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.
- 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)
- Excuse me (may be regarded as uncouth by some people)
- You're right
- That is okay (in response to sorry)
- See ya later
- Hoo roo
- Take it easy
- afternoon, eg "Let's meet for a schooner this arvo".
- commonly used to convey an exaggerated view of time, eg "I haven't seen you in yonks".
- Red hair. Virgin planes are red in Australia and are therefore Virgin Blue.
(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.)
- Damn - a common expression of disappointment, not offensive to most.
- an idiot or a fool.
- Bloody Bastard
- very commonly used for an idiot.
- Someone who is egotistical and likes to stir trouble, a generally dislikeable person.
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
- Fast food also used instead of "to go" when ordering food.
- Takeaway from a restaurant
- drunk (as opposed to pissed off, which means to be annoyed)
- To scrounge off a friend, as in scab a feed.
- To be lazy, or to scab, as in bludge a feed.
- alcoholic drink, likely beer.
- Cheap low-quality wine.
- Plonk in a cask.
- Anybody at all, only commonly used by males, friends - especially when you forget their name.
- Australian - pronounced Ozzy.
- Relative, as in member of the family.
- Plural of you - pronounced Yooz. Only used by "bogans" (see below).
- An uneducated person; (similar to the British 'chav') favoured expression outside of Sydney to describe Westies.
- A person from the western suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne. (both being working-class neighbourhoods)
- Smackhead, as in, a heroin addict
- A crude, uncultured Aussie.
- Banana Benders
- Western Australians
- 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.
- An American
- An American (pejorative)
- A New Zealander
- An Englishman (Is an insult if used by anyone but an Aussie
- The bush
- areas outside of major cities and towns.
- The outback
- the deserts of inland Australia
- 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'
- Service Station (Gas Station)
- Bottle Shop (Liquor Store)
- Pharmacy (also used), Drug Store