English is notorious for it’s colourful and seemingly endless collection
of slang terms and sayings. Listed below are some of the more common
sayings that you may encounter on your trip Down Under:
Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
A small child.
Tasmania, our only island state.
Rhyming slang for a man’s suit.
A person from Queensland.
A term of abuse, but it can also be one of male endearment as
in, “G’day you silly
old bastard.” Warning: use it in
way or you may get
into a blue!
Also pronounced beaudy, or bewdy.
water hole in a dry riverbed.
A metal can, usually tin, enamelware or aluminium used for
making tea over an open fire.
jokingly referred to as
Australia’s national bird.
A teller of tall tales; a braggart.
The town of Bundaberg in Queensland.
Also the name of a popular brand of rum.
Term for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
A close friend.
To be sick or no good; also angry.
Originally an unsewered toilet at the bottom of the garden now
used generally for the toilet.
Someone who talks endlessly; a bore.
True, genuine; an assertion of truth or genuineness.
Refers to either Rugby League, Rugby Union, or Australian Rules
football, which is very popular in Melbourne.
General name for all alcohol.
Someone who is so drunk they can’t walk.
Friend, buddy. The
great Australian leveller.
Anyone can be your mate, from the Prime Minister to the bloke
affectionate term for a close friend.
“G’Day mate,” is a common Aussie greeting.
A medium‑sized (9oz) glass of beer (New South Wales and
Don’t worry, everything is okay.
Someone who likes to party.
Large glass of beer (15oz).
To pay for a round of drinks, also used when
for another person. In
an Aussie pub you’ll often
hear, “It’s your shout, mate.”
Package of six cans or bottles of beer.
A light meal, but most commonly a sausage.
To be angry.
Very early in the morning.
A short, squat bottle of beer.
A can of beer.
The northern part
of the Northern Territory.
A Top‑Ender is a resident of this area.
To “go troppo” is to be mentally disturbed.
The original usage probably
came from illness caused by too much time spent under the tropical sun
of northern Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Can of beer.
To eat food.
Utility truck or pick‑up truck.
Sometimes referred to as Australia’s national food.
Loved by all true blue
extract spread on toast and sandwiches.
Australians do, in fact, speak a different sort of English. Here is
Goway's guide to some of the most common words and phrases in "Strine"
(Australian) Some of the lingo has its roots in the rhyming
slang of London's Cockney. For instance, "let's hit the frog and
toad" really means "let's get on the road". Some people say
that Aussies talk through their noses, giving a nasal twang to their
words. Others say Australians have developed lazy speech habits such as
not opening their mouths or moving their lips sufficiently. But, of
course, none of this is true as exemplified by the following:
Strine, another good tip is to simply shorten a long word and then add
a vowel on the end, eg. barbecue becomes "barbie" and afternoon
are you doing, alright?
"It's getting louder "
How much is it?
alarmed if you do not remember all of the above. If you speak
"regular" English, you will probably be understood. If you don't
understand someone talking to you in Strine, just tell them where you are
from and ask them to repeat what they said.
Ava go ya mug - traditional rallying call, especially at cricket
Be so far ahead one can't hear the Band, to - to be intoxicated.
Back o'Bourke - middle of nowhere; beyond normal civilization.
Banana Bender - resident of Queensland.
Bag of fruit - suit
Barney - dispute orangemen
Barrack - to cheer (for a sports team)
Battler - a persistent trier, one who struggles for a livelihood
Beaut - exclamation of approval
Big note - to exaggerate one's wealth
Bite - to borrow money
Bathers - swimming costume
Beyond the black stump - Outback, well beyond civilization
Bikie - biker
Bikkie - biscuit
Billabong - Pond in an otherwise dry stream
Billy Can - A container used to boil tea on an open fire in the
Billy Tea - Tea boiled over an open fire in an old tin bucket
Black Stump - where the middle of nowhere begins
Bloke - a man
Bodgie - faulty, false; a hoodlum.
Boot - trunk of a car
Blowies - blow flies
Bludge - to rely without reasonable cause on the kindness of
strangers; a lazy or ungrateful person.
Bludger - lazy person, one who won't work
Brolly - umbrella
Blue - fight
Bluey - nickname for a red-haired person; also a type of Australian
Bonza - great, wonderful
Brekkie - breakfast.
Buckleys - ("you've got buckleys") no chance.
Bunyip - mythical Australian animal.
Bushbash/bushbashing - to travel or force your way through dense
BYO - ("bring your own"), to take your own alcohol to a
Chewy - chewing gum.
China - mate, but not as familiar (rhyming slang derived from
Chiko roll - junk food that can only be compared to a large spring
Chockablock - full to the brim.
Chook - chicken.
Chrissie - Christmas.
Chop someone in, to - to include; to share.
Cleanskin - a novice.
Cobber - old term for mate.
Corroboree - Aboriginal ceremonial dance or celebratory meeting.
Cozzie - Bathing suit (also togs or swimmers).
Crow eater - resident of South Australia.
Damper - unleavened bread traditionally cooked on a camp fire.
Dead set - correct, affirmative.
Decko - a look; a glance.
Dial - face.
Digger - an honest man, a hard worker, a patriot. (Originally a
Dim sims - fast food that resembles a Chinese Dim Sum but usually
sold in fish and chip shops
Dinkum/fair dinkum - honest, genuine.
Dinky-di - the real thing.
Dob in, to - to inform, to "grass".
Dog and bone - telephone
Don't come the raw prawn - don't try to fool me. To impose on or
Drongo - worthless person.
Drover - Mounted herdsman. Sheep or cattle.
Drown worms, to - to waste time
Dunny - toilet
Earbash - talk non-stop.
Entree - the appetizer not the main course.
Fair crack of the whip - give us a break.
Flat chat / full bore / full tilt - full speed; full strength
Footpath - sidewalk.
Fossicking - rock hounding.
Full as a goog - to be sufficiently fed; to be inebriated
("goog" is an abbreviation of the childish term 'googy' or egg).
Galah - silly person, also a noisy parrot.
Gaggle - group
Garbo - someone who collects garbage.
G'day - Hello, welcome.
G'bye - Farewell (the last thing you'll want to say.
Give someone a ring, to - to make a telephone call
Goose - a silly confused overly meticulous person
Grazier - large scale sheep or cattle farmer.
Grouse - very good.
Gurgler - toilet
Good oil, the- something genuine; the truth.
Hammer and tong - full speed; full force
Hit the toe - get going
Hit the frog and toad, to - to get going
Ice Block - popsicle (also called an "icy pole")
Jackaroo - young male ranch hand (Jillaroo is the female)
Jaffle - toasted sandwich
Jellyknees - a weak person; a coward; a procrastinator.
Jumbuck - sheep
Jumper - sweater
Jungle drums - gossip
Kick a goal, to - to be successful; to get ahead
Kick into a stiff breeze, to - to be unsuccessful
Put the kybosh on something, to - to cause to stop; to close
Lamington - squares of sponge cake covered in chocolate icing and
Lino - linoleum
Lollies - candies
Mail, the - news
Mate - a friend
Merino - breed of sheep
Mexican - New South Wales people call those from Victoria (due to
their lower geographical location)
Milk bar - corner store.
Mozzies - mosquitoes.
Mug - a fool; to imitate
Mustering - roundup of sheep or cattle
Nipper - child
No worries - no problem, not a problem
Nuddie, in the - in the nude
Outback - remote part of the bush
Ocker - yobbo
On the knocker - on the mark or target
Oz - some say the best
Pastoralist - Large scale grazier
Pom - if you are English you will get to know the word quickly as
it is the almost affectionate - term for English people (supposedly
originates from the term Prisoner of Mother country)
Pommie - an Englishman
Postie - mailman
Queue - a line for a bus or anything else
Ridgy-didge - original, genuine
Ripper/Little ripper - good (said to someone who has done something
Road Train - lorry with several trailers (driven outside of cities)
Rooted - tired
Ropable - angry
Sandgroper - someone from Western Australia
Sandshoes - sneakers
Serviette - table napkin
Sheila - a woman (this Irish name was so popular among immigrants
that it was always safe to call a woman by it)
She'll be right - not a problem, don't worry
Shout - treat someone, usually to a drink "It's your shout,
Sickie - to take a day off work (supposedly from being sick)
Smoko - tea-break, break for a cigarette
Snags - sausages, bangers
Sport - mate , "G'day sport"
Stark bollockers - naked (also see Nuddie)
Station - large ranch
Stubbie - small bottle of beer
Swag - item used for sleeping outdoors
Sweet as a nut - perfect
Sweets - dessert
Swish - fancy, elegant; to act effeminately
Ta - thank you
Ta-Ta - goodbye
Taxi Rank - taxi stand
Tassie - Tasmanian
Taswegian - resident of Tasmania
Thongs - flip flops or sandles
Tinnie - can of beer
Togs - swimming costume (Queensland)
Trouble and strife - wife
True Blue - genuine Australian item/person
Tube - can of beer (also tinny)
Tucker - food (Aboriginal word)
Two-up - an extremely popular though illegal gambling game
involving the tossing of a coin
Uni - university.
Ute - (utility) - pick-up truck (usually with a dog or two in the
Veggies - vegetables
Vegemite - the diet of all Aussies (similar to Marmite)
Wag - to skip school
Walkabout - to go walkaround, disappear for awhile
Wet (the wet) - rainy season in Northern Australia
Whingeing Pom - ("bloody whingeing pom"), the worst type
of Pom, one who complains alot
Witchetty grub - little white worms, traditionally eaten by
Aboriginals as a delicacy
Woop-woop - a remote place
Woosie - same as "big girl's blouse"
Yahoo - yobbo
Youse (pronounced as "use"} - refers to others when there
is more than one ie. plural to you
Yabbie - small freshwater crayfish
Yakka - hard work (an Aboriginal word)