Australian Slang Dictionary


Below is some Australian slang that helps you through on your travels in Australia.


Thanks to Australia’s long isolation from other continents, Australians have developed their own language, which they call Aussie Lingo. If you really want to understand Australians, it is recommended that you have a look at a few expressions and words before your trip to Australia.





AUSTRALIA MAP
Australia. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: A
Ace: very good, excellent. Aerial Ping-Pong: Australian Rules Football. AFL: Aussie Rules Football League. Amber fluid: beer. Ambo: ambulance, ambulance driver. Ankle biter: a small kid. ANZAC: Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Arvo: afternoon. ASIO: Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation. ATM: Automatic Teller Machine, banks’ automatic cash dispenser. Aussie: Australian. Aussie salute: waving away flies with the hand. Avos: avocados.

Portrayal of Opera House and Koala, Sydney, Australia
Aussie icons. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: B
B&B: bed and breakfast accommodation. Bag someone: mock someone. Back o’ Bourke: in the outback, middle of nowhere. Banana bender: resident of Queensland. Bail: leave. Bail someone up: to corner somebody. Barbie: barbecue, also BBQ. Barrack (verb): to cheer support (e. g. football team). Bastard: used about persons and things, e. g. he is a tall bastard; you bastard! (not insulting); poor bastard – someone you feel sorry for. Bathers: swimming costume. Battler: someone working hard but only just making a living. Beaut, beauty: great, fantastic. Beanie: woollen hat. Bender: heavy drinking session. Bewdy: great. Big bikkies: lots of money. Big smoke: the city. Bikkie: biscuit. Billabong: a waterhole. Billy: large tin can used to boil tea water over a campfire, nowadays also an electric jug.

billabong
An outback billabong. by dirtymouse via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: B
Bingle: motor vehicle accident. Bities: biting insects. Bizzo: business, also - mind your own bizzo. Beyond the Black Stump: in the back of nowhere, in the outback. Do your Block: get angry. Bloke: man, guy. Bloody: very. It was a bloody good idea. Bloody oath: that's certainly true, too bloody right! Blow in the bag: do a breathalyser test. Blowie: blow fly. Bludger: lazy person who doesn’t like to work. Blue: fight. He was having a blue with his wife. Make a Blue: make a mistake. Bluey: blue heeler, aka cattle dog - Australia’s own dog breed with bluish markings.

blue heeler
Blue heeler - Australian cattle dog. by SplaTT via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: B
Bluey: bluebottle jellyfish. Boardies: board shorts for surfing. Boatie: a person who likes boating. Bog in: get into eating. Bog standard: basic. Bogged: a vehicle stuck in mud. Bonzer: great, ripper. Boogie board: a half-sized surf board. Boomer: kangaroo. Booze bus: police vehicle used for catching drunks. Boozer: a pub. Bored shitless: very bored. Boss: the wife. I'll go and ask the boss. Bottle shop: liquor shop. Not my Bowl of rice: not my cup of tea; I don't like it. He hasn't got a Brass razoo: he is very poor. Breatho: breathaliser test by police by roadside. Brekkie: breakfast. Brickie: bricklayer. Brisvegas, also Brissi: Brisbane, state capital of Queensland. Brumby: wild horse. Buckley's chance: no chance in the world. You've got two chances - Buckley's and none. Bugger: 'what a shame'. Broken machinery can be buggered. Bugger off means go away. Somebody you feel sorry for is a poor bugger.

brumbies
Australian slang - brumbies. by SplaTT via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: B
Bugger all: not much, very little, nothing. Bull bar: strong steel bar on the front of a vehicle to protect it from hitting kangaroos. Also called roo bar which is more correct as it is actually not strong enough to protect against bulls. Bum steer: bad advice. Bundy: Australian sugar cane rum that is made in Bundaberg, Queensland. Bush: the hinterland, the outback, anywhere outside the town. Bush telly: campfire. Bushie: someone who lives in the bush. Bushranger: a bush criminal like Ned Kelly. Bushwalking: hiking in the bush. Bush bashing: four-wheel driving, off-roading, driving in the bush where there are no roads. Bush tucker: food gathered from the nature, originally the food of Aboriginal people. BYO: unlicensed restaurant where you can bring your own alcohol.

Wichetty Grubs, Eaten by Aborigines, Northern Territory, Australia
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Australian Slang Dictionary: C
Cab Sav: Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Cabbie: taxi driver. Cactus: dead, broken, buggered, not functioning (e. g. machinery). Can someone: put someone down. Cane toad: a person from Queensland. Cark it: to die. As busy as a Cat burying shit: very busy. Cheers mate: thanks. Chemist: pharmacy, drugstore. Chew the fat: have a chat. Chewie: chewing gum. Chokkie: chocolate. Chrissie: Christmas. Chuck a sickie: take a day off from work “because of being sick” while being perfectly healthy. Ciggie: cigarette. Coathanger: Sydney Harbour Bridge. Cobber: friend, mate. Cockie: farmer. Also cockatoo or cockroach. Cockroach: a person from New South Wales. Coldie: a beer. Come the raw prawn: mess someone around. Compo: Workers' Compensation pay. Cook (noun): wife. Cop: policeman. Cop shop: police station. Counter meal: pub meal. Crack the shits: loose ones temper. Crack oneself up: see "Pissing oneself laughing". Cranky: angry. Crim: criminal. Croc: crocodile. Crook: sick, or broken. Crow eater: a person from South Australia. Cubby house: small timber house in the garden for children to play in. Cuppa: cup of tea. Cut sick: go for it. Mad as a Cut snake: very angry.

Bridge and Lightning at Sydney Harbour
Coathanger. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: D
Dag: a funny person. Daggy: unstylish. Daks: pants, trousers. Damper: bread made from flour and water. Dry as a Dead dingo's donger: very dry. Dead set: true, dinkum. Didge: didgeridoo - Aboriginal musical instrument. Dig in: start eating. Digger: an Australian soldier. Dingo's breakfast: a yawn, a leak and a look around (i.e. no breakfast). Dinkum, fair dinkum: true, real, genuine. Dinky-di: the real thing, genuine. Dipstick: a loser. Dob someone in: get someone into trouble on purpose. Docket: bill, receipt. Doco: documentary. Stands out like Dog's balls: obvious. Dole bludger: somebody on social assistance when unjustified. Donga: small, transportable house used in the outback. Down Under: Australia and New Zealand. Drink with the flies: drink alone. Drongo: a dope, a stupid person. Drum: tip-off information. Dugouts: underground rooms in Coober Pedy. Dummy, spit the: get very upset at something. Dunny: outdoor toilet. Cunning as a Dunny rat. Durry: tobacco, cigarette.

Three Aborigines Playing Musical Instruments, Northern Territory, Australia
Didgeridoo player. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: E
Earbashing: nagging, also chatting so much that it irritates other peoples’ ears. EFTPOS: Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale - a service that lets you pay for goods with your bank card or make cash withdrawals at shops from your Australian bank account. Ekka: the Brisbane Show - an annual show hold in Australian cities (Easter Show in Sydney etc). Esky: large insulated food/drink container for picnics and barbeques but widely used to keep your beer cold and as something to sit on when drinking with your mates. Exy: expensive.

esky
Australian slang - esky. by toolmantim via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: F
Off one's Face: drunk ("He was off his face by 9pm"). Fair dinkum: true, genuine. Fair go: a chance. Give him a fair go. Fair suck of the sav: expression of wonder, awe, disbelief. Feral: a hippie. Fired-up: excited. Firie: member of the fire brigade. Fisho: fisherman. Flake: shark meat in fish & chips. Flat out as a lizard drinking: very busy. Flat White: café au lait. To give something or somebody a Flick: get rid of it/him/her. Flick it on: to sell something, usually soon after buying it for a quick profit. Fly wire: flyscreen covering a window or doorway. Foodie: person interested in fine foods. Footie: Australian Rules Football, or Rugby League or Union. Fossick: to prospect, look for gemstones or metal ore minerals. Fortnight: two-week period. Freo: Fremantle south of Perth in Western Australia. Frog: resident of France. Fruit loop: fool. Full: drunk. Full-on: intense.
 
Pink and Gray Galah Cockatoos
Galahs. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: G
G'Day: hello! Gabba: Brisbane cricket ground in Wooloongabba. Galah: fool, named after the cockatoo of the same name which is known to play a lot, hanging upside down off trees and act silly. Garbo: municipal garbage collector. Glassie: a person who works in the pub collecting empty glasses. Good oil: good idea, useful information. Good on ya: well done. Good value: likeable person. Going troppo: loosing it because of the heat that builds up in Australian northern tropics before the wet season arrives. Gone walkabout: disappeared. Greenie: environmentalist. Grinning like a shot fox: very happy. Grog: booze, alcohol. Grog shop: bottle shop, alcohol shop. Grouse: great, terrific, very good.

bottle shop
Drive through bottle shop. by morberg via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: H
Half your luck: congratulations! Handle: beer glass with a handle. Hang shit on someone: accuse someone. Hard yakka: hard work. To do the Harold Holt: to bolt. Hassle the bags: hassle someone a lot. Have a bit of a yarn: talk. Have a gutful: be fed up. Hit the frog and toad: leave, hit the road. Hit the grog: start drinking. Hit the piss: start drinking. Holy dooley: an expression of surprise. Hooroo: goodbye. Hotel: often just a pub, although many pubs still do have accommodation upstairs. Hottie: hot water bottle. Humpie: shack or temporary home in the bush.

The Nannup Hotel, a Traditional Australian Hotel and Bar, in Nannup, Western Australia, Australia,
Pub = hotel. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: I
Icy pole, ice block: popsicle, lollypop. I could eat the ass out of a low flying duck: I am very hungry. Idiot box: television.

Drover Mustering Cattle,South Australia, Australia
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Australian Slang Dictionary: J
Jackaroo: a male station hand on an outback cattle station. Jaffle: toasted sandwich. Jillaroo: a female station hand on an outback cattle station. Joe Blow: Mr. Average. Joey: baby kangaroo. Journo: journalist. Jug: electric kettle. Jumbuck: sheep.

Kangaroo and Joey on Bellarine Peninsula, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia
Joey. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: K
Kangaroos loose in the top paddock: loopy. Kelpie: Australian sheepdog originally bred from Scottish collie. Kiwi: kiwi fruit, kiwi bird, or a person from New Zealand. Kicked the bucket: died. Kindie: kindergarten. Knock: to critisise. Knock back: refuse. Knocker: somebody who likes to criticise. Kraut: a German person.

Australian Kelpie Dogs Herd Sheep
Kelpie. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: L
Larrikin: a bloke who is always enjoying himself. Layby: to purchase on credit. Legend: very popular person. Like a headless chook: extremely disorganised. Lilo: Air mattress. Lippy: lipstick. Flat out like a Lizard drinking: flat out, busy. Lob, lob in: drop in to see someone. Lollies: sweets, candy. London to a brick: absolutely certainly. Loo: toilet. Long paddock: roadside where livestock is grazed during droughts. Longneck: 750ml bottle of beer in South Australia; 2000ml in Darwin. Lose the plot: forget what he was doing. The Lucky Country: Australia - where else?

Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Australian Slang Dictionary: M
Maccas (pron. "mackers"): McDonald's. As fit as a Mallee bull: very fit and strong. Make a liar out of someone: prove him wrong. Make tracks: let's go, let's make some tracks. Mate: buddy, friend. Matilda: swagman's bedding, swag, sleeping roll. MCG: Melbourne Cricket Ground. Melburnian: a person from Melbourne. Mexicans: Victorians. Middy: 285 ml beer glass in New South Wales. Mint: great (WA). Missus: female partner/ wife /girlfriend. Milk bar: corner shop that sells takeaway food. Milko: milkman. Mob: a group of people, not necessarily troublesome. Also, a group of kangaroos. Molly Dooka: left handed person. Mozzie: mosquito. Muddy: mud crab. Mug: friendly insult. Mull: grass (the kind you smoke). Muster: round up sheep or cattle.

A Group of Stockmen Mustering Cattle on New Dixie Station, Queensland, Australia
Mustering. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: N
Nasho: National Service. Never Never: the Outback, centre of Australia. Nipper: young surf lifesaver. No drama: no worries, no problems. No worries: the very Aussie way to say: no problems, it’s OK, don’t worry about it. No-hoper: somebody who'll never do well. Not the full quid: low IQ. NRL: National Rugby League. As dry as a Nun's nasty: dry. Nut out: hammer out or work out.

Windmill on Pasture, Manilla, New South Wales, Australia, Pacific
Outback. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: O
Ocker: a grown up yobbo, an unsophisticated person. Off his face: he is very drunk. Offsider: an assistant, helper. Old Girl: mother. Old Lady: wife. Old Man: father. Oldies: parents. On the blink: broken, not working. On the nose: smelly. O.S.: overseas. Out of the Blue: unforeseen, unexpected. Outback: interior of Australia. Oz: Australia.

A Shack in the Outback, New South Wales, Australia
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Australian Slang Dictionary: P
Pack shit: be very worried. Pav: Pavlova - a creamy Australian dessert. Peak: be in very good form. Pedal to the metal: driving very fast. Piece of piss: easy task. Pig's arse: don't agree with you. Pinch: to steal something. Get the Pink slip: get the sack (from the colour of the termination form). Pint: large glass of beer in South Australia. Piss: beer. Piss artist: someone who drinks a lot of piss. Pissed: drunk. Piss it up the wall: waste it. Pissed off: angry, unhappy with something. Pissed off: left, he’s gone. Pisshead: someone who drinks a lot of piss. Pissing oneself laughing: having a big laugh. Pokies: poker machines, gambling slot machines. Polly: politician. Pom, pommy, pommie: an Englishman. Pommy shower: using deodorant instead of having a shower. Postie: postman, mailman. Pot: 285 ml beer glass in Queensland and Victoria. Preggo: pregnant. Prezzy: present. Punch: hit. Pushie: pushbike, bicycle. Pushing up daisies: carked it, dead and buried.

pavlova
Pavlova. By Kodamakitty via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: Q
Quibble: negotiate, bargain for. Make a Quid: earn a living. Are you making a quid out of this?. Not the full Quid: stupid.


Road Train Driving along Dusty Road, Kynuna, Australia
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Australian Slang Dictionary: R
Rage: party. Rage on: to continue partying. Rapt: pleased, delighted. Ratbag: mild insult. Give a Rat’s ass: I don’t care. To come the Raw prawn: to bullshit. Reckon: think, estimate. Reffo: refugee. Rego: vehicle registration. Rellie: family relative. Ridge-didge: original, genuine. She’ll be Right: it'll be all right. Ripper: great, fantastic. You little Ripper: expression of delight. Road train: large truck with many trailers, up to 50m long. Rollie: a cigarette that you roll yourself. Roo: kangaroo. Roo bar: stout bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos. Ropeable: very angry, upset. Rort: shady deal. Rotto: Rottnest Island in south-west WA. Rough as guts: very rough. R.S.L. Club: Returned-Services-League Social Club, with a purpose a bit like a pub - a place to eat, drink and gamble, originally for returned soldiers, now everyone gets in but you have to sign in.

bull bar
Bull bar. by ajft via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: S
Aussie Salute: waving away flies in the outback. The Salvos: Salvation Army. Sandgroper: a person from Western Australia. Sanger: a sandwich. SCG: Sydney Cricket Ground. Schooner: large beer glass in Queensland, medium in South Australia. Scratchy: instant lottery ticket. Screenie: someone who likes to watch movies. Scorcher: a very hot day. Seppo: septic tank or American person (both full of shit). Session: a drinking session. Servo: petrol station or service station. Stands out like a Shag on a rock: very obvious. Shark biscuit: somebody new to surfing. She'll be apples: it'll be ok. Sheepshagger: A New Zealander. Sheila: a woman.

australia outback
Australian slang - outback servo. by psmorrison via Flickr.com

Australian Slang Dictionary: S

Shit house (adj.): of poor quality. Shit house (noun): toilet, lavatory. Shoot through: to leave. Shout (noun): turn to buy a round of drinks (is it my shout?). Shout (verb): buy a round of drinks. Sickie: day off from work when sick. Skull: to drink a glassful in one go. Slab: a carton of beer. Sleepout: house veranda converted to a bedroom. Smoko: smoke, snack or coffee break. Snag: a sausage. Sook: a soft person. Spag bol: spaghetti bolognese. Spew: to regret something, be upset. Spiffy: great, excellent. Spit chips: lose ones temper. Stiff bikkies: too bad, tough luck. Stoked: very happy. Stonkered: drunk. Straight: sober. Stubby: a 375ml beer bottle. Stubby holder: stubby cooler. Stuff up: make a mistake. I feel Stuffed: I'm tired. Sunbake: sunbathe. Sunnies: sunglasses. Surfies: surfers. Sus: suspicious. Sydneysider: a person from Sydney. Swag: canvas bedroll, previously carried by swagmen but now often used by campers. Swaggie: swagman. Swagman: tramp, hobo.

Surfing in Australia
Surfie. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: T
Tall poppies: successful people. Tall poppy syndrome: the habit to criticise successful people. Tallie: 750ml bottle of beer. Tart oneself up: put make-up on. Tassie: Tasmania. Taswegian, also Tasmaniac: a person from Tasmania. Tee-up: to make an appointment. That shits me: that really annoys me. That'd be right: that’d be typical. The full quid: genuine, honest. The go: the best thing. Thingo: anything. If you don’t know what a thing is called in English, call it “thingo”. Thongs: rubber footwear also known as flip-flops. Throw-down: small bottle of beer which you can throw down quickly. To have Tickets on oneself: to have a high opinion of oneself. Tinny: can of beer; or small aluminium boat. Tin-arsed: lucky. Togs: swim suit. Too easy: ok. Top bloke: good man. Top End: far north of Northern Territory. Top scoff: good food. Tough Shit: see "stiff bikkies". Gone Troppo: gone mad in the northern tropics when the heat builds up before the wet season comes along. Truckie: truck driver. True blue: patriotic Aussie. Tucker: food. Tucker-bag: food bag.

Rack of Lamb at European Restaurant in Spring Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nice tucker. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: U
Uni: university. Unit: flat, apartment. Up oneself: have a high opinion of oneself. Up shit creek without a paddle: being stuck, having a problem. Get Up somebody: tell somebody off, let them know you are cranky at them. Ute: utility vehicle, pickup truck.

Dog Waiting on Back of Ute
Ute. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: V
Vegies: vegetables. Veg out: relax in front of the TV. Vinnie's: St. Vincent De Paul's, charity thrift stores.

Close-Up of a Common Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus)
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Australian Slang Dictionary: W
Wag school: not turn up for school. Walkabout: originally a walk in the Outback by Aboriginal People, now also – gone, lost. Whacko: expression of being surprised, happy. Whinge: complain. He's got the Wobbly boot on: he’s drunk. Wog: flu or mild illness. Woop Woop: a small unimportant town. Wombat: a person who eats, roots and leaves. Work: something you do so you can pay for your beers.

Close View of a Yabby, a Small Freshwater Crayfish
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Australian Slang Dictionary: Y
Yabber: talk (a lot). Yabby: freshwater crayfish found in Australia. Yakka: work. Yank: American person. Yank tank: large American car. Yewy: u-turn in traffic. Yachtie: person who sails a lot or owns a yacht. Yobbo: ignorant person. Youse: you (plural).

Sunset and Yachts, The Broadwater, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Yachtie. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Australian Slang Dictionary: Z
Zack: sixpence (5 cents). Zeds: sleep (zzz..). Zilch: nothing. Zillions: lots and lots, more than millions and billions. Zonked: very tired, exhausted.















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