The Australian Slanguage

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Don posted 05-13-2007 03:41 PM 1617 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For those of you planning to visit Australian, a lesson on the language might be helpful.

aggro – aggressive
amber fluid – beer
ant’s pants – height of fashion, or to think highly of yourself
arvo – afternoon
Aussie – Australian, pronounced Ozzie
av-a-go-yer-mug – traditional rallying call, particularly at cricket matches
ay – pardon me

back o’Bourke – back of beyond, middle of nowhere
barbie – barbecue
barking up the wrong tree – labouring under a misapprehension
barrack – cheer on a team at sporting event, support your team
battler – trier, struggler
beanie – ski hat
beat around the bush – not getting to the point
beaut, beauty, bewdie – great, fantastic
belt up – stop talking!
bench – table top
better half – husband or wife
bikey – motor cyclist
billabong – water hole in dried-up river bed
billy – tin container used to boil tea in the bush
biscuit – cookie
black stump – where the ‘back o’Bourke’ begins
block – do your block: get angry
bloke – man
blower – telephone: on the blower
blowies – blow flies
bludge – do nothing
bludger – lazy person, one who won’t work
blue – argument or fight: have a blue
bluey – swag, nickname for a red-haired person
bonzer – great, ripper
boogie board – half sized surf board
boomer – very big, large male kangaroo
boomerang – curved flat wooden instrument used by Aborigines for hunting
booze – alcohol
booze bus – police van used for random breath-testing for alcohol
bottle shop – liquor shop
bottler – something that has gone the way you want: you little bottler
brass – money
brekkie – breakfast
brown-eye – to show one’s bottom, mooning
Buckley’s – no chance at all
bundy – Bundaberg rum, also time-clock for employees
bung on – put on
bunyip – Australian yetti, or bigfoot
burl – have a try: give it a burl
bush – country, away from the city
bushranger – Australia’s equivalent of outlaw of American Wild West
bush tucker – native foods, usually in the outback
buzzer – surface planer
BYO – bring your own (booze) to a restaurant

cask – wine box (an Australian invention)
cheerio – good bye
chock-a-block – full
chin wag – to have a good chat
chips – french fries
choof off – to go
chook – chicken
cobber -mate
coldie – a cold beer
come good – turn out all right
corroboree – Aboriginal festival dance
cozzie – swimming costume
crook – ill, badly made, substandard
cuppa – cup of tea
cut lunch – sandwiches

dag, daggy – mildly abusive term for socially inept person, nerd, nerdy
damper – bush loaf made from flour and water, cooked in camp oven
deli – delicatessen
didgeridoo – cylindrical wooden Aboriginal musical instrument
digger – Australian soldier
dill – idiot
dinkum, fair dinkum – honest, genuine
dinky-di – the real thing
dob in – to tell on someone
docket – receipt, bill
dole – unemployment payment
don’t come the raw prawn – don’t try and fool me
dunny – toilet

earbash – talk nonstop
esky – insulated box for keeping beer etc cool

fair go! – give us a chance
fairy floss – cotton candy
fanny – crude term for female genitalia
flat chat, flat out – going very fast
footy – football
footpath – sidewalk
full as a boot – drunk
funny farm – mental institution

galah – noisy parrot, hence ‘noisy idiot’
game – brave
gander – look: have a gander
garbo – person who collects your garbage
gas bag – talk a lot
give it away – give up
g’day – good day, traditional Australian greeting
good oh – OK
good on ya – well done
grazier – large-scale sheep or cattle farmer
grog – alcohol
grizzle – complain

hang on a tick – wait a minute
hoon – idiot, hooligan, loud show-off
hoo-roo – good bye
how are ya – standard greeting
how ya going – how are you doing
howzat – asking how something is

idiot box – television
iffy – risky or suspect: something a bit iffy
irrits – irritating: you give me the irrits

jack of it – fed up with it, had enough (of a situation)
jiffy – short time: see you in a jiffy
job you – hit you or punch you: I’ll job you
journo – journalist
jumper – sweater

keen – very interested
Kiwi – person from New Zealand
knickers – underwear
knock – criticise, deride
knock off work – time to go home
lamington – square of sponge cake covered in chocolate icing and coconut (an Aussie icon)
lift – elevator
littlies – children
lollies – sweets, candy
lurk – a scheme

manchester – household linen
mate – friend, general term of familiarity, whether you know the person or not
middy – 285 ml beer glass
missus – your wife
mobile phone – cellular phone
mozzies – mosquitoes

nature strip – strip of grass between the sidewalk (footpath) and street curb
nappy – diaper
Never-Never – mythical, remote, isolated place in the outback
nick – steal
nick off – go away! get lost!
no hoper – hopeless case
nose – on the nose: something stinks
no worries – she’ll be right, that’s OK

ocker – uncultivated, uncultured, boorish Australian
off-sider – assistant or partner
off the beaten track – on an unused road, in a remote area
oldies – parents
once over – looking something or someone over, checking it out
outback – remote part of the bush, back o’Bourke
Oz – Australia
Ozzie – Australian

paddock – field
Pom – person from England
pavlova – meringue and cream dessert
perve – to gaze with lust
pinch – steal
piss – beer
pissed – drunk
pissed off – annoyed
piss in your pocket – brown-nose
piss-weak – no good, gutless
Pom, Pommie – English person
pokies – poker machines
postie – mail man
prang – motor vehicle accident
pub – hotel
pull your head in – mind your own business!
push bike – bicycle
put up or shut up – prove you can do it or keep quiet!

rack off – get lost!
Rafferty’s rules – no rules, a mess
ratbag – friendly term of abuse
rapt – delighted, enraptured
reckon! – you bet! Absolutely!
rego – registration: car registration
rip off, ripped off – you have been cheated
ripper – good, also: little ripper
rip snorter – something that is great
root – have sexual intercourse
rooted – tired
ropable – very angry or bad-tempered
rubber – eraser
rubbish – deride, tease: to rubbish

sacked – fired from work
Salvo – member of the Salvation Army
sandshoes – sneakers, joggers
sanger – sandwich
scallops – fried potato cake in New South Wales, shellfish elsewhere
schooner – large beer glass
semi-trailer – articulated truck
session – lengthy period of heavy drinking
sheila – woman (can be somewhat derogatory)
she’ll be right – no worries, everything will be fine
shonky – unreliable, suspect
shoot through – leave in a hurry
shout – buy round of drinks, or pay for someone
shove off – go away!
sickie – day off work ill (or malingering)
sloppy joe – cotton fleecy-lined sweater
smoko – tea break, go and have a cigarette
snag – sausage
Speedo’s – male swimming costume
spit the dummy – throw a tantrum
stickybeak – nosey person
stir – tease or joke with person
strides – trousers
Strine – conversation with a lot of Aussie slang
stubby – small bottle of beer
stuffed – very tired, had too much to eat
sunbake – sunbathe (not recommended)
surfies – surfing fanatics

take-away food – fast food, to-go food
tall poppies – achievers
tea – evening meal, dinner
thicknesser – planer
timber – lumber
tinny – can of beer
too right! – absolutely!
tracks – make tracks: leave to go home
truckie – truck driver
true blue – dinkum
tucker – food
two-pot screamer – person with low tolerance for alcohol
two-up – traditional heads/tails gambling game

uni – university
up yourself – have a high opinion of yourself
ute – utility, pick-up truck

vegies – vegetables
verbal diarrhoea – talking non-stop, usually nonsense

wag – to skip school or work: to wag school
walkabout – lengthy walk away from it all
weatherboard – wooden house
wharfie – dock worker
whinge – complain, moan
wobbly – disturbing, unpredictable behaviour, temper tantrum: throw a wobbly
Wog – derogatory term for foreigner
woop-woop – any remote place
wowser – spoilsport, puritan, old-fashioned
write-off – car involved in an crash that is not worth repairing

yabbie – small freshwater crayfish
yacking – talking non-stop
yahoo – noisy and unruly person
yakka – work
yobbo – uncouth, aggressive person
yonks – ages, a long time
youse – the plural of you

zonked – really tired
zebra crossing – painted pedestrian crossing on street

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

8 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3514 days

#1 posted 05-13-2007 03:42 PM

Thanks Don. We will try to get it right. : ^ )

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3716 days

#2 posted 05-13-2007 04:57 PM

G’day Mate,
Now I have to learn another language.

I’m from Minnesota’s Iron Range. We have a language of our own up here on Da Range.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3578 days

#3 posted 05-14-2007 01:16 AM

that’s quite the list!

isn’t it interesting how “English” is different everywhere.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3728 days

#4 posted 05-14-2007 02:09 AM

Thanks, Don. Just what I need…another language to learn. I haven’t mastered English, yet. LOL. I guess this will be the next section of all my woodworking tools manuals.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 3594 days

#5 posted 05-14-2007 03:27 AM

Listen, Mate, I’ve been there almost twenty years and am still learning new words – some of them (including some in this list) I won’t be using. LOL

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View PanamaJack's profile


4474 posts in 3494 days

#6 posted 05-14-2007 03:07 PM

G’day, you going to just “bludge” or are you going to “yakka” in the shop t’day, Mate?

Cool dictionary Don. Please excuse any punctuation miss-ques.

Now I think I will just “rack off”.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 3517 days

#7 posted 05-14-2007 04:31 PM

I remember reading about a Bludger, a ball used in Qudditch, in the Harry Potter books.

-- John

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3744 days

#8 posted 05-18-2007 06:32 AM

Yeah, that bludger was a nasty one… an oxymoron perhaps?

Bluey’s a bit odd though, sloppy joe too. odd thing to find on a school lunch menu?

Thanks for sharing this, its funny how things can become so different with time and geographical differences. The idea for Esperanto, while valid on some levels will never work over time… English is so different in different parts of the states, let along all over the world. Even the same words can be so very different.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics