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

Greetings

G'day 
Hello.
How ya goin' 
How are you?
Not bad mate 
Fine, thank you.
Cheers mate 
Thank you.
No worries / No drama 
You're welcome (in response to thank you)
Oi.
Excuse me (may be regarded as uncouth by some people)


You're right 
That is okay (in response to sorry)
See ya later  
Goodbye
Hoo roo 
Goodbye
Take it easy 
Goodbye

Time

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".

Colours

Bluey 
Red hair. Virgin planes are red in Australia and are therefore Virgin Blue.

Cursing

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

Eating and Drinking

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 annoyed, though can be used to mean annoyed in context)
Scab 
To scrounge off a friend, as in scab a feed.
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.

People

Mate
Anybody at all, only commonly used by males, friends - especially when you forget their name.
Aussie 
Australian - pronounced Ozzy.
Relo
Relative, as in member of the family.
Youse
Plural of you - pronounced Yooz. Only used by "bogans" (see below).
Bogan
An uneducated person; (similar to the British 'chav') favoured expression outside of Sydney to describe Westies.
Westie
A person from the western suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne. (both being working-class neighbourhoods)
Brickie
Bricklayer
Sparkie
Electrician
Chippie
Carpenter
Bikie
Biker
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)
Kiwi
A New Zealander
Pom/Pommy
An Englishman (Is an insult if used by anyone but an Aussie

Geography

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'

Places

Servo
Service Station (Gas Station)
Bottle-O
Bottle Shop (Liquor Store)
Chemist
Pharmacy (also used), Drug Store

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages