YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Australian slang

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

    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. Many Australians 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.

Attempts by foreigners to replicate the Australian accent nearly always fail (witness Meryl Streep in A Cry in the Dark). Doing so to an Australian's face will be seen as taking the piss (see below) and may have unexpected repercussions.

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 / G'day. 
Hello. Often combined with How ya doin' / goin'
How ya goin'/ How's it going? 
How are you?
How ya doin' 
How are you?
How's it hangin'? 
(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 / No Problem
That's okay
No wuckers 
No problem (Play on words, No Wucking Furries, from No F...ing Worries)
Oi!/ Hey!
(Rude way to get attention)
You're right 
Don't worry, all good
She'll be right 
That will be good (enough)
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 
Goodbye & be careful
Have a good one 
Have a good day / night / weekend / etc
Root 
sexual intercourse
Could I have some more please 
Can I have some more of that Item?
Yep
Yes
Nup
No
Ta
Thanks
We'll see
maybe
Sweet/Beautiful
Great
Yeah nah
No
Nah yeah
Yes
bloudy hell mate ur a cracker
a great job

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
Flat chat
(of a person) Very busy, no free time

Colours[edit]

Bluey 
A name often given to blue heeler cattle dogs or a person with red hair.
Ranga
Red-haired person.

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.)

Streuth!
Wow!, Damn! (from "God's truth")
Bugger
Damn - a common expression of disappointment, not offensive to most.
Drongo
an idiot or a fool (a type of bird)
Bloody bastard
someone you can't stand
Wanker
Someone who is full of themselves, a dislikeable person, a dickhead
Knob
A cocky fool
Fuck me dead
Oh dear

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
Stubby
Small beer bottle (~300ml)
Longneck
Large beer bottle (~750ml)
Take-away
Fast food also used instead of "to go" when ordering food.
Doggy bag
Takeaway from a restaurant
Pissed 
drunk (as opposed to pissed off, which means to be annoyed); take the piss: make fun of
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, especially when there is specific work to be done.
Grog 
alcoholic drink, likely beer.
Plonk 
Cheap low-quality wine.
Goon 
Plonk in a cask.
Goonbag 
Wine box.
Tucker 
Food.
Snag 
Sausage.
Sanga 
Sandwich.
Barbie 
Barbeque
Maccas 
McDonalds
Brekkie 
Breakfast
Esky 
water cooler
Durries, darts 
cigarettes
Flat white 
Latte
Long black 
Americano
Short black 
Espresso
Hot chips 
french fries, usually thick cut

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").
Old mate
Third person masculine pronoun (substitute for "he"), used specifically as a dismissive reference to a man over a certain age who the speaker sees as useless or foolish. e.g. "Old mate shat his daks in Engadine Maccas".
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.
Silly duffer
Similar to Drongo but gentler / more affectionate.
Aussie 
Australian - pronounced Ozzy.
Relo/Rellies
Relative, as in member of the family.
Bogan
(Slightly) less offensive Australian equivalent of English "chav" or American "white trash".
Cub
Cashed-up bogan. Nouveau riche.
Brickie
Bricklayer.
Sparkie
Electrician.
Chippie
Carpenter.
Bikie
Member of a motorbike gang; biker for motorcyclists in general
Cockie
Farmer. Generally who has a large land hold.
Dag
Nerd, unfashionable person, goof; light-hearted friendly insult.
Daggy
Scruffy.
Figjam
Proud and boastful person, abbreviated form of 'fuck I'm good, just ask me'.
Flog
A heavily disliked person.
Battler
Working family member. Someone who never seems to catch a break but always tries 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
Sheep Shagger
A New Zealander
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
Bluey, Ranga(derived from Orangutan)
Person with red hair.
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.
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/Back of Bourke
Even further than beyond the black stump. Really far.
Scrub
Thick, snotty bush

Places and things[edit]

Straya
Australia
The G
Melbourne Cricket Ground
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)
The sticks
In the bush, referring to a lot of trees (far from a town or city)
The pits
Bad, depressing or undesirable location or event.
Retic
Sprinkler system (short for reticulation), used more commonly in Western Australia.
Ute
Flatbed pick-up. Utility vehicle.

Politics[edit]

Rort
Corrupt practice or scam. Often a synonym for '-gate' when naming political scandals.
Stoush
Controversy. Pronounced like 'ouch' not like 'douche'.
Canberra
1. City of 400,000 people which hosts the Federal Parliament. 2. Shorthand for the apparatus of Federal Government, similar to Washington or Whitehall.
Pollie
Politician
The Reps
House of Representatives, the lower house of the legislature (analogous to the UK House of Commons).
Sausage sizzle
Barbecue cooking hotdogs, customarily outside polling stations on election day and outside hardware stores.
Democracy sausage
See above.
Vote 1 [candidate name]
Common electioneering slogan. Due to Australia's use of the AV voting system, voters rank all candidates by preference rather than denoting a single choice with an 'X'
On first preferences
The initial count of only the '1' rank votes, before lower preferences on votes cast for eliminated candidates are re-counted.
Two-party preferred
The final result of the election after all votes for eliminated candidate have been reallocated.