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