Australian Slang

                                                                                                

G’day, mate! Learn these Australian slang words and phrases and you’ll feel at home on your first day Down Under.

 

It wasn’t easy but we’ve tried to include uniquely Australian slang here and to exclude British and American slang even though these are commonly used in Australia. We see no point in informing the world that “fridge” is Australian slang for a “refrigerator”. If you’ve got any comments suggestions, though, we’d very much like to hear them.

A

Ace! : Excellent! Very good!

Aerial pingpong : Australian Rules football

Amber fluid : beer

Ankle biter : small child

Apples, she’ll be : It’ll be alright

Arvo : afternoon

Aussie (pron. Ozzie) : Australian

Aussie salute : brushing away flies with the hand

Avos : avocados

B

B & S : Bachelors’ and Spinsters’ Ball - a very enjoyable party usually held in rural areas

Back of Bourke : a very long way away

Bail (somebody) up : to corner somebody physically

Bail out : depart, usually angrily

Banana bender : a person from Queensland

Barbie : barbecue (noun)

Barrack : to cheer on (football team etc.)

Bastard : term of endearment

Bathers : swimming costume

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 : an ox-bow river or watering hole

Billy : large tin can used to boil water over a campfire for tea

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

Bloke : man, guy

Bloody : very (bloody hard yakka)

Bloody oath! : that’s certainly true

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”)

Blue, make a : make a mistake

Bluey : pack, equipment, traffic ticket, redhead

Bluey : blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings) which is an excellent working dog. Everyone’s favourite all-Aussie dog.

Bodgy : of inferior quality

Bog in : commence eating, to attack food with enthusiasm

Bondi cigar : see “brown-eyed mullet”

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

Bored shitless : very bored

Bottle shop : liquor shop

Bottle-o : liquor shop

Bottler : something excellent

Bottling, his blood’s worth : he’s an excellent, helpful bloke.

Bounce : a bully

Bourke Street, he doesn’t know Christmas from : he’s a bit slow in the head. (Bourke Street is a brightly lit Melbourne street)

Brass razoo, he hasn’t got a : he’s very poor

Brekkie : breakfast

Brick shit house, built like a : big strong bloke

Brickie : bricklayer

Brizzie : Brisbane, state capital of Queensland

Brown-eyed mullet : a turd in the sea (where you’re swimming!)

Brumby : a wild horse

Buck’s night : stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding

Buckley’s, Buckley’s chance : no chance (“New Zealand stands Buckley’s of beating Australia at football”)

Bull bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos

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

Bush telly : campfire

Bushie : someone who lives in the Bush

Bushranger : highwayman, outlaw

BYO : unlicensed restaurant where you have to Bring Your Own grog, also similar party or barbecue

C

Cactus : dead, not functioning (“this bloody washing machine is cactus”)

Captain Cook : look (noun) (“let’s have a Captain Cook”) Rhyming slang

Cark it : to die, cease functioning

Cat burying shit, as busy as a : busy

Cat’s piss, as mean as : mean, stingy, uncharitable

Chewie : chewing gum

Chokkie : chocolate

Chook : a chicken

Chrissie : Christmas Christmas : see Bourke Street

Chuck a sickie : take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy

Chunder : vomit

Clayton’s : fake, substitute

Click : kilometre - “it’s 10 clicks away”

Clucky : feeling broody or maternal

Cobber : friend

Cockie : farmer. Also a cockatoo

Cockroach : a person from New South Wales

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

Cook (noun) : One’s wife

Corroboree : an aboriginal dance festival

Counter lunch : pub lunch

Cozzie : swimming costume

Crack a fat : get an erection

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

Cut lunch : sandwiches

Cut snake, mad as a : very angry

D

Dag : a funny person, nerd, goof

Daks : trousers

Damper : bread made from flour and water

Date : arse[hole] (“get off your fat date”)

Dead dingo’s donger, as dry as a : dry

Dead horse : Tomato sauce

Deadset : true, the truth

Dero : tramp, hobo, homeless person (from “derelict”)

Digger : a soldier

Dill : an idiot

Dingo’s breakfast : a yawn, a leak and a good look round (i.e. no breakfast)

Dinkum, fair dinkum : true, real, genuine (“I’m a dinkum Aussie”; “is he fair dinkum?”)

Dinky-di : the real thing, genuine

Dipstick : a loser, idiot

Dob (somebody) in : inform on somebody. Hence dobber, a tell-tale

Docket : a bill, receipt

Doco : documentary

Dog : unattractive woman

Dog’s balls, stands out like : obvious

Dole bludger : Somebody on social assistance when unjustified

Donger : penis

Doodle : penis

Doozey : something very pleasant, significant, large

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”)

Duchess : sideboard

Duffer, cattle : rustler

Dummy, spit the : get very upset at something

Dunny : outside lavatory

Dunny budgie : blowfly

Dunny rat, cunning as a : very cunning

Durry : cigarette

E

Earbashing : nagging, non-stop chatter

Ekka : the Brisbane Exhibition, an annual show

Esky : large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.

Exy : expensive

F

Face, off one’s : drunk (“He was off his face by 9pm”)

Fair dinkum : true, genuine

Fair go : a chance (“give a bloke a fair go”)

Fair suck of the sav! : exclamation of wonder, awe, disbelief (see also “sav”)

Fairy floss : candy floss, cotton candy

Feral (n.) : a hippie.

Fisho : fishmonger

Flake : shark’s flesh (sold in fish & chips shops)

Flick : to give something or somebody the flick is to get rid of it or him/her

Flick it on : to sell something, usually for a quick profit, soon after buying it.

Fly wire : gauze flyscreen covering a window or doorway.

Footy : Australian Rules football

Fossicking : searching, rummaging (“fossicking through the kitchen drawers”)

Franger : condom

Freckle : anus

Frog in a sock, as cross as a : sounding angry - a person or your hard drive!

Fruit loop : fool

Full : drunk

G

G’Day : hello!

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, garbologist : municipal garbage collector

Give it a burl : try it, have a go

Gobful, give a : to abuse, usually justifiably (“The neighbours were having a noisy party so I went and gave them a gobful”)

Going off : used of a night spot or party that is a lot of fun - “the place was really going off”

Good oil : useful information, a good idea, the truth

Good onya : good for you, well done

Goog, as full as a : drunk. “Goog” is a variation of the northern English slang word “goggie” meaning an egg.

Greenie : environmentalist

Grinning like a shot fox : very happy, smugly satisfied

Grog : liquor, beer (“bring your own grog, you bludger”)

Grouse (adj.) : great, terrific, very good

Grundies : undies, underwear (from Reg Grundy, a television person)

Gutful of piss : drunk, “he’s got a gutful of piss”

Gyno : gynaecologist

H

Handle : beer glass with a handle

Heaps : a lot, e.g. “thanks heaps”, “(s)he earned heaps of money” etc.

Holy dooley! : an exclamation of surprise = “Good heavens!”, “My goodness!” “Good grief!” or similar

Hoon : hooligan

Hooroo : goodbye (© Don Burke)

Hotel : often just a pub

Hottie : hot water bottle

I

Icy pole, ice block : popsicle, lollypop

J

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

K

Kangaroos loose in the top paddock : Intellectually inadequate (“he’s got kangaroos loose in the top paddock”)

Kelpie : Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie

Kero : kerosene

Kindie : kindergarten

Knock : to criticise

Knock back : refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)

Knocker : somebody who criticises

L

Lair : a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour, to dress up in flashy clothes, to renovate or dress up something in bad taste

Lair it up : to behave in a brash and vulgar manner

Larrikin : a bloke who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster

Lend of, to have a : to take advantage of somebody’s gullibility, to have someone on (“he’s having a lend of you”)

Lippy : lipstick

Liquid laugh : vomit

Lizard drinking, flat out like a : flat out, busy

Lob, lob in : drop in to see someone (“the rellies have lobbed”)

Lollies : sweets, candy

London to a brick : absolute certainty (“it’s London to a brick that taxes won’t go down”)

Loo : toilet

Lucky Country, The : Australia, where else?

Lunch, who opened their? : OK, who farted?

Lurk : illegal or underhanded racket

 

M

Maccas (pron. “mackers”) : McDonald’s (the hamburger place)

Mallee bull, as fit as a : very fit and strong. The Mallee is very arid beef country in Victoria/South Australia.

Manchester : Household linen, eg sheets etc.

Mappa Tassie : map of Tasmania - a woman’s pubic area

Mate : buddy, friend

Mate’s rate, mate’s discount : cheaper than usual for a “friend”

Matilda : swagman’s bedding, sleeping roll

Metho : methylated spirits

Mexican : a person from south of the (Queensland) border

Mickey Mouse : excellent, very good. Beware though - in some parts of Australia it means inconsequential, frivolous or not very good!

Middy : 285 ml beer glass in New South Wales

Milk bar : corner shop that sells takeaway food

Milko : milkman

Mob : group of people, not necessarily troublesome

Mob : family or herd (?) of kangaroos

Mongrel : despicable person

Moolah : money

Mozzie : mosquito

Muddy : mud crab (a great delicacy)

Mug : friendly insult (“have a go, yer mug”), gullible person

Mull : grass (the kind you smoke)

Muster : round up sheep or cattle

N

Nasho : National Service (compulsory military service)

Naughty, have a : have sex

Never Never : the Outback, centre of Australia

Nipper : young surf lifesaver

No worries! : Expression of forgiveness or reassurance (No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I’ll do it)

No-hoper : somebody who’ll never do well

Not the full quid : not bright intellectually

Nuddy, in the : naked

Nun’s nasty, as dry as a : dry

O

O.S. : overseas (“he’s gone O.S.”)

Ocker : an unsophisticated person

Offsider : an assistant, helper

Oldies : parents - “I’ll have to ask my oldies”

Outback : interior of Australia Oz : Australia!

P

Pash : a long passionate kiss; hence “pashing on”

Pav : Pavlova - a rich, creamy Australian dessert

Perve (noun & verb) : looking lustfully at the opposite sex

Piece of piss : easy task

Pig’s arse! : I don’t agree with you

Piker : Someone who doesn’t want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early

Piss : beer. Hence “hit the piss”, “sink some piss”

Plate, bring a : Instruction on party or BBQ invitation to bring your own food. It doesn’t mean they’re short of crockery!

Plonk : cheap wine

Pokies : poker machines, fruit machines, gambling slot machines

Polly : politician

Pom, pommy : an Englishman

Pommy bastard : an Englishman

Pommy shower : using deodorant instead of taking a shower

Pommy’s towel, as dry as a : very dry - based on the canard that Poms bathe about once a month

Port : suitcase (portmanteau)

Postie : postman, mailman

Pot : 285 ml beer glass in Queensland and Victoria

Pozzy : position - get a good pozzy at the football stadium

Prezzy : present, gift

 

Q

Quid, make a : earn a living - “are you making a quid?”

Quid, not the full : of low IQ

R

Rack off : push off! get lost! get out of here! also “rack off hairy legs!”.

Rage : party

Rage on : to continue partying - “we raged on until 3am”

Rapt : pleased, delighted

Ratbag : mild insult

Raw prawn, to come the : to bullshit, to be generally disagreeable

Reckon! : you bet! Absolutely!

Reffo : refugee

Rego : vehicle registration

Rellie : family relative

Ridgy-didge : original, genuine

Right : okay (“she’ll be right, mate”)

Rip snorter : great, fantastic - “it was a rip snorter of a party”

Ripper : great, fantastic - “it was a ripper party”

Road train : big truck with many trailers

Rock up : to turn up, to arrive - “we rocked up at their house at 8pm”

Rollie : a cigarette that you roll yourself

Roo : kangaroo

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.

Ropeable : very angry

Rort (verb or noun) : Cheating, fiddling, defrauding (expenses, the system etc.). Usually used of politicians

Rotten : drunk - “I went out last night and got rotten”

Rubbish (verb) : to criticize

S

Salute, Aussie : brushing flies away

Salvos, the : Salvation Army, bless them

Sandgroper : a person from Western Australia

Sanger : a sandwich

Sav : saveloy (see also “fair suck of the sav!”)

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 Seppo : an American

Servo : petrol station

Shark biscuit : somebody new to surfing

She’ll be right : it’ll turn out okay

Sheila : a woman

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 : day off sick from work (chuck a sickie = take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy!)

Skite : boast, brag

Slab : a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer

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

Spewin’ : very angry

Spit the dummy : get very upset at something

Sprung : caught doing something wrong

Spunk : a good looking person (of either sex)

Squizz (noun) : look - “take a squizz at this”

Standover man : a large man, usually gang-related, who threatens people with physical violence in order to have his wishes carried out.

Station : a big farm/grazing property

Stickybeak : nosy person

Stoked : very pleased

Strewth : exclamation, mild oath (“Strewth, that Chris is a bonzer bloke”)

Strides : trousers

Strine : Australian slang and pronunciation

Stubby : a 375ml. beer bottle

Stubby holder : polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby

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 : rolled up bedding etc. carried by a swagman

Swaggie : swagman

Swagman : tramp, hobo

 

T

Tall poppies : successful people

Tall poppy syndrome : the tendency to criticize successful people

Taswegian : a person from Tasmania

Technicolor yawn : vomit

Tee-up : to set up (an appointment)

Thingo : Wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit

Thongs : cheap rubber backless sandals

Tickets, to have on oneself : to have a high opinion of oneself

Tinny : can of beer

Tinny : lucky

Tinny : small aluminium boat

Togs : swim suit

Too right! : definitely!

Top End : far north of Australia

Trackie daks/dacks : tracksuit pants

Trackies : track suit

Trough lolly : the solid piece of perfumed disinfectant in a men’s urinal

Truckie : truck driver

True blue : patriotic

Tucker : food

Tucker-bag : food bag

Turps : turpentine, alcoholic drink

Turps, hit the : go on a drinking binge

Two up : gambling game played by spinning two coins simultaneously

U

Uni : university

Unit : flat, apartment

Up oneself : have a high opinion of oneself - “he’s really up himself”

Up somebody, get : to rebuke somebody - “the boss got up me for being late”

Useful as an ashtray on a motorbike / tits on a bull : unhelpful or incompetent person or thing - “he, she or it is about as useful as tits on a bull” etc. etc.

Ute : utility vehicle, pickup truck

V

Vedgies : vegetables

Vee dub : Volkswagen

Veg out : relax in front of the TV (like a vegetable)

Vejjo : vegetarian

W

Waggin’ school : playing truant

Walkabout : a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time Walkabout, it’s gone : it’s lost, can’t be found

Whinge : complain

White pointers : topless (female) sunbathers

Whiteant (verb) : to criticise something to deter somebody from buying it. A car dealer might whiteant another dealer’s cars or a real estate salesman might whiteant another agent’s property Wobbly : excitable behaviour (“I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly”) Wobbly boot on, he’s got the : drunk

Wog : flu or trivial illness

Wog : person of Mediterranean origin. A milder insult than the same word in the UK and perhaps elsewhere.

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

Wuss : coward; nervous person or animal

X

XXXX : pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland

Y

Yabber : talk (a lot)

Yakka : work (noun)

Yewy : u-turn in traffic (“chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights”)

Yobbo : an uncouth person

Youse : you (plural)

Z

Zack : sixpence (5 cents) - “it isn’t worth a zack”, “he hasn’t got a zack”