Learning English teaches you to speak and write "proper" English. So you're visiting an English-speaking country and you start hearing some very strange slang terms. Australian slang is certainly "interesting"! Whether you have dreams of visiting Australia, have just arrived, or have been on this gigantic island paradise for a while, there are some Australian slang words you can learn to help you in your day-to-day life.
Although Australia is an English speaking country, arriving in the country with little knowledge of the most popular Australian slang can put you in awkward situations. It's worth noting that Australians also tend to abbreviate most English vocabulary. You will quickly get used to it! Here's a list of some common slang terms (some of them in other English-speaking countries) to get you moving...
If we missed something, you can leave a comment below.
125 Australian Slang Words and Phrases
- A cold- Bier
- Happens– How Australians call Australian band ACDC
- ankle biter- Nino
- arvo- Afternoon (S'Arvo- this afternoon!)
- Australian greetings- Wave to scare away flies
- Avocado- Avocado
- Deposit– To cancel plans. 'Bruce jumped' = Bruce does not appear.
- Barbie- To a pair
- bathers- Swimwear
- beauty! - Excellent! Most often called out as "You Beauty".
- billabong– A pond in a dry river bed
- Come on– Teapot (In the outback around the campfire)
- bloody- Very. Used to smooth a point
- damn oath- Yes, or it is true. "Are you right, comrade?"... "Bloody oath"
- bludger– Someone who is lazy, usually also dependent on others (if someone is dependent on the state, one often speaks of an “unemployed bludger”)
- maloqueiro– This word is used for people who are, say, rednecks. Or, if you prefer, call your friends Bogan when they're weird.
- Schnapsbus– Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers
- Botella-O– Bottle Shop, basically a place to buy alcohol.
- Breakfast- Breakfast
- umbrella- umbrella
- Bruce- An Australian boy
- Buckleys Chance- few chances (Buckleys Chance Wiktionary)
- Budgie Smuggler- Swimming trunks
- surprises- Exhausted
- Busch- "Out in the bush" - "He's in the bush" In the country, far from civilization
- save cabin- Cabernet-Sauvignon
- Cactus- dead, broken
- shock absorber- Complete
- Bicicleta Choccy- Chocolate chip cookie
- Schock- Polo
- Chrissi- birth
- Cigarette- A cigar
- awkward- feel motherly
- Amigo- Very good friend. 'Okay, 'old cobbler'.
- called- Beer. Come get a buddy.
- copper- Police officers
- break that shit- to be angry with someone or something
- Crikey- an expression of surprise
- cheat– being sick or angry; "Don't treat me as a cheater"
- C*nt, the word "C"– Used when exchanging favors between close friends or relatives. When someone in Australia calls you the 'C' word (and you haven't done anything to upset them), breathe a sigh of relief... it means you've entered the dunking zone.
- And– Someone who is a bit of a nerd or geek.
- daks- Trousers. 'Tracky daks' = sweatpants (sweatpants)
- Dardy– means 'cool', used by the Aborigines of South West Australia and has also been adopted by non-Indigenous youth. –Wikipedia
- standstill- TRUE
- Lack- Definitely
- devo- devastated
- Drongo– a Loco, 'Don't be a Drongo comrade'
- Dunny- bathroom
- Length of time- Cigarette
- Old– An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beer)
- Face- Facebook
- Feria Dinkum- 'Very authentic?' ...'Very authentic!' = Honest? ... Yes, honestly!
- Flanne / Flano- Flannel shirt
- level at the bottom- Very busy - "Out there like a drinking lizard" - Busy as a bee
- football- Football (AFL/Aussie Rules)
- sparkling- Bier
- fuck me dead- That's unfortunate, that surprises me
- pelzig– Rumors or improbable or absurd stories
- Good day- Hallo
- Polo- sameaustralian cockatoowith the reputation of not being brilliant, therefore a galah is also a stupid person.
- twisted- impressive - often used bySurfer
- To fit- busy, lots of people/angry person "walking"
- Good for you- Well done
- Continue- the best invention that mankind has ever produced.ContinueIt's an inexpensive bottled wine that will inevitably become a staple of your backpacking experience in Australia.
- fight hard- Hard work
- batteries- many, many, many
- hon– Hooligan (usually bad driving!)
- doubtful– little risky or unreasonable
- panties- Women's underwear
- Ah, indeed- Someone always up for a laugh, a kind of harmless prankster
- without legs– Someone who is very drunk
- Lutscher- Dulce
- female monkeys- MC Donalds
- Manchester– Linen/Bedding etc. If you are from England finding a department store called Manchester can seriously confuse you.
- vir-lata- Someone who is a bit of an idiot
- Mosquito– mosquito
- drama of sin- No problem it's fine
- No problem- No problem it's fine
- Ni Wucka- A truly Aussie way of saying "Don't worry"
- NO- neu
- Outside- The interior of Australia, "TheOutback", is more remote than the areas called "The Bush".
- AVK- kiss
- piece of urine- simply
- you do not disturb me- Go away
- more– a party, a meeting and in Australia – most social occasions
- To pee– (to urinate) to urinate
- disappointed- drunk, drunk
- Believe- Annoying
- shelf off- The least offensive way to tell someone to fall!
- Removed- Very happy
- consider- Naturally. 'Do you believe?'... 'I believe!'
- Relieve / Relo- Relative
- player- 'Little Ripper' = That's awesome man!
- mouse mouse– someone who likes sex (maybe a little too much)
- Deeply rooted– Tired or broken
- runner– Tennis, Tennis
- Singer- Sandwich
- Servo– Gas station / garage
- Tiburon-Galette- Children on the beach
- Sheila- A woman
- she will be apples- Everything will be fine
- shoot through- Leave
- Sick- unbelievable; "This is a very sick man"
- sick– A day off due to illness or “sick call” would be a day off when you are not actually sick
- skull- To have a beer
- release- A crate of beer
- Rauch- Smoking break
- connect- built-in
- Stand- Erection
- fanned out- happy satisfied
- Eng- An exclamation of surprise.
- entrenched- A bottle of beer
- short bracket- Used to prevent your hands from getting cold when holding your beer or to keep your hands from warming up your beer!
- stuffed- Tired
- sunny- sunglasses
- Stiefel– Single bed that can be rolled up, a bit like a sleeping bag.
- Tee- To have lunch
- tiny– Beer can or boat
- sauber- Flip flops. Don't be alarmed if your new Aussie friend asks you to wear a thong to the beach. They're probably expressing concern about the hot sand on their delicate feet.
- really blue– Really Australian
- fatigue- Eat. 'Bush Tucker' is typically outback food, much like witch pits.
- two above– A game of chance played on Anzac Day.
- U-IE- Turn around while driving
- get up yourself- Out of stock
- Woop Woop- in the middle of nowhere "he lives woop woop"
- Von- Of
- Of– (you) plural of you!
Some of these words may not be used as much today, but you can still hear them used ironically or by older Australians.
how to speak australian
After spending, well, an hour in Australia, you'll find that almost every word has an 'o' at the end. That's because, for some odd reason, Australians like to abbreviate each word and then add a vowel at the end...p. "bottle it” (Bottle Shop / Unlicensed) “Servo(garage/gas station).
Interestingly, some of these words end up longer than they originally were. At other times, instead of the "o," they simply add another vowel. MacDonalds, you know this famous fast food place, it's just known asMaccasHere! I think the following video perfectly illustrates this unique way of speaking Australian!
Australian idioms and idioms
Some expressions are a bit more difficult to understand than the abbreviations Australians use. When someone yelled at me, "OMG, look at hisBudgie Smuggler"I really had no idea what they were talking about. Let's just say it only applies to men, and they tend to wear swimming trunks!
I was at the bar and my friend said:It's my crying friend“. Hey?! This is something important to know. If it's their cry, they'll pay for it. Another common thing you hear in the pub is "he is drunk"...Yeah, don't buy that guy another drink, he's had too much already!
The word "maloqueiro' is also typical Australian slang. This word is used for people who are rednecks, for example. Or, if you prefer, call your friends Bogan when they're weird.
When you find yourself in an argument and start acting irrationally, you may be told that "stick your head in", but if you're right (stubborn) and really want the other person to believe what you're saying, you can say, "Fair Dinkum buddy“.
Worried that something isn't going according to plan? "Don't worry, she will be right my friend.“ – No problem, everything will be fine!
„Put something on the barbie"- that's a statement you'll hear way more often than "put a shrimp on the barbie"...why? Well, because there are hooks, so sausages, while in Australia prawns don't...they are known as prawns!
I heard that someone"Flat as a drinking lizard"? The English expression for this would be "busy as a bee".
I googled about this particular topic and came across a website called Dictionary of Australian Slang. Scanning it, I found an expression I couldn't help but share: "He has kangaroos roaming free up in the paddock“. The meaning of the sentence? Someone who is a little crazy. Or, as the dictionary says more beautifully; someone who has intellectual problems.
The best advice!If you're really stuck but want to seem like you're starting to learn some of the local Australian language, slang, so to speak, always greet by saying, "Good day' and always add 'Freund' at the end of each sentence.
Now that you've learned some Australian slang and idioms, why not try some typical Aussie idioms?Australian food?
Or learn more about someAustralian animals(List A-Z with photos and dates)