Australians have a real way with slang that’s unmatched on the international scale.
No one does it like the Aussies, it’s really that simple—and when it comes to terms of endearment, they really come into a league of their own.
They have a ton of different unique slang words to refer to something they think is beautiful, whether that’s a person, a sunset, or anything.
Today, we’re going to look at what creative slang the Australians have come up with for the word beautiful over the years.
So, let’s get started!
In This Article
To start off with a really good all-rounder, “stunner” is a common one that you can use.
Most commonly, stunner is used to describe a person—often not to their face.
So, someone who is particularly attractive would be a stunner: “I met this total stunner the other night,” for example.
As you can probably guess, this term derives from the word ‘stunning’.
As in, I am stunned by your beauty.
That said, it doesn’t have to be about a person, and it doesn’t even necessarily have to mean that they are physically beautiful.
You might use it to describe a nice car, or you might use it to essentially thank your friend for doing something for you.
“Thanks for getting me that gift, you’re a real stunner!” for example.
There are a couple of other places in the world where you might hear this term used, such as in parts of the UK.
But it is far more common in Australian slang.
This one might sound a bit odd depending on the nature your own local slang.
Deadly doesn’t seem like the way you would describe something that was beautiful.
It’s worth remembering, though, that in Australia with the quantity of deadly insects, arachnids, and snakes in Australia, applying the term more liberally becomes natural!
In any case, “deadly” again can mean beautiful in a few different ways. It’s sometimes used as a broader term to just mean “very good”, such as “That movie was deadly!”
It is more specifically used to mean something is beautiful, though.
Again, it is most commonly used to describe beautiful people, and particularly women. “With that outfit on, she looked deadly!”
It’s not clear where this term originated, though some surmise it has its origins in the image of the femme fatale in mid-twentieth century Hollywood movies.
The maneater, the dangerous beautiful woman.
This one is a classic, and one you’ll find in many English-speaking countries—but it has become particularly Australian in its use there.
It’s more or less exclusively reserved for describing whether a person is attractive: “He/she is so hot!” for example.
In all likelihood, you’ve heard someone described as hot before, if not used it yourself!
It’s unclear when precisely it entered the Australian lexicon.
“Hot” as slang for sexually attractive has its origins in the 1880s in the United States, and even as far back as the late medieval period “hot” could mean aroused.
It most likely spread across the English-speaking world, again, through Hollywood movies of the mid-twentieth century.
This is part of the way Americanisms became so widespread generally speaking.
This one is probably the most unambiguous one on the list, and its origins are quite clear to imagine.
If there’s one thing Australians love to do to come up with slang, it’s simply to shorten words down.
Everyone does this—especially for long words like beautiful!
“Beaut” is a broad term as well. The context in which it can be used is very wide.
“You’re a beaut,” you might say to a friend who did something for you, similarly to “stunner”.
But it could be used to describe a person—again, though, probably not when they’re around. It’s just a bit impersonal.
“She/he is a beaut,” you might say.
This one is a really old one and virtually impossible to find the origins of.
It probably sprung up independently many times.
Just to add to that last one, ‘beaut/beauty’ are pretty much interchangeable.
Beauty again though can have a rather broad meaning depending on the context.
It certainly can simply mean beautiful, and what might sound archaic on the lips of a British or American person sounds perfectly natural to an Australian.
“She’s a beauty!” could be describing a person, a car, an animal, anything really.
This one might make you cringe a little depending on where you’re from.
But in Australia, spunk is an endearing term for an especially attractive person, typically a young person.
It is far more common to refer to men this way, though it is also sometimes used to refer to women.
So, you might say, “That guy’s a real spunk!” meaning they’re very good-looking.
The word itself is of unknown origin, first appearing in the middle of the 1500s to mean a spark or a vestige.
It has undergone a lot of changes in meaning over the decades, but now in Australia has settled on beautiful or attractive.
Here we have another one that is broadly used as a slang term in many English-speaking countries.
In the UK, sick just means very good.
In the US, it has a similar meaning, applied to just about anything that is especially good.
In Australia it can be used in this way too, simply to mean good.
However, it’s unique in Australia as it’s become a term rather like ‘gorgeous’ that you can use to compliment someone on their appearance.
“You look sick!” might sound somewhat inappropriate in British or US slang, if you’re trying to say someone looks beautiful.
In Australian slang, though, it’s perfectly acceptable and ordinary.
This is a relatively recent linguistic innovation, originating at least in part in the skating and surfing culture of the 1980s.
You might say an even more intense version of sick is one that is absolutely uniquely Australian: “fully sick”.
Again, like sick, it can be used just to mean something is good or cool.
However, this kind of intense appreciation is usually reserved for describing something that is seriously beautiful.
For instance, “The sunset looked fully sick last night,” or something like that.
It can also be used to describe a person.
Possibly the most quintessentially Australian term on this list, next we have bonza/bonzer.
This is another somewhat broad term, which can be used to mean very good and excellent across the board.
“That dinner was bonza!” for instance.
But it can certainly be used to mean beautiful too: “You look bonza tonight,” for example.
The precise origin of the modern use of the word bonza in Australia is far from completely clear.
Our oldest written record of it comes from the work of a famous Australian poet, C.J. Dennis. In 1915, he wrote a poem titled “Songs of a Sentimental Bloke” which included the term “bonzer”.
It’s thought to be a shortened form of “bonanza,” although we just don’t know for sure
This one is interesting for a couple of reasons.
Again, you’re probably familiar with it as a term, it’s very common in Hollywood movies—however, it isn’t so much in modern times.
It’s not something you’ll tend to hear in movies or any media set in the modern day. It’s something you might think of as an older term.
However, it seeped into the Australian lingo in the twentieth century, and is still comparatively very common today.
Australians will still use the term to describe a beautiful person. “Look at that piece of eye candy!” for example.
The term is falling out of popularity in Australia, too, but it is most certainly still widely used today.
Good sort is another one which, like sick, might sound a bit aloof and disconnected to the ears of a non-Australian.
But it’s a perfectly good way to describe someone as beautiful and is often reserved for women.
Particularly, it might be used to describe someone you don’t know. “She’s a real good sort,” for example.
This one’s pretty straightforward.
Following on from that, ‘sort’ is one that can be used by itself to mean good-looking if not outright beautiful.
In some contexts, it might have a broader definition, meaning just particularly good in some way or another.
But it can definitely mean beautiful, too. For instance, “they’re a real sort in that dress!”
This is mostly just a result of an evolving meaning of the common word “sort”.
A category with a common feature, so in a way its suggesting that all beautiful things are grouped together in a way.
Finally, we have “pearler,” probably the single most specific use term on this list.
Pearler means specifically that it is a beautiful day outside.
That is, the sun, the “pearl”, is shining very brightly and very warmly, like a shining pearl in the ocean.
It can also be used in broader contexts, though if someone simply says “it’s a pearler” they are most likely talking about the weather.
Similar to how the British might describe a nice hot day as a “scorcher”.
But it could also have, say, a sports meaning: “That bowl was an absolute pearler!” for instance, in cricket.
One thing is for sure, then—the Australians know how to call something beautiful!
There is a term for any occasion, any type of beauty you might want to describe.
Whether it’s a beautiful man or woman, a beautiful car, sunset, or just a nice cold beer on a Friday afternoon, you’ve got a special, specific kind of beauty that you can describe it as.
More in Australian slang
- Australian slang for afternoon
- Australian slang for Americans
- Australian slang for awesome
- Australian slang for barbecue
- Australian slang for beautiful
- Australian slang for breakfast
- Australian slang for beer
- Australian slang for boyfriend
- Australian slang for dinner
- Australian slang for excited
- Australian slang for flip flops
- Australian slang for friend
- Australian slang for gas station
- Australian slang for girlfriend
- Australian slang for girl
- Australian slang for goodbye
- Australian slang for kangaroo
- Australian slang for lazy
- Australian slang for man
- Australian slang for police
- Australian slang for toilet
- Australian slang for wine
- Australian slang for yes
What is Australian slang for beautiful? Beaut!/Beauty!: beaut, beauty or 'you beauty' is a very Australian way to say that something is great.What is Aussie slang for excellent from attractive word? ›
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I would say the most commonly used slang word to refer to a beautiful woman would be “sort” or “good sort”.What is Australian slang for girl? ›
5. Sheila = Girl. Yes, that is the Australian slang for girl.How do you say beautiful in slang? ›
- a ten / a perfect ten. This probably comes from rating people's appearance on a scale of 1 to 10.
- a looker / a stunner. ...
- hot stuff. ...
- foxy (usually used for women, with “lady”) ...
- a stud / a hunk (only for men) ...
- a babe (usually for women, although occasionally for men as well)
cookie. cupcake. cutie. dimber mort (obsolete) doll.What is a slang word for looking good? ›
Snatched - Looks good, perfect, or fashionable; the new "on fleek"How do you greet a woman in Australia? ›
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Contributor's comments: Shag in Nth Qld has always from my experience referred to sexual activity. eg. I've been shagging - she's a good shag - we're always shagging. Being 'shagged' is also a term meaning "I'm exhausted" without sexual connotations.
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.How do you compliment an Australian? ›
A short guide to compliments
Beaut! or You beauty! Exclamation of delight. Bonzer Good, a good thing. Mate A sworn friend – one you'd do anything for – as essential as beer to the Australian stereotype.
Meaning: hitting on someone, flirting
Couldn't tell if he was cracking onto me or if he was just friendly.
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Pulchritudinous (and pulchritude) come from the Latin pulcher (which means “beautiful”), the same source for a number of uncommon words in English, such as pulchrify (“to beautify”), pulchritudeness (a synonym of pulchritude), and pulchrous ("fair or beautiful”).What's a fancy word for beautiful? ›
A beautiful person is very attractive.
(attractive, stunning, gorgeous, angelic, elegant, pretty, good-looking)
twee Add to list Share. Something is twee if it's a little too cute or overly adorable.How do you say you are beautiful in slang? ›
40 Ways to Say You Are Beautiful in Speaking Phrases You are so adorable. I have never seen anyone as beautiful as you You make my heart melt Your beauty is incomparable Your smile melts my heart Lovely Dazzling Wow, You are gorgeous.What's another word for looking gorgeous? ›
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1. Fit (adj) So, in the UK fit doesn't just mean that you go to the gym a lot. Fit is a way of saying that a person is attractive, or sexy.
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- 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.
In Australia and New Zealand, cheek kissing is usually present among close friends, with handshakes or hugs usually being preferable. In New Zealand, Maori people may also traditionally use the Hongi for greetings.What do Australians call a kiss? ›
Pash (pash) / Kiss
An indelicate description of kissing passionately, hence the name. Pashing typically leads to two things: pash rash (red marks around the lips caused by excessive kissing), and/or rooting (the crass Australian term for the birds and the bees). Couple preparing to pash | © David Martyn Hunt / Flickr.
In Australia, "biscuits" are what Americans call "cookies," and these traditional treats date back to World War I. It's said that wives and mothers of soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps—abbreviated to "Anzac"—baked these treats to send to their men overseas.What does fruity mean in Australia? ›
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(slang) Excessively frilly or frou-frou, typically in a manner calculated to attract attention to an otherwise unremarkable person or event.What is a cockie in Australian slang? ›
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