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Australian Slang: The Essential Guide to Aussie Slang

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Photo by Caleb

Everything you need to know about Australian Slang

G’day! Imagine a place with stunning beaches and wide-open deserts – that’s Australia! But there’s something else that makes Australia special and that’s its unique way of talking, called slang. Slang is like a secret language that Australians use to express themselves.

Whether you’re planning a trip to Australia or just curious about different ways of speaking, learning about Australian slang is like discovering a hidden treasure.

Uluru previously known as Ayers Rock

Photo by Antoine Fabre

While some words sound strange at first, like “arvo” meaning afternoon, or “ziff,” which means a short time. These words are like puzzle pieces that show Australia’s history, where it’s located, and how people there like to have fun.

So, put on your flip-flops (“thongs”) and your swimsuit (“cossies”), and let’s jump into the world of Australian slang – where words are lively, meanings can surprise you, and the adventure is guaranteed!

128 Australian slang words and phrases

Arvo – Afternoon

“We’re heading down to the beach his arvo, are you coming?”

Aussie – Australian

“Yeah, he’s an Aussie”

Avo – Avocado

“I’ll have avo on toast, thanks”

Back of Bourke – The middle of nowhere

“Took forever to get there, it was the back of Bourke”

Barbie – Barbecue

“Wanna come round for a barbie tonight?”

Barra – Barramundi fish

“Caught a couple of big Barra up in the NT”

Bathers – Swimwear

“Bring your bathers and we’ll go for a swim”

Bevvies – Alcoholic beverages

“I’m just about to have a few bevvies”

Bikkie – Biscuit or cookie

“Want a bikkie with your cuppa?”

Billy – Container for boiling water, often used for making tea

“I’ll pop the billy on”

Bitzer – Mixed breed dog

“It’s a bitzer, bits of everything”

Bloody oath – Yes/Strongly agree

“Bloody Oath I’ll come round for a bevvie”

Bludger – Lazy person

“He’s a bludger”

Bogan – An uncultured person

“He’s a bogan”

Booze bus – Police vehicle used for roadside breath tests

“The booze bus was on the highway pulling people over”

Bottlo – Bottle shop or liquor store

“I’m heading to the bottlo, do you want anything”

Brekky – Breakfast

“Let’s go out for brekky”

Brissy – Brisbane

“I’m flying up to Brissy in a few weeks”

Budgie smugglers – Men’s swimwear, typically tight-fitting

“No one wants to see your budgie smugglers”

Blue Mountains NSW

Photo by Joeyy Lee

Buckleys chance – 0% chance

“There’s Buckleys chance of that happening”

Bundy – Bundaberg rum

“I’m going to have a Bundy or two”

Bush – The countryside or wilderness

“He lives out bush”

Bush Tucker – Native indigenous food

“You can find some good bush tucker along the river banks”

Cactus – Broken or not functioning

“Can you pick me up? My car is cactus”

Chockers – Full or crowded

“The pub was chockers on Saturday night”

Chrissie – Christmas

“What are you up to for Chrissie?”

Chook – Chicken

“I’ll grab a chook and some salad for lunch”

Chuck a sickie – To take a sick day when not actually sick

“Are you going to chuck a sickie so you can go to the concert?”

Chuck a U-ey – To make a U-turn while driving

“You’re going the wrong way, chuck a U-ey at the next intersection”

Ciggy – Cigarette

“I’m all out of ciggies”

Clucky – Wanting to have children

“Seeing babies makes me clucky”

Cobber – Friend or mate

“G’day Cobber”

Cocky – boldly or brashly self-confident

“He’s full of himself, so cocky”

Coldie – A cold beer

“Want a coldie?”

Compo – Workers’ compensation

“He’s not working at the moment, he’s on compo”

Cozzie – Swimsuit

“Pack your cozzie for you holiday”

Crack onto – To flirt with or hit on

“That guy was trying to crack onto me”

Cuppa – Cup of tea or coffee

“Want a cuppa?”

Dag – An eccentric or silly person

“He was a dag”

Daks – Trousers or pants

“I can’t find my daks”

Deadset – True or genuine

“He is a deadset legend”

Dero – Homeless person or derelict

“He lives next to that dero house”

Dingo’s breakfast – No breakfast

“I’ve had a dingos breakfast this morning”

Dinky-di – Genuine or authentic

“He’s the real deal, dinky-di”

Doona – Duvet or comforter

“It’s getting cold, almost time to put the doona on the bed”

Down Under – Australia or New Zealand

“I’m from down under”

Drongo – Foolish or incompetent person

“He’s hopeless, he’s a drongo”

Dunny – Toilet

“I’ll be back in a sec, just going to the dunny”

Durry – Cigarette

“I’m trying to quit durries”

Fair dinkum – Genuine or honest

“He’s a fair dinkum sort of bloke”

Fairy floss – Cotton candy

“I hope they have fairy floss at the festival”

Fangin’ it – Driving really fast

“I was fangin’ it down the highway when I got caught speeding”

Flat out – Busy or working hard

“I’ve been flat out all week”

Flanno – Flannel shirt

“It’s cool outside, might need my flanno”

Footy – Australian football

“The Footy is on tv later this arvo”

Freo – Fremantle, a suburb of Perth

“Are you going to the Freo markets”

Frothy – Beer with a lot of foam on top

“It’s a bit frothy”

G’day – Hello or good day

“G’day mate”

Goon – Cheap boxed wine

“I hit the goon pretty hard last night”

Grog – Alcohol

“I’m off the grog”

Grommet – Young surfer

“There’s a few little grommets out there having a go today”

Grub – An unappealing person

“He’s a grub”

Hoon – Reckless driver

“These hoons need to slow down before someone is injured”

Icy pole – Popsicle

“I’m taking to kids to get an Icy Pole”

Jaffle – Toasted sandwich made in a special press

“Do you feel like a jaffle for lunch?”

Joey – Baby kangaroo

“Look, there’s a joey in it’s pouch”

Journo – Journalist

“That journo wouldn’t leave them alone”

Keen as mustard – Very enthusiastic

“I’m keen as mustard for the pub this arvo”

Knackered – Tired or exhausted

“I’m knackered after playing footy this weekend”

Larrikin – Mischievous person

“He’s a bit of a larrikin”

Lollies – Candy or sweets

“What lollies did you have at the party?”

Longneck – 750 ml bottle of beer

“I’m going to grab a long neck after work”

Maccas – McDonald’s

“I’ll call into Maccas to get the kids some dinner”

Middy – A glass of beer, usually 285 ml

“I’m driving, I’ll just have a middy of thanks”

Moolah – Money

“I’m working overtime this weekend, I need the moolah”

Mozzie – Mosquito

“The Mozzie’s were bad last night”

Munted – Broken or destroyed

“I crashed my motorbike, it’s munted now”

Muzz – Mouth or face

“Shut your muzz”

Nappy – Diaper

“I think he needs his nappy changed”

sleeping koala

Photo by David Clode

No worries – No problem or it’s okay

“No worries, see you next week”

Ocker – Unrefined or uncultured person

“He’s as ocker as they come”

Outback – Remote and sparsely populated areas of Australia

“He’s from the outback”

Pash – Passionate kiss

“We had a pash last night”

Pavlova – A dessert made of meringue, whipped cream, and fruit

“I’ll bring the Pavlova for dessert”

Piker – A person who backs out or doesn’t follow through with plans

“He never comes to anything, he’s a piker”

Piss off – Go away or leave

“Piss off, I’m busy”

Pom – A British person

“He’s a pom, he had an English accent”

Postie – Postal worker or mailman

“Has the postie been yet?”

Povo – Poor or impoverished

“That’s a povo suburb”

Prezzy – Present or gift

“What am I going to get for your birthday prezzy?”

Ranga – Red-haired person

“He has red hair, he’s a ranger”

Ratbag – A mischievous or troublesome person

“He’s always been a ratbag, getting into trouble”

Reckon – To think or believe

“I reckon it’s going to rain later this arvo”

Ripper – Excellent or fantastic

“That’s a ripper boat mate”

Roo – Kangaroo

“I hit a roo in my car on the way to work”

Root – Sexual intercourse

“I’m going to the brothel for a root”

Salvo – Salvation Army or secondhand shop

“Call in to the salvo’s and see if they have any secondhand furniture”

Sanga – Sandwich

“I’m having a sanga for lunch”

Servo – Service station or gas station

“I need fuel, I’ll call into the servo on the way”

the 12 apostles

Photo by Johan Mouchet

She’ll be right – Everything will be okay

“Don’t worry about it, she’ll be right”

Sickie – A sick day taken when not actually sick

“I’m going to chuck a sickie tomorrow so I can have a long weekend”

Singlet – Sleeveless undershirt or tank top

“It’s too hot for a shirt. I’ll just wear a singlet”

Sook – A person who complains or whines a lot

“He’s always whinging, he’s a sook”

Sparky – Electrician

“I need a sparky to fix my ceiling fan”

Spit the dummy – To throw a tantrum or become angry

“He spit the dummy over it yesterday”

Strewth – Exclamation of surprise or disbelief

“Strewth! Did you see that?”

Suss – Suspicious or suspect

“She was acting a bit suss”

Swag – A bedroll or sleeping bag used while camping

“I’ll bring my swag when we go camping”

Tassie – Tasmania

“We’re planning a trip to Tassie”

Tea – Dinner

“Want to come around for tea later? We’re having a barbie”

Thongs – Flip-flops or sandals

“Can I wear thongs to the pub?”

Tinny – A can of beer or small aluminum boat

“I just bought a tinny to go fishing with my Dad”

Togs – Swimwear

“I love your togs, where did you get them?”

Tradie – Tradesperson or tradesman

“I’ve got a tradie coming around today to fix my air conditioner”

Ute – Utility vehicle or pickup truck

“Throw it in the back of the ute”

VB – Victoria Bitter, a brand of beer

“I’ll have a schooner of VB”

Vegemite – A spread made from yeast extract, popular in Australia

“I’ll have Vegemite on toast for breakfast”

Vinnies – St. Vincent de Paul Society or secondhand shop

“Might see if Vinnies have any secondhand clothes”

Wanker – An unpleasant or arrogant person

“He’s so full of himself, an absolute wanker”

Whinge – To complain or whine

“He was having a whinge about it earlier”

Burleigh Heads at sunset

Photo by Manny Moreno

Winnie Blues – A brand of cigarettes

“I’m trying to cut back on the Winnie blues”

Wobbly – A tantrum or fit of rage

“He chucked a wobbly at the park when it was time to leave”

Woolies – Woolworths or supermarket

“I’m going to Woolies to get some groceries”

Wowsers – Expressing surprise

“Wowsers, how good is that”

Yobbo – A rowdy or uncivilised person

“He’s a bit of a yobbo”

Yonks – A long time

“I haven’t seen him for yonks”

Yowie – A mythical creature similar to Bigfoot or Sasquatch

“Keep an eye out for Yowie’s in the national park”

Zonked – Extremely tired or exhausted

“I’m going to bed, I’m zonked”

These 128 Australian slang words are just a small sample of the rich and varied language spoken by Aussies. If you’re going to Australia, it’s well worth learning some Aussie slang to communicate better with locals during your trip. It will help you understand the culture and humour of Australian people.

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