis 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,“TheOutback” 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
- Ripper – ‘You little ripper’ = That’s fantastic mate!
- Root Rat– someone who enjoys sex (maybe a little too much)
- Rooted– Tired or Broken
- Runners– Trainers, Sneakers
- Sanger – Sandwich
- Servo– Service Station / Garage
- Shark biscuit – kids at the beach
- Sheila – A woman
- She’ll be apples – Everything will be alright
- Shoot Through – To leave
- Sick – awesome; ‘that’s really sick mate’
- Sickie– a sick day off work, or ‘to pull a sickie’ would be to take a day off when you aren’t actually sick
- Skull – To down a beer
- Slab– A carton of beers
- Smoko – Cigarette break
- Snag– Sausage
- Stiffy– Erection
- Stoked– Happy, Pleased
- Straya– Australia
- Strewth – An exclamation of surprise
- Stubby– a bottle of beer
- Stubby Holder – Used so your hands don’t get cold when holding your beer, or to stop your hands making your beer warm!
- Stuffed– Tired
- Sunnies – Sunglasses
- Swag– Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag.
- Tea– Dinner
- Tinny – Can of beer or small boat
- Thongs– Flip Flops. Do not be alarmed if your new found Australian friend asks you to wear thongs to the beach. They are most likely expressing their concern of the hot sand on your delicate feet.
- True Blue – Genuinely Australian
- Tucker– Food. ‘Bush Tucker’ tends to be food found in the Outback such as witchety grubs.
- Two Up – A gambling game played on Anzac day.
- U-IE– to take a U-Turn when driving
- Up Yourself – Stuck up
- Woop Woop – middle of nowhere “he lives out woop woop”
- Ya– You
- Yous – (youse) plural of you!
Some of these words may not be as commonly used these days, but you might still hear them being used ironically or by older Australians.
How To Speak Australian
Once you’ve been in Australia for, well, an hour, you’ll notice that nearly every word has an ‘o’ on the end of it. This is because for some weird reason Australians like to shorten every word and then add a vowel to the end of it… e.g. “bottle-o” (Bottle shop / off license) “servo” (garage / service station).
Oddly though, some of these words end up being longer than they were originally. At other times they’ll just add a different vowel instead of the ‘o’. MacDonalds, you know that famous fast food burger joint, is only known as Macca’s over here! I think the video below perfectly illustrates this unique way of speaking Australian!
Australian Phrases & Sayings
Some phrases can be a bit more difficult to work out than the abbreviations Australians use. When someone exclaimed to me: “OMG check out hisbudgie smugglers” I really had absolutely no clue what they were talking about. Let’s just say it only refers to men, and they tend to be wearing speedos!
I was at the bar and my friend says “it’s my shout mate“. Huh?! This is an important one to know. If it’s their shout they’re going to be paying. Another common one to hear at the pub is “he’s blotto“… Yeah don’t buy that guy another drink he’s already had too many!
The word “bogan” is a typically Aussie slang word as well. This word is used for people who are, well let’s say, rednecks. Or, if you like, just call your friends aboganwhen they are acting weird.
If you find yourself in a bit of an argument and you begin to act unreasonably you might be told to “pull ya head in“, if however you’re right (stubborn) and you really want the other person to believe what you’re saying you can say “fair dinkum mate“.
Worried that something isn’t going to plan? “No worries, she’ll be right mate” – It’s not a problem, everything will be okay!
“Put somesnagson thebarbie” – this is a statement you’ll hear way more often than “Put a shrimp on the barbie”… why? Well because snags, i.e. sausages, exist, whereas in Australia shrimps don’t… they’re known as prawns!
Heard that someone is “Flat out like a lizard drinking“? The English phrase for this would be “busy as a bee”.
I was doing a little googling on this particular topic and came across a website, called the Australian slang dictionary. Scanning through it I found an expression that I just had to share: “He’s got kangaroos loose in the top paddock“. The meaning of the phrase? Someone who is a bit wacky. Or, as the dictionary says in a prettier way; someone who is intellectually challenged.
Top Tip!If you’re really stuck but want to seem as though you’re beginning to learn some of the local Australia language – the lingo if you will, always say hello by saying “G’day” and always add “mate” to the end of every sentence.
Now you’ve learnt some Australian slang and phrases why not try some typical Aussie Food?
Or Learn about some Australian Animals (A-Z list with pictures and facts)
How do Aussies say hi? ›
“How ya goin'?” is the ultimate Aussie greeting. If you're not from Australia, this mash-up of “How are you?” and “Where are you going?” might leave you a little perplexed. If it helps, think of how the Brits say “y'alright?” - it requires no detailed response. In fact, a simple “hey!” will suffice.What is Aussie slang for toilet? ›
dunny – a toilet, the appliance or the room – especially one in a separate outside building. This word has the distinction of being the only word for a toilet which is not a euphemism of some kind. It is from the old English dunnykin: a container for dung. However Australians use the term toilet more often than dunny.What are 5 Aussie slang words or phrases? ›
- Wrap your laughing gear 'round that.
- Dog's breakfast. ...
- Tell him he's dreaming. ...
- A few stubbies short of a six-pack. ...
- What's the John Dory? ...
- Have a Captain Cook. ...
- No worries, mate, she'll be right. ...
- Fair go, mate. Fair suck of the sauce bottle. ...
Let's start with one of the most famous Australian slang phrases: 'No worries'. It's said to be the national motto of Australia.What do Australians call a guy? ›
Fella. Bloke. Dude. Guy.What is considered rude in Australia? ›
It is considered impolite to ask a direct question about a person's salary or wealth. Inquiring about someone's weight or age is also highly inappropriate in many situations. Spitting in public is rude. If there is a line for something, always queue and wait for your turn.How do Aussies say friend? ›
Mate. “Mate” is a popular word for friend. And while it's used in other English-speaking countries around the world, it has a special connection to Australia. In the past, mate has been used to address men, but it can be gender-neutral.What is Australian slang for girl? ›
5. Sheila = Girl. Yes, that is the Australian slang for girl.What do Australians call flip flops? ›
The shoe known in Australia as a “thong” is one of the oldest styles of footwear in the world. Worn with small variations across Egypt, Rome, Greece, sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, Korea, Japan and some Latin American cultures, the shoe was designed to protect the sole while keeping the top of the foot cool.Do Australians say wee or pee? ›
I definitely grew up with Australian English wee, in both noun and verb form instead of pee. Both of these forms have a much more recent history, verb wee is first attested in 1934 and noun wee in 1968, and are considered British forms by the OED.
What do Australians call Mcdonalds? ›
McDonald's research found that 55 per cent of Australians called the company Macca's and they have submitted the word to the Macquarie Dictionary for consideration. It's an Australian habit to abbreviate names.Do Australians say bloody? ›
Americans have never taken to the slang word bloody, but Aussies use it a lot, and have for a long time. In the late 19th century, writes David Crystal in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, it was known as "the great Australian adjective," and by the 1940s it was no longer considered a swear word.What does G mean in Aussie slang? ›
What does it mean? General greeting, used instead of “hello”, both day and night.How do you say 100 in slang? ›
C-note. The slang C-note refers to a $100 bill, and the letter C refers to the Roman numeral for 100 that was printed on early $100 banknotes.What is $1000 in slang? ›
In slang, a thousand dollars may also be referred to as a "grand" or "G", "K" (as in kilo), or less commonly a "stack", a "bozo", as well as a "band" .What does 321 mean in texting? ›
The number 321 can be interpreted to mean “new beginnings.” This is a perfect time to start fresh, and your angels are there to support you every step of the way! If you keep seeing 321, it's a sign that your angels are trying to communicate with you.What do Australians say when surprised? ›
Crikey: an exclamation of surprise is the best way to describe the uniquely Aussie term that is crikey. Crook: a word that has many meanings depending on the context. If you're feeling unwell, you could say you are crook. If someone is angry, you could say they've 'gone crook'.What does woke mean in Australia? ›
In the 21st century's first decade, the use of woke encompassed the earlier meaning with an added sense of being "alert to social and/or racial discrimination and injustice".What do Australians call a pretty girl? ›
The most popular slang term overall that I can think of is “hot”. “Stunner” is also used, mainly when speaking about a person rather than to one.What do Australians call kissing? ›
pash (plural pashes) (Australia, New Zealand) A passionate kiss.
What do Australians call babies? ›
Contributor's comments: The meaning of Bubs I grew up with is a baby, or quite often the youngest member of the family is called "bubs" from an older sibling.What do Australians call breakfast? ›
Brekky: the first and most important meal of the day, Aussies call breakfast 'brekky'.Is thumbs up offensive in Australia? ›
According to John Cullen and Praveen Parboteeah “The thumbs‐up gesture means everything is going well for North Americans and many Europeans, but is a rude gesture in Australia and West Africa” (Cullen and Parboteeah, 2005, p. 498).What are some taboos in Australia? ›
- Do Not Forget To Tip If You Had A Good Experience. ...
- Do Not Pat A Koala Bear. ...
- Do Not Litter & Smoke In Public Places. ...
- Do Not Climb Uluru (Ayres Rock) ...
- Do Not Joke About Aborigines. ...
- Do Not Boast Or Act Haughty. ...
- Do Not Wear Too Casual To Restaurants & Formal.
Mister and Sir are age-neutral. Ma'am is short for Madam and, by definition, is age-neutral. Miss refers to a “young lady” or “a young unmarried woman or girl."What is Aussie slang for annoyed? ›
Lemony means annoyed, as in, I got lemony at the kid. This piece of Aussie slang dates back to the 1940s. Formerly common, it is now scarce, perhaps because it left a bitter taste in the mouth (yes, I went there).What does Billy boiled mean? ›
It's short for billycan. It almost always means to 'make tea' but if you are sitting around an open fire (camping for example) and someone says “I'll boil the billy” this can just mean “boil some water” for coffee, tea or washing up water.What do they call soda in Australia? ›
In Australia and New Zealand, "soft drink" or "fizzy drink" is typically used. In South African English, "cool drink" is any soft drink. U.S. soft drinks 7-Up or Sprite are called "lemonade" in the UK.What do Australians call a couch? ›
A: Ah, well, the main two players worldwide are “couch” and “sofa”. Sofa is more common in Britain, while couch is preferred in North America, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Q: Is there a difference?What do Australians call Christmas? ›
Then when July finally rolls around, this is when Australians celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense since it's colder. Although we know it as Christmas in July, Australians call this second celebration Yuletide or Yulefest.
Do Australians say G day? ›
It surely sounds strange to those who are familiar with American or British English, but it is a very common expression in Australia. G'day is a shortened form of 'Good Day' and it is the equivalent of 'Hello.What does bugga mean in Australian? ›
bugga- bad luck, oops. buggered - tired (see also "stuffed") buggerlugs - affectionately used - to annoy . busted - broken or caught in the act of doing something wrong.What do Australians call Burger King? ›
Except you won't find Burger King in Australia because it's the only place in the world where Burger Kings are called Hungry Jack's. When Burger King got to Australia in 1971, it discovered there was already a local restaurant there called Burger King.What do Australians call football? ›
As is the case in the United States and Canada, association football is most commonly referred to in Australia as soccer. Historically, the sport has been referred to as association football, English association football British association rules and British football.What do Australians call cheeseburgers? ›
Sanger is an alteration of the word sandwich. Sango appeared as a term for sandwich in the 1940s, but by the 1960s, sanger took over to describe this staple of Australian cuisine.Is shut up a cuss word? ›
The phrase is probably a shortened form of "shut up your mouth" or "shut your mouth up". Its use is generally considered rude and impolite, and may also be considered a form of profanity by some.Can you call a girl mate in Australia? ›
The term "mate" is essentially gender neutral in Australia.
This applies almost in all cases except perhaps if you're a male and bump into a woman who is 'generationally' older than you.
“Swearing is not just frequent in Australia,” says Krafzik. “It's also frequent in other countries. It's that swearing seems to be found in more contexts and more situations across more social classes downunder.”How do Aussies say goodbye? ›
Aussie - Wikipedia
for goodbye is Hooroo and sometimes they even Cheerio like British people.
'Ta' means 'thank you'. "A: Can you please pass me the sauce? B: Sure, here you go. A: Ta."
Why do Aussies say yeah nah? ›
The seemingly contradictory term is a boardroom regular - a setting in which we usually hope to elicit opinions and give little offence. Yeah, nah provides an informal, easy way to agree, disagree, deflect attention off ourselves and move between topics with a little more tact than we would have twenty years ago.Why do Aussies say aye? ›
There are a few things you will notice straightway when you talk to Australians (or Aussies for short). First, they tend to add the word “aye” to many sentences – but don't worry about that, it doesn't really mean anything. Secondly, they LOVE to use slang. Lots and lots of slang.How do Australians say hello and goodbye? ›
G'day is one of the most commonly used Australian slang words, and is both a greeting and a farewell. It is generally used to greet someone, similar to “hello”, and can be used when you first meet someone or when you want to acknowledge someone you know. G'day is also sometimes used as a way of saying goodbye.Do Aussies say eh? ›
"Eh?" used to solicit agreement or confirmation is also heard regularly amongst speakers in Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom (where it is sometimes spelled "ay" on the assumption that "eh" would rhyme with "heh" or "meh").How do Aussies say no? ›
While some Australian speakers would pronounce “no” as a diphthong, starting on “oh” as in dog and ending on “oo” as in put, others begin with an unstressed “a” (the sound at the end of the word “sofa”), then move to the “oh” and then “oo”.Do Aussies swear a lot? ›
Swearing: Swearing is more common in Australia than in many other cultures. Television programmes are less censored and mainstream society is largely desensitised to words that foreigners may find vulgar. It is normal to hear an Australian swear at some point during a conversation.How do Australians say no worries? ›
Certainly, no worries (along with its offspring) featured in our slang survey of 2300 Australians, and on the ABC Facebook pages (where listeners posted their favourite slang expressions). In fact, it's one of Australia's international success stories.
|Afrikaans||Ek is lief vir jou Ek het jou lief|
|aruba bonaire and curacao||mi stimabo|
|Assyr Assyrian||Az tha hijthmekem ANA KI BAYINAKH|
|Australian||'ave a beer :-) (Please keep in mind that this is only a joke! Yes, Australians speak English.)|
|Azerbaijanian||Men seni severam|
Before discussing their language, it's important to know what people from Australia and New Zealand call themselves and their countries. People from Australia call their homeland “Oz;” a phonetic abbreviation of the country's name, which also harkens to the magical land from L.Do Australians say G Day? ›
It surely sounds strange to those who are familiar with American or British English, but it is a very common expression in Australia. G'day is a shortened form of 'Good Day' and it is the equivalent of 'Hello.
How do you greet a girl in Australia? ›
When greeting each other, close friends may hug, back-slap or kiss one another on the cheek, while others may simply offer a nod. Women generally tend to be more physically affectionate during greetings. The most common verbal greeting is a simple “Hey”, “Hello”, or “Hi”.What do Australians say after thank you? ›
1. “No worries” If you say 'thank you' to an Australian or you show your appreciation for something they've done for you, this is often the reply you'll hear.How do Australians say see you later? ›
Catch you later is an Australian slang form of saying 'goodbye'. A: Anyway, it's time for me to go home. Catch you later.Do Australians say oi? ›
Oi /ɔɪ/ is an interjection used in various varieties of the English language, particularly Australian English, British English, Indian English, Irish English, New Zealand English, and South African English, as well as non-English languages such as Chinese, Tagalog, Tamil, Hindi/Urdu, Japanese, and Portuguese to get the ...