Australian Slang

Introduction

Australian English is derived from British English. However, Australian English has different pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling and even grammar. A lot of Australian words are derived from the many Aboriginal languages. Other words are simply abbreviations of common English words.

Words from Aboriginal Languages

Australian SlangPlain EnglishExample
go bung die/fail My phone’s gone bung!
yabber talk Stop yabbering on, will ya.
yakka work Shearin’ sheep is bloody hard yakka.
billabong pond We camped by the billabong.
jumbuck sheep Look at those jumbuck.
woop woop the middle of nowhere/ an isolated town or village Mark lives in woop woop.
drongo idiot Don’t be such a drongo.

Abbreviations

Australian SlangPlain EnglishExample
footy Australian Rules Football You goin’ to the footy tonight?
sanga sandwich Sharon made me chicken sanga for lunch.
arvo afternoon What did you do this arvo?
brekkie breakfast Darren eats vegemite for brekkie.
bikkie biscuit Sit down and have a bikkie with your tea.
prezzie present We got you a little house warming prezzie.
porkie porkie pie = tell a lie Are you telling porkies?
roo kangaroo Did ya see those roos this arvo?
g’day good day/universal greeting used day and night G’day mate. How ya goin’?
agro aggressive There’s no need to be agro, mate.
Aussie Australian I’m an Aussie and I’m proud.
Pom/Pommy British person Queensland is full of pommy tourists.
avo avocado I had an avo for brekkie.
barbie barbecue We’re havin’ barbie tonight.
carn come on (especially at football matches) Carn Australia, take home the gold!
Acca Dacca the band AC/DC Do you like Acca Dacca?
Maccas McDonald’s Yuck, are you eating maccas?

Everything Else

Australian SlangPlain EnglishExample
bloke man Tom’s a nice bloke, isn’t he?
bludge do nothing Stop bludging and get to work.
bloody very That’s bloody good news.
Bluey a person with red hair Where’s Bluey?
bodgy bad quality Sorry to say it but your new car is bodgy as.
chook chicken A dingo stole our chooks!
dag a looser/a funny person Ya silly dag.
dead horse tomato sauce Pass me the dead horse, will you.
digger soldier Today we pay tribute to our diggers.
esky ice-box/cooler There any beer in the esky?
fair dinkum real/really/fair enough Jenny’s a fair dinkum Aussie sheila.
fair go be resonable Fair go mate. It wasn’t my fault.
flat out like a lizard drinking busy Sorry can’t stop to chat – I’m flat out like a lizard drinking.
mate friend Hey mate, haven’t seen you in a while.
milk bar corner shop He bought the paper in the milk bar on the way to work.
pash kiss We pashed behind the bike shed.
sheila woman Where have all the sheilas gone?
shout buy a round Come on, I’ll shout you a beer.
snag sausage Throw a few snags on the barbie.
rack off go away Rack off, would ya. I said I don’t want to talk to you!

Go back