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Australian Language & Lingo

Australian slang is a colourful mix of shortened or abbreviated words, affectionate name changes, and some terms that find their origins in the gold fields and cattle mustering of the early colonial days. There are so many 'ocker' terms, phrases, nicknames and ways of speaking that it could sound like someone is speaking a totally different language. It is still English - it's just our English, Australian English. It reflects our history just as much as it does our individuality!

For the most part if an Australian knows you’re not from around here they will probably tone it down a bit to help you out (unless they’re having bit of a laugh). But just in case you’re looking to infiltrate and blend in with the locals here are a few of the more common terms you’ll hear.

Common Aussie Lingo Terms

Ace Excellent! Very good!
Ambo: Ambulance/ambulance driver
Arvo: Short for afternoon (We'll have a beer this arvo)
Aussie: Australian (pronounced Ozzie)
Bail out: To depart
Barbie: Barbecue/BBQ
Bastard: Usually a term of endearment (listen for tone)
Battler: Someone working hard
Beaut/beauty: Great/fantastic
Bikkie: Biscuit
Bloke: Man or guy
Bloody: Very (it's bloody hard work)
Bloody Oath: That's certainly true
Bludger: Lazy person, relies on others to do things
Blue Fight (He was having a blue with his mate)
Bogan: Country Australian with no shame (our version of an American Redneck)
Bogged: Stuck in mud or deep sand (while driving)
Booze bus: Police vehicle used for catching drink drivers
Bottle-o/Bottle shop: Liquor store
Brekkie: Breakfast
Brickie: Bricklayer
Brisvegas/Brissie: Brisbane
Bull bar: Metal bars on the front of vehicles to prevent damage from hitting animals
Bummer: Well gee, that's not good
Bundy: Short for the town Bundaberg, or the country's favourite rum
Bush: The forest
Bush basher: An old car only used for tearing around the bush in
Chunder: Vomit
Cobber: Friend or mate
Copper: Police Officer (not to be mistaken with 'cobber')
Crack onto: To hit on someone
Crikey: An exclamation (was often used by the late Steve Irwin)
Crook: Sick
Daks: Pants or trousers
Digger: Australian soldier
Dip: A swim (Have a dip in the pool if the weather is too hot)
Dinkum (fair dinkum!): True/real/genuine
Dunny: Outside toilet (often indoor toilets are referred to as dunnies)
Durry: Cigarette
Esky: Insulated food/drink container (used mostly for beer)
Fair go: A chance (give a bloke a fair go)
Flamin' Substitutes 'very' and is kiind of a rude or angry word (he's a flamin galah)
Footy: Rugby League or Aussie Rules Football (not Soccer)
G'day: Good day to you/hello
Galah: Fool or silly person (named after a type of crazy bird)
Going off: A party that is lots of fun (the place was going off!)
Good onya: Good on you, well done (can be sarcastic)
Greenie: Environmentalist
Grog: Liquor/beer
Knock: To criticise
Larrikin: Someone always enjoying themselves, a harmless prankster
Maccas: Macdonalds (you know, the golden arches)
Mate: Friend, buddy
Missus: Word for a man's wife or girlfriend
Mob: A group of people
Mozzie: Mosquito, annoying blood-sucking insect
Mug: Friendly insult (have a go ya mug)
No worries: Expression of forgiveness or reassurance
Ocker: Very traditional Australian (will speak all of this fluently)
Outback: The desert, centre of Australia
Pash: A long passionate kiss (I pashed her last night)
Pint: Large glass of beer
Pluggers: Cheap, rubber sandals/flip flops (see thongs)
Pokies: Poker machines. Found in many pubs and clubs
Pom/pommie: An Englishman
Pot: 285ml beer glass in Queensland and Victoria
Pressie: A present or gift
Rapt: Pleased or excited (Did she like the pressie? Oh, she was rapt!)
Reckon: Think or agree. (Do you reckon? – Do you think so?)
Rego: Vehicle registration
Rellie/relo: Family relative (How are the rellies?)
Ripper: Great or fantastic (It was a ripper party)
Rock up: Arrive or turn up
Rollie: A self-rolled cigarette
Roo: A kangaroo
Sanger: A sandwich
Schooner: A size of beer glass in Queensland, NSW and South Australia
Scrub: Another word for bush (He's out in the scrub)
Servo: Petrol station
She'll be right: It will turn out okay
Sheila: A woman
Shout: Turn to buy, usually drinks (It's your shout – It's your round)
Slab: A carton of beer, usually 24 bottles or cans
Smoko: Smoke or coffee break
Snag: A sausage, preferably on the barbie
Spewin Very angry (He was spewin when he saw the phone bill)
Spit the dummy: Get angry/lose control verbally. Also referred to as a "dummy spit"
Sprung: Caught doing something you were trying to hide
Spunk/spunky: Attractive person of either sex
Squizz/stickybeak: To look at something (Have a squizz at this!)
Stocko: Car talk for unmodified/stock standard car or car parts
Stoked: Very pleased
Strewth: Exclamation
Stubby: A single-serve bottle of beer
Stubby holder: An insulated beer holder. Keeps the beer cool for longer.
Tea: Can mean leaf tea or dinner (Come over for tea – Have dinner at my place)
Thongs: Rubber sandals (not a g-string), known elsewhere as jandals/flip flops etc.
Togs: Swimwear (Bring your togs and you can have a dip in the river)
Too right Definitely! I agree totally!
Trackie daks: Tracksuit pants
Truckie: Truck driver
True blue: Patriotic Australian
Tucker: Food. Comes from 'bush tucker' which involves native berries and animals
Turps: A word for alcohol (He hit the turps last night)
Uni: University, college, where you go to get a degree
Up oneself: To have a high opinion of yourself
Ute: Short for utility vehicle
Walkabout: When something goes missing (my keys have gone walkabout)
Whinge: Complain (Nobody likes a whinger)
Wog: A person of Mediterranean origin (not as much an insult as in the UK)
Woop woop: Any regional/unimportant area (He moved out to the middle of woop woop)
XXXX: A beer pronounced four-ex, a brand favoured by many Queenslanders
Yabby: Australian, inland freshwater crayfish that taste delicious
Yakka: Work. (Digging that hole was hard yakka)