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Australian slang

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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 ya goin'" to an Aussie. You can also ask for your chips to take-away, rather than fries to go.

Greetings[edit]

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/Oooroo 
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?
Could I have some more please 
Can I have some more of that Item?

Time[edit]

Arvo
afternoon, eg "Let's meet for a schooner this arvo".
Yonks
Years, 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".
Tick
Short amount of time, 5 minutes up to an hour.
Smoko
Any short break from work

Colours[edit]

Bluey 
Red hair.
Red 
A name often given to Blue Cattle dogs

Cursing[edit]

(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.(a type of bird)
Bloody Bastard
very commonly used for an idiot.
Wanker
Someone who is egotistical and likes to stir trouble, a generally dislikeable person.
Knob
A cocky 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.

People[edit]

Mate
Anybody at all, typically used only to refer to men, used as an informal address for strangers ("G'day, 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/Black 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/Queensland when referring to someone that lives in Victoria/New South Wales.
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

Geography[edit]

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

Places[edit]

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
Big smoke/city
A non country area(includes associated suburbs)

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages