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Australian slang

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    This article is a travel topic

Australian slang is informal language used in Australia.

This guide should be viewed as an informal and fun introduction to some Australian idiosyncrasies, rather than a guide on how to communicate.

Increasing globalisation and a move away from rural living has seen Australian English adopt a lot of American terms while at the same time romanticising words commonly associated with the bush. Australians mostly view their slang as being uniquely Australian and an integral part of their culture. Judging by the amount of Australian slang books available on the shelves, it remains of interest to travellers too.

Many parts of Australian slang have their origins outside Australia, particularly in England and Ireland. Don't be surprised if many terms seem familiar. However, don't assume that similar slang expressions have the same meaning to Australians as they might in other countries. An attempt to use some Australian slang will likely be viewed as an attempt to mock, rather than as a genuine attempt to speak the local dialect. It's better to use the guide to interpret Steve Irwin's TV shows.

English speaking travellers are best advised just to speak clearly, as most Australians are used to a variety of accents. However, it can never hurt to say "G'day, How are ya goin'" to an Aussie. You can also ask for your chips to take-away, rather than fries to go.


Hey  Hello. Often combined with How ya doin' / goin' How ya goin'  How are you? How ya doin'  How are you? How is it hanging?  (Direct translation: How comfortable are your testicles) How are you feeling? Not bad mate  Not bad mate(friend) Good  Good Cheers mate  Thanks No worries / No drama  You're welcome (in response to thank you) Oi. Way to get attention You're right  That is okay (in response to sorry She'll be apples / It'll be right  Everything will be ok / go to plan See ya later   See you later Hoo roo  Goodbye Take it easy  it's not goodbye it's 'take it easy' Have a good one  Have a good day / night / weekend / etc Do you root?  Would you like to have intercourse? Do you take it from behind?  Will you accept a drink from an older companion? Could I have some more please  Can I have some more of that Item?


Arvo afternoon, eg "Let's meet for a schooner this arvo". Yonks commonly used to convey an exaggerated view of time, eg "I haven't seen you in yonks". Ron Shorter for later on, eg "I'll save it for ron".


Bluey  Red hair. Virgin planes are red in Australia and are therefore Virgin Blue. Red  A name often given to Blue Cattle dogs


(Note that seemingly uniquely, Australians use insults affectionately as well. It is commonplace to greet one's closest friends with the foulest combination expletives and slurs as possible, preferably creatively arranged.)

Bugger Damn - a common expression of disappointment, not offensive to most. Drongo an idiot or a fool. Bloody Bastard very commonly used for an idiot. Wanker Someone who is egotistical and likes to stir trouble, a generally dislikeable person. Knob A cokey idiot.

Eating and Drinking[edit]

Grab a feed  Get something to eat Middy, Pot, Schooner, Handle Various sizes of glass (usually used for beer). Definitions vary by state: refer to the table at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_in_Australia#Sizes Take-away Fast food also used instead of "to go" when ordering food. Nosebag Takeaway from a restaurant Pissed  drunk (as opposed to pissed off, which means to be annoyed) Scab  To scrounge off a friend, as in scab a feed.   To scrounge through the local rubbish tip / local council clean up piles Bludge  To be lazy, or to scab, as in bludge a feed. Grog  alcoholic drink, likely beer. Plonk  Cheap low-quality wine. Goon  Plonk in a cask. Tucker  Food.


Mate Anybody at all, typically used only to refer to men, used as an informal address for strangers ("Hello, mate"), as a name placeholder for friends, and as a term for friends in general ("Invite your mates around"). Love Similar to 'mate' but used for women. Or from a woman to male. Depending on context can ether be + or - eg, "Now listen here love" "what shall it be love" "want a drink love" Drongo Light-hearted insult, silly or dim-witted. Aussie  Australian - pronounced Ozzy. Relo Relative, as in member of the family. Bogan 'White trash', a vulgar and uncouth person. Brickie Bricklayer. Sparkie Electrician. Chippie Carpenter. Bikie Biker. Cockie Farmer. Generally who has a large land hold. Dag Nerd, unfashionable person, goof, light-hearted friendly insult. Figjam Proud and boastful person, abbreviated form of 'fuck I'm good, just ask me'. Battler Working family member. Someone who never seems to catch a break but always try's that little harder than most every step forwards sees them two steps back. Smackie Smackhead, as in, a heroin addict. Ocker A crude, uncultured Aussie. Banana Benders Queenslanders Sandgropers Western Australians Mexicans Anyone from the next state south (not often used) Is used by people that live in New South Wales when referring to someone that lives in Victoria. Yank An American Seppo An American (pejorative). Abbreviated form of rhyming slang 'septic tank'. Kiwi A New Zealander Pom/Pommy An Englishman (Is an insult if used by anyone but an Aussie). Prisoner Of Mother England. Scabber Someone who scabs Ranga Person with red hair. Derived from Orangutan. Bushie Someone from a rural area, whom generally lives off/with the land eating what they catch, raise, grow gather & utilise all around them in a innovative manor like hanging the exhaust up with a coat hanger or posting a shed or shack with trees. Digger Soldier. Clown A fool. Peanut A fool. Cobber friend, mate. A Chat; person who is unclean


The bush areas outside of major cities and towns. The outback the deserts of inland Australia Bushfire wildfire Whoop Whoop The middle of nowhere (eg: So I was stuck out whoop whoop...) It is a short 'oo' sound, like in 'pull', not long like in 'choose'. Also an actual town in the middle of the Australian bush. Beyond the black stump An imaginary point beyond which the country is considered remote or uncivilised Back of Beyond Even further than beyond the black stump. Really far. Scrub Thick, snotty bush


Servo Service Station (Petrol Station) Bottle-O Bottle Shop (Liquor Store) Chemist Pharmacy (also used), Drug Store Newsagent's Seller of newspapers, magazines, and candy Milk bar Small shop selling drinks, sandwiches, candy, hot chips, and so on Maccas McDonalds restaurant Back-of-Bourke Very distant location