If you thought Australians and British people spoke the same language, you might change your mind once you have read this blog post. I have lived in Australia for 11 years now and am still learning new phrases all the time. The below alphabetical list includes abbreviations (which Australians are particularly fond of), rhyming slang (similar to Cockney rhyming slang) and other local lingo. I am sure you will learn a few new words and phrases, even if you were born in Australia, but if we have missed any, please do let us know in the comments below.

 

  1. A few roos loose in the top paddock or a few sandwiches short of a picnic – a bit daft or strange
  2. AFL/Aussie Rules – Australia Football League
  3. Amber Nectar – beer
  4. Ambo – an ambulance or ambulance driver
  5. Arie/Rissole – RSL
  6. Arvo – afternoon
  7. Aussie salute – action of brushing flies away from your face
  8. Ava captains/have a Captiain Cook – have a look
  9. Avo – avocado
  10. Back of Bourke – back of beyond, remote place
  11. Banana Benders – Queenslanders
  12. Barbie – barbeque
  13. Barry Crocker – shocker
  14. Billabong – a lake or pond
  15. Billy lids – kids
  16. BIR – built-in wardrobe
  17. Blow-in – unexpected guest
  18. Bludger – lazy
  19. Bogan – a redneck or rude/socially unacceptable person (a chav in the UK)
  20. Bon bons – Christmas crackers
  21. Bond – deposit
  22. Bonzer – excellent, first rate
  23. Bottle-O/Bottle Shop – shop that sells alcohol (off licence or offie in the UK)
  24. Budgie Smugglers – Speedos
  25. Busier than a blue-arsed fly – extremely busy
  26. BYO – bring your own alcohol to a restaurant or cafe
  27. Cactus – broken
  28. Cakeage – some restaurants/cafes allow you to bring your own cake (especially for a special occasion, such as a birthday) if you pay a small fee
  29. Capsicums – Peppers
  30. Cashed up bogan – someone who is rich, but a rude or socially unacceptable person
  31. Chardy – chardonnay
  32. Chippie – carpenter
  33. Chips – crisps
  34. Chook – chicken
  35. Cobber – a companion or friend
  36. Cool bananas – amazing
  37. Corkage -the small fee you may have to pay to take your own alcohol (see BYO)
  38. Cossie – swimming costume
  39. Crikey – Christ!
  40. Crook – sick
  41. Dag – uncool or unsophisticated
  42. Damper – an unleavened loaf of flour and water baked in wood ashes
  43. Don’t come the raw prawn with me – don’t lie to me
  44. Donkey’s ears – years
  45. Doona – duvet/quilt cover
  46. Double Bay Tractor – 4WD driving around the suburbs and probably never used for 4-wheel driving
  47. Down Under – Australia
  48. Drongo – idiot
  49. Dunny – toilet
  50. EFTPOS – electronic funds transfer at point of sale, using a debit or credit card to pay at points of sale
  51. Eggplant – aubergine
  52. Esky – portable coolers or ice boxes, known as a cool box in the UK
  53. Fair dinkum – honest, honestly
  54. Fair suck of the sav – fair go
  55. Flamin galah – idiot, fool
  56. Flamin’ mongrel – a bad person
  57. Flat out like a lizard drinking – very busy
  58. Flat white – coffee beverage with hot milk (or microfoam) but no froth
  59. Football/Footy – depends on the state. In NSW, it usually refers to NRL, but could also refer to AFL, soccer and rugby union
  60. Footy – football
  61. Fresh off the boat – new immigrant to Australia who probably didn’t come by boat
  62. G’day – hello
  63. Gladwrap – clingfilm
  64. Gone Walkabout – it’s lost, gone for a long walk
  65. Goon – cheap wine
  66. Grog – alcohol
  67. Gumboots – wellies/wellington boots
  68. Gutless wonder – coward
  69. Hard yakka – hard work
  70. Heaps – lots
  71. Hills hoist – rotary clothes line
  72. Hot chips – chips
  73. Hotel – often just a pub, don’t always have accommodation
  74. HSC – the Higher School Certificate is the highest award in secondary education in NSW.
  75. Icy block/pole – ice confectionery on a stick (frozen popsicle in the UK)
  76. Jackeroo – a male novice working on a sheep or cattle station or large farm
  77. Jillaroo – a female novice working on a sheep or cattle station or large farm
  78. Joey – baby kangaroo
  79. Journo – Journalist
  80. Kindie – kindergarten
  81. Layby – an agreement which lets you buy a product and pay for it in two or more instalments before taking it home
  82. Long neck – 750ml bottle of beer
  83. Lollies – confectionery (sweeties or sweets in the UK and candy in America)
  84. Looks like a dog’s breakfast – a dreadful mess
  85. Lotto – lottery
  86. Maccas – MacDonalds
  87. Mall – shopping centre
  88. Manchester – bed linen and towels
  89. Mate – not necessarily a friend
  90. Meat raffle – a tradition of raffling off meat, often in pubs and bars
  91. Mexicans – Victorians, ie – south of the NSW border
  92. Middie – 285ml measure, usually refers or beer or cider
  93. Milk Bar – convenience or general store (corner shop in the UK)
  94. Mobile (phone) – cellphone, smartphone
  95. Mozzies – mosquitos
  96. Never never – the outback
  97. Nippers – young Surf Lifesavers aged between 5 and 14 years old.
  98. No worries – no problems
  99. No wucking furries – no problems at all
  100. Ocker – unsophisticated
  101. Oldies – parents
  102. Op shop – charity shop
  103. Oxford Scholars – dollars
  104. Oz – Australia
  105. Parmie – chicken parmigiana
  106. Pav – pavlova (delicious dessert made with meringue, cream and fruit; debatable if it originated in Australia or New Zealand, but is now very much ensconced in Australian culture)
  107. Pissed as a newt – very drunk
  108. Plonk – wine
  109. Pokies – fruit machines
  110. Pom/pommie – someone from England, not always derogatory (depends on the context)
  111. Popper – juice carton
  112. Postie – postman/woman
  113. Putt putt – mini golf
  114. Rack off – go away
  115. Rapt or stoked – delighted
  116. Rego – vehicle registration
  117. Rellie/relo – relative
  118. Ridgy didge/Dinky di – genuine
  119. Riding shotgun – sitting in the passenger seat
  120. Roadie – a beer you buy to take away with you
  121. Rough as guts – very rough, uncivilised
  122. Rubbety dub – pub
  123. Running around like a headless chook
  124. Sav – Sauvingnon, as in Sav Blanc or Cab (Cabernet) Sav
  125. Sanga/sambo – sandwich
  126. Schnitty – schnitzel
  127. Schooner – 425ml measure, usually refers to beer or cider
  128. Scratchie – instant lottery scratch card ticket
  129. Schoolies Week – the tradition of high school graduates going on holiday following their final exams, especially in Surfer’s Paradise and Byron. It’s best to avoid these areas at the end of November/start of December if you can.
  130. Seppo – American (septic tank, yank)
  131. Servo – petrol/service station
  132. Sheila – woman
  133. She’ll be apples – it will be okay
  134. Sickie – take a day off work when you’re not really ill
  135. Slab – a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer
  136. Slip Slop Slap – Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat
  137. Smoko – smoke or coffee break, not used as much anymore, with all the anti-smoking laws
  138. Snags – sausages
  139. Snow cones – ice shavings that are topped with flavoured sugar syrup
  140. Soccer – football
  141. Sparky – electrician
  142. Sparrow’s Fart – very early in the morning
  143. Spewin’ – annoyed
  144. Squiz – a look
  145. Steak ‘n’ Kidney – Sydney
  146. Stoked – extremely happy, over the moon
  147. Stone the crows – an exclamation of incredulity or annoyance
  148. Strewth – used to express surprise or dismay
  149. Stubby – a short beer bottle/can with a capacity of 375 ml
  150. Stubby holder – an insulated holder to keep cans or beer/cider cans cold
  151. Stunned mullet – shocked
  152. Sunnies – sunglasses
  153. Super – superannuation (pension in the UK)
  154. Tall poppies – successful people and celebrities
  155. Tall poppy syndrome – putting down successful people and celebrities
  156. The Toaster – apartment and hotel building next to Sydney Opera House
  157. Thongs – cheap rubber backless sandals, flip flops (if you’re from the UK) or jandals (if you’re from NZ)
  158. Tim Tam Slam – bite off 2 diagonal corners from a Tim Tam, then dunk it in a hot beverage for about 10 seconds (until just before it falls apart) and then eat it. You will need to eat in one go, otherwise it gets quite messy. Trust me, it’s delicious.
  159. Tinnie – small boat or beer
  160. Togs – swimming costume
  161. Trackie daks/dacks – tracksuit pants
  162. Tradie – tradesperson
  163. Troppo – to go crazy or to act strangely, due to the tropical heat
  164. True blue – patriotic Australian
  165. Tucker – food
  166. Two up – game played on Anzac Day by throwing two coins in the air and betting if they will land on heads or tails
  167. Unit – flat, apartment
  168. Ute – utility truck
  169. Vinnie’s/Salvos – St. Vincent De Paul’s/Salvation Army (charity thrift stores and hostels)
  170. Westie – someone from Western Sydney
  171. Whinge – complain
  172. White Out – Tippex
  173. Woop Woop – a small, unimportant town (can be suburban or more remote)
  174. Yakka – work
  175. Yapping/verbal diarrhoea – incessant talk
  176. Yewy – u-turn in traffic
  177. You little beauty – excited approval, something has gone really well
  178. Zucchini – courgette