Australians are well known for many stereotypes – our unique, hilarious, and slightly ridiculous use of slang in the English language being one of them. If you have visited Australia, or have ever spoken to an Australian, there is no doubt some terms came up in conversation that had you thinking… WTF?! Before your next visit to Straya (Australia), familiarise yourself with some of these slang words and you’ll be a lot less perplexed by our speech.
Disclaimer: words best pronounced in an Aussie accent.
G’day mate – Let’s start off simple, with a phrase that most people are already familiar with. ‘G’day mate’ is a greeting term used by many (mainly old-fashioned) Australians. Basically, like saying ‘good day, friend’ but with our own twist!
Bogan – Derogatory word used to describe an uncouth, unsophisticated, and low-class person (see below).
Image via Chronicle
Bloke – A male person
Bludger – Someone who is lazy or doesn’t work because they don’t feel like it
Brekkie – Breakfast
Bikkie – Biscuit
Servo – Service station, gas station
Arvo – afternoon (not to be confused to avo, which is an avocado)
Image via BBC
Bottle-o – Bottle shop or alcohol shop
As you can see, Aussie’s love to add an ‘O’ to the end of anything to make it shorter and therefore less effort to say. Oh, your name is David? Great, you’re now Davo.
Macca’s – McDonald’s fast food chain. Used in a sentence: “Hey Davo, let’s go on a Macca’s run!’’ (trip to McDonald’s)
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Spit the dummy – An adult overacting with a sudden display of anger or frustration. To lose their temper over a certain situation.
Tucker – Food, a meal
Thongs – Flip flops or sandals. Don’t be alarmed if you hear an Aussie talking about their thongs – it’s not what you might think!
Image via Daily Telegraph
BYO – Bring your own – common at many restaurants in Australia where you can take your own alcohol
Woop woop – in the middle of nowhere, in a very remote location. “Out in woop woop”
Buckley’s chance – No chance
Chockers – Full, no more room
Legless – A person who is very drunk can be described as this
Spag Bol – Spaghetti Bolognese – sorry Italy!
Deadset – Without a doubt, 100% sure of it. Used to emphasise one’s opinion.
Fair dinkum – Similar to deadset, meaning very true
Kangaroos loose in the top paddock – Someone who is a little crazy, the top paddock being their mind.
Image via ABC open
Heaps – lots, many, very. “There are heaps of kangaroos over there” or “I’m heaps hungry”
Chuck a U-ie – Perform a U-turn
Spewin’ – upset or disappointed about something. “He was spewin’ when he received a parking fine’’
Kick the bucket – To pass away
Trackies or tracky daks – Tracksuit pants or sweatpants
Cark it – Broken or dead
Mozzie – the most annoying creature in the world, a mosquito
Mates rates – A discounted price given to a friend
She’ll be right – Another way of saying ‘it will be okay’. Reflective of our relaxed and laid back attitude and the best way looking at the little worries in life!
Snag – Sausage.
Barbie – Barbeque. ‘’Throw some snags on the barbie’’.
Youse – Plural of you. This one is just us being lazy with our dialect. Instead of saying ‘’you guys’’ or ‘’you all’’ we simply say ‘’youse’’. Why isn’t this a part of the English language yet?!
So, there you have it, a short summary of Australian slang words to mess with your head. Study it, make it your bible, and then apply some of these words in conversation when you visit the land down under. Remember, when in doubt, just add ‘mate’ to the end of your sentence and you’ll be right, mate!
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.