Australian slang

G’day, mate! Learn these Australian slang words and phrases and you’ll feel at home on your first day Down Under.

It wasn’t easy but I’ve tried to include uniquely Australian slang here and to exclude British and American slang even though these are commonly used in Australia. I see no point in informing the world that “fridge” is Australian slang for a “refrigerator”.

A

Ace! : Excellent! Very good!
Aerial pingpong : Australian Rules football
Amber fluid : beer
Ankle biter :
small child
Apples, she’ll be : It’ll be alright
Arvo : afternoon
Aussie (pron. Ozzie) : Australian
Aussie salute : brushing away flies with the hand
Avos : avocados

B

B & S : Bachelors’ and Spinsters’ Ball - a very enjoyable party usually held in rural areas
Back of Bourke : a very long way away
Bail (somebody) up : to corner somebody physically
Bail out :
depart, usually angrily
Banana bender : a person from Queensland
Barbie : barbecue (noun)
Barrack : to cheer on (football team etc.)
Bastard : term of endearment
Bathers : swimming costume
Battler :
someone working hard and only just making a living
Beaut, beauty : great, fantastic
Big-note oneself : brag, boast
Bikkie : biscuit (
also “it cost big bikkies” - it was expensive)
Billabong : an ox-bow river or watering hole
Billy : large tin can used to boil water over a campfire for tea
Bities :
biting insects
Bitzer : mongrel dog (bits of this and bits of that)
Bizzo : business (“mind your own bizzo”)
Black Stump, beyond the : a long way away, the back of nowhere
Bloke : man, guy
Bloody : very (bloody hard yakka)
Bloody oath! :
that’s certainly true
Blow in the bag : have a breathalyzer test
Blowie : blow fly
Bludger : lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things
Blue : fight (“he was having a blue with his wife”)
Blue, make a : make a mistake
Bluey :
pack, equipment, traffic ticket, redhead
Bluey : blue cattle dog (named after its subtle markings) which is an excellent working dog. Everyone’s favourite all-Aussie dog.
Bodgy : of inferior quality
Bog in : commence eating, to attack food with enthusiasm
Bondi cigar : see “brown-eyed mullet”
Bonzer : great, ripper
Boogie board :
a hybrid, half-sized surf board
Boomer : a large male kangaroo
Booze bus : police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers
Boozer : a pub
Bored shitless : very bored
Bottle shop : liquor shop
Bottle-o :
liquor shop
Bottler : something excellent
Bottling, his blood’s worth : he’s an excellent, helpful bloke.
Bounce : a bully
Bourke Street, he doesn’t know Christmas from : he’s a bit slow in the head. (Bourke Street is a brightly lit Melbourne street)
Brass razoo, he hasn’t got a : he’s very poor
Brekkie :
breakfast
Brick shit house, built like a : big strong bloke
Brickie : bricklayer
Brizzie : Brisbane, state capital of Queensland
Brown-eyed mullet : a turd in the sea (where you’re swimming!)
Brumby : a wild horse
Buck’s night :
stag party, male gathering the night before the wedding
Buckley’s, Buckley’s chance : no chance (“New Zealand stands Buckley’s of beating Australia at football”)
Bull bar : stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos
Bundy : short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that’s made there
Bunyip : mythical outback creature
Bush : the hinterland, the Outback, anywhere that isn’t in town
Bush telly :
campfire
Bushie : someone who lives in the Bush
Bushranger : highwayman, outlaw
BYO : unlicensed restaurant where you have to Bring
Your Own grog, also similar party or barbecue

C

Cactus : dead, not functioning (“this bloody washing machine is cactus”)
Captain Cook : look (noun) (“let’s have a Captain Cook”)
Cark it : to die, cease functioning
Cat burying shit, as busy as a :
busy
Cat’s piss, as mean as : mean, stingy, uncharitable
Chewie : chewing gum
Chokkie : chocolate
Chook : a chicken
Chrissie : Christmas
Christmas :
see Bourke Street
Chuck a sickie : take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy
Chunder : vomit
Clayton’s :
fake, substitute
Click : kilometre - “it’s 10 clicks away”
Clucky : feeling broody or maternal
Cobber : friend
Cockie : farmer. Also a cockatoo
Cockroach : a person from New South Wales
Coldie :
a beer
Come a gutser : make a bad mistake, have an accident
Compo : Workers’ Compensation pay
Cooee, not within : figuratively a long way away, far off - England weren’t within cooee of beating Australia at cricket
Cook (noun) : One’s wife
Corroboree : an aboriginal dance festival
Counter lunch :
pub lunch
Cozzie : swimming costume
Crack a fat : get an erection
Cranky : in a bad mood, angry
Cream (verb) : defeat by a large margin
Crook : sick, or badly made
Crow eater :
a person from South Australia
Cut lunch : sandwiches
Cut snake, mad as a : very angry

D

Dag : a funny person, nerd, goof
Daks : trousers
Damper : bread made from flour and water
Date :
arse[hole] (“get off your fat date”)
Dead dingo’s donger, as dry as a : dry
Dead horse : Tomato sauce
Deadset : true, the truth
Dero : tramp, hobo, homeless person (from “derelict”)
Digger : a soldier
Dill :
an idiot
Dingo’s breakfast : a yawn, a leak and a good look round (i.e. no breakfast)
Dinkum, fair dinkum : true, real, genuine (“I’m a dinkum Aussie”; “is he fair dinkum?”)
Dinky-di : the real thing, genuine
Dipstick : a loser, idiot
Dob (somebody) in : inform on somebody. Hence dobber, a tell-tale
Docket :
a bill, receipt
Doco : documentary
Dog : unattractive woman
Dog’s balls, stands out like : obvious
Dole bludger : Somebody on social assistance when unjustified
Donger : penis
Doodle :
penis
Doozey : something very pleasant, significant, large
Down Under : Australia and New Zealand
Drink with the flies : to drink alone
Drongo : a dope, stupid person
Drum : information, tip-off (“I’ll give you the drum”)
Duchess :
sideboard
Duffer, cattle : rustler
Dummy, spit the : get very upset at something
Dunny : outside lavatory
Dunny budgie : blowfly
Dunny rat, cunning as a : very cunning
Durry :
cigarette

E

Earbashing : nagging, non-stop chatter
Ekka : the Brisbane Exhibition, an annual show
Esky : large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.
Exy :
expensive

F

Face, off one’s : drunk (“He was off his face by 9pm”)
Fair dinkum : true, genuine
Fair go : a chance (“give a bloke a fair go”)
Fair suck of the sav! :
exclamation of wonder, awe, disbelief (see also “sav”)
Fairy floss : candy floss, cotton candy
Feral (n.) : a hippie.
Fisho : fishmonger
Flake : shark’s flesh (sold in fish & chips shops)
Flick : to give something or somebody the flick is to get rid of it or him/her
Flick it on :
to sell something, usually for a quick profit, soon after buying it.
Fly wire : gauze flyscreen covering a window or doorway.
Footy : Australian Rules football
Fossicking : searching, rummaging (“fossicking through the kitchen drawers”)
Franger : condom
Freckle : anus
Frog in a sock, as cross as a :
sounding angry - a person or your hard drive!
Fruit loop : fool
Full : drunk

G

G’Day : hello!
Galah : fool, named after the bird of the same name which flies south in the winter - a bloody silly thing to do in the Southern Hemisphere
Garbo, garbologist : municipal garbage collector
Give it a burl :
try it, have a go
Gobful, give a : to abuse, usually justifiably (“The neighbours were having a noisy party so I went and gave them a gobful”)
Going off : used of a night spot or party that is a lot of fun - “the place was really going off”
Good oil : useful information, a good idea, the truth
Good onya : good for you, well done
Goog, as full as a : drunk. “Goog” is a variation of the northern English slangword “goggie” meaning an egg.
Greenie :
environmentalist
Grinning like a shot fox : very happy, smugly satisfied
Grog : liquor, beer (“bring your own grog, you bludger”)
Grouse (adj.) : great, terrific, very good
Grundies : undies, underwear (from Reg Grundy, a television person)
Gutful of piss : drunk, “he’s got a gutful of piss”
Gyno :
gynaecologist

H

Handle : beer glass with a handle
Heaps : a lot, e.g. “thanks heaps”, “(s)he earned heaps of money” etc.
Holy dooley! : an exclamation of surprise = “Good heavens!”, “My goodness!” “Good grief!” or similar
Hoon :
hooligan
Hooroo : goodbye (© Don Burke)
Hotel : often just a pub
Hottie : hot water bottle

I

Icy pole, ice block : popsicle, lollypop

J

Jackaroo : a male station hand (a station is a big farm/grazing property)
Jillaroo : a female station hand
Joey : baby kangaroo
Journo :
journalist
Jumbuck : sheep

K

Kangaroos loose in the top paddock : Intellectually inadequate (“he’s got kangaroos loose in the top paddock”)
Kelpie : Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie
Kero : kerosene
Kindie :
kindergarten
Knock : to criticise
Knock back : refusal (noun), refuse (transitive verb)
Knocker : somebody who criticises

L

Lair : a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour, to dress up in flashy clothes, to renovate or dress up something in bad taste
Lair it up : to behave in a brash and vulgar manner
Larrikin : a bloke who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster
Lend of, to have a :
to take advantage of somebody’s gullibility, to have someone on (“he’s having a lend of you”)
Lippy : lipstick
Liquid laugh : vomit
Lizard drinking, flat out like a : flat out, busy
Lob, lob in : drop in to see someone (“the rellies have lobbed”)
Lollies : sweets, candy
London to a brick :
absolute certainty (“it’s London to a brick that taxes won’t go down”)
Loo : toilet
Lucky Country, The : Australia, where else?
Lunch, who opened their? : OK, who farted?
Lurk : illegal or underhanded racket

M

Maccas (pron. “mackers”) : McDonald’s (the hamburger place)
Mallee bull, as fit as a : very fit and strong. The Mallee is very arid beef country in Victoria/South Australia.
Manchester : Household linen, eg sheets etc.
Mappa Tassie :
map of Tasmania - a woman’s pubic area
Mate : buddy, friend
Mate’s rate, mate’s discount : cheaper than usual for a “friend”
Matilda : swagman’s bedding, sleeping roll
Metho : methylated spirits
Mexican : a person from south of the (Queensland) border
Mickey Mouse :
excellent, very good. Beware though - in some parts of Australia it means inconsequential, frivolous or not very good!
Middy : 285 ml beer glass in New South Wales
Milk bar : corner shop that sells takeaway food
Milko : milkman
Mob : group of people, not necessarily troublesome
Mob : family or herd (?) of kangaroos
Mongrel :
despicable person
Moolah : money
Mozzie : mosquito
Muddy : mud crab (a great delicacy)
Mug : friendly insult (“have a go, yer mug”), gullible person
Mull : grass (the kind you smoke)
Muster :
round up sheep or cattle

N

Nasho : National Service (compulsory military service)
Naughty, have a : have sex
Never Never : the Outback, centre of Australia
Nipper :
young surf lifesaver
No worries! : Expression of forgiveness or reassurance (No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I’ll do it)
No-hoper : somebody who’ll never do well
Not the full quid : not bright intellectually
Nuddy, in the : naked
Nun’s nasty, as dry as a : dry

O

O.S. : overseas (“he’s gone O.S.”)
Ocker : an unsophisticated person
Offsider : an assistant, helper
Oldies :
parents - “I’ll have to ask my oldies”
Outback : interior of Australia
Oz : Australia!

P

Pash : a long passionate kiss; hence “pashing on”
Pav : Pavlova - a rich, creamy Australian dessert
Perve (noun & verb) : looking lustfully at the opposite sex
Piece of piss :
easy task
Pig’s arse! : I don’t agree with you
Piker : Someone who doesn’t want to fit in with others socially, leaves parties early
Piss : beer. Hence “hit the piss”, “sink some piss”
Plate, bring a : Instruction on party or BBQ invitation to bring your own food. It doesn’t mean they’re short of crockery!
Plonk : cheap wine
Pokies :
poker machines, fruit machines, gambling slot machines
Polly : politician
Pom, pommy : an Englishman
Pommy bastard : an Englishman
Pommy shower : using deodorant instead of taking a shower
Pommy’s towel, as dry as a : very dry - based on the
canard that Poms bathe about once a month
Port : suitcase (portmanteau)
Postie : postman, mailman
Pot :
285 ml beer glass in Queensland and Victoria
Pozzy : position - get a good pozzy at the football stadium
Prezzy : present, gift

Q

Quid, make a : earn a living - “are you making a quid?”
Quid, not the full : of low IQ

R

Rack off : push off! get lost! get out of here! also “rack off hairy legs!”.
Rage : party
Rage on : to continue partying - “we raged on until 3am”
Rapt :
pleased, delighted
Ratbag : mild insult
Raw prawn, to come the : to bullshit, to be generally disagreeable
Reckon! : you bet! Absolutely!
Reffo : refugee
Rego : vehicle registration
Rellie :
family relative
Ridgy-didge : original, genuine
Right : okay (“she’ll be right, mate”)
Rip snorter : great, fantastic - “it was a rip snorter of a party”
Ripper : great, fantastic - “it was a ripper party”
Road train : big truck with many trailers
Rock up :
to turn up, to arrive - “we rocked up at their house at 8pm”
Rollie : a cigarette that you roll yourself
Roo : kangaroo
Root (verb and noun) : synonym for f*ck in nearly all its senses: “I feel rooted”; “this washing machine is rooted”; “(s)he’s a good root”. A very useful word in fairly polite company.
Ropeable : very angry
Rort
(verb or noun) : Cheating, fiddling, defrauding (expenses, the system etc.). Usually used of politicians
Rotten : drunk - “I went out last night and got rotten”
Rubbish (verb) : to criticize

S

Salute, Aussie : brushing flies away
Salvos, the : Salvation Army, bless them
Sandgroper : a person from Western Australia
Sanger :
a sandwich
Sav : saveloy (see also “fair suck of the sav!”)
Schooner : large beer glass in Queensland; small beer glass in South Australia
Scratchy : instant lottery ticket
Screamer : party lover; “two pot screamer” - somebody who gets drunk on very little alcohol
Seppo : an American
Servo :
petrol station
Shark biscuit : somebody new to surfing
She’ll be right : it’ll turn out okay
Sheila : a woman
Shonky : dubious, underhanded. E.g. a shonky practice, shonky business etc.
Shoot through : to leave
Shout :
turn to buy - a round of drinks usually (“it’s your shout”)
Sickie : day off sick from work (chuck a sickie = take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy!)
Skite : boast, brag
Slab : a carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer
Sleepout : house verandah converted to a bedroom
Smoko : smoke or coffee break
Snag :
a sausage
Sook : person or animal who is soft, tame, inoffensive. Hence sooky (adj.)
Spag bol : spaghetti bolognese
Spewin’ : very angry
Spit the dummy : get very upset at something
Sprung : caught doing something wrong
Spunk :
a good looking person (of either sex)
Squizz (noun) : look - “take a squizz at this”
Standover man : a large man, usually gang-related, who threatens people with physical violence in order to have his wishes carried out.
Station : a big farm/grazing property
Stickybeak : nosy person
Stoked : very pleased
Strewth :
exclamation, mild oath (“Strewth, that Chris is a bonzer bloke”)
Strides : trousers
Strine : Australian slang and pronunciation
Stubby : a 375ml. beer bottle
Stubby holder : polystyrene insulated holder for a stubby
Stuffed, I feel : I’m tired
Stuffed, I’ll be :
expression of surprise
Sunbake : sunbathe
Sunnies : sunglasses
Surfies : people who go surfing - usually more often than they go to work!
Swag : rolled up bedding etc. carried by a swagman
Swaggie : swagman
Swagman :
tramp, hobo

T

Tall poppies : successful people
Tall poppy syndrome : the tendency to criticize successful people
Taswegian : a person from Tasmania
Technicolor yawn :
vomit
Tee-up : to set up (an appointment)
Thingo : Wadjamacallit, thingummy, whatsit
Thongs : cheap rubber backless sandals
Tickets, to have on oneself : to have a high opinion of oneself
Tinny : can of beer
Tinny :
lucky
Tinny : small aluminium boat
Togs : swim suit
Too right! : definitely!
Top End : far north of Australia
Trackie daks/dacks : tracksuit pants
Trackies :
track suit
Trough lolly : the solid piece of perfumed disinfectant in a men’s urinal
Truckie : truck driver
True blue : patriotic
Tucker : food
Tucker-bag : food bag
Turps :
turpentine, alcoholic drink
Turps, hit the : go on a drinking binge
Two up : gambling game played by spinning two coins simultaneously

U

Uni : university
Unit : flat, apartment
Up oneself : have a high opinion of oneself - “he’s really up himself”
Up somebody, get :
to rebuke somebody - “the boss got up me for being late”
Useful as an ashtray on a motorbike / tits on a bull : unhelpful or incompetent person or thing - “he, she or it is about as useful as tits on a bull” etc. etc.
Ute : utility vehicle, pickup truck

V

Vedgies : vegetables
Vee dub : Volkswagen
Veg out : relax in front of the TV (like a vegetable)
Vejjo :
vegetarian

W

Waggin’ school : playing truant
Walkabout : a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time
Walkabout, it’s gone : it’s lost, can’t be found
Whinge :
complain
White pointers : topless (female) sunbathers
Whiteant
(verb) : to criticise something to deter somebody from buying it. A car dealer might whiteant another dealer’s cars or a real estate salesman might whiteant another agent’s property
Wobbly : excitable behaviour (“I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly”)
Wobbly boot on, he’s got the : drunk
Wog : flu or trivial illness
Wog : person of Mediterranean origin. A milder insult than the same word in the UK and perhaps elsewhere.
Wombat : somebody who eats, roots and leaves (see also
root)
Woop Woop : invented name for any small unimportant town - “he lives in Woop Woop”
Wowser : straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport
Wuss :
coward; nervous person or animal

X

XXXX : pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland

Y

Yabber : talk (a lot)
Yakka : work (noun)
Yewy : u-turn in traffic (“chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights”)
Yobbo :
an uncouth person
Youse : you (plural)

Z

Zack : sixpence (5 cents) - “it isn’t worth a zack”, “he hasn’t got a zack”