When you leave for your Australian adventure, keep in mind one thing: the official language of Australia is English. However, there is the fashionable English, the one spoken by the Australian locals. You will immediately notice the difference! In fact, Australian English is much more than an accent, to the point that sometimes it can perplex not only foreigners but even the British themselves!
The slangs are cute, sound sweet and short rhythmic and more poetic, and yes they love the humor in their life, and we can hear that their slang terms thoroughly. Moreover, there are various idioms, absolutely unique terms, and expressions.
Mates, Aussie slang is defined by its ‘strine’ pronunciation and the shortening of words; legend has it that this peculiarity of Australian language was born because of speaking with the mouth half-closed, to prevent insects from entering the mouth! 😉
To understand – and appreciate – Australian slang, you will have to immerse yourself in local culture and converse with locals. Australia allows you to discover the charm of Australian slang too!
To Begin With, Here We Have Some Of The Foremost Terms You Might Come Across
Australians speak and live in a relaxed way, and therefore if you use any (or all) of these expressions, your stress will magically disappear. You will be able to see the world from the typical and peaceful Australian perspective.
If you have moved to Australia or are thinking of going to visit it soon, making an extra effort to learn some slang is essential for your survival, since anyone, from the beautiful bartender of your favorite place to the Prime Minister, will use them.
It is, of course, not useful to know them all. But if you want to sound like a local, some are essential. This is why we present you with a small selection of Australian slang expressions to recognize.
A Useful Mini-guide for Aussie Slang
By using the term “Australian” to refer to their nationality. An Australian will always and only be an “Aussie”.
It is synonymous with a friend. Australians put it in practically every Sentence:
- “Thanks mate” to thank;
- “See you mate” to say goodbye by going away;
- “Good day, mate” to greet if you meet someone you know.
It’s just a nickname for somebody who has a strong impression of himself or herself.
“I‘m fxxking good; just ask me”.
- Block shock
To describe a place full of things and/or people.
“Mate, that parking lot is choc a bloc!” (“Dude, this parking lot is full!”)
“Roy earned heaps of money.”
If you go to the beach for a “barbie”, don’t forget to bring an “esky”! Means “a compact fridge”! As you will often need it on the beach in the sun at 40 ° C!
A typical example…
“Don’t forget your esky mates! It’s hot out today! “
A friendly insult;
“have a go, yer mug.”
Practically the Aussie equivalent of the word “nigger.” Extremely offensive, don’t use it.
- Al Capone
Slang rhymes by telephone;
When someone is a little rough;
- Rack off
Get lost! Push off! Or get out from here;
“rack off your hairy legs!”.
Problems, complications, or aggravations;
“Do not argue, buddy.”
- The Ganga
The West Sydney noun used to indicate particularly hot-blooded and readily available women;
“Far out, Linda’s a ganga; I saw her out with four different guys last week.”
“This Aussie kid is such a Derro.”
Means, That Aussie guy exists in a very difficult fiscal context.
Male homosexuality in the middle of the 20th century;
“You ready to go out tonight?”
“Nah mate, I’m buggered.”
A person who does not want to do anything is told;
“Your car is a cactus mate!”
- Blue : Fight
“He had a blue with his wife.”
- G’Day: Hi, Hello;
- Gobsmacked: Surprised or astounded;
- Pash: A long passionate kiss;
- Stoked: Pretty pleased;
- Rash-pash: Indicates irritated skin due to a heavy kissing session with a bearded Person;
- Naughty, have a: To have sex;
- No worries: No problem;
- Hit the hay: To go to bed;
- Crack Onto: Very romantically pursue someone;
- Galah: A fool or a silly person. (“Galah” is a bird name because of its antics and the noise it creates);
- Holy Dooley: It’s an exclamation of astonishment – “Good;
- Rort: Cheating, or fiddling, defrauding. Generally used for politicians;
- Sickie: When taking a day off from work even if you are not really ill;
- Crack a fat: To get an erection;
- Exy: Expensive;
- Feral: A hippie;
- Good Nick: Good condition;
- Good oil: A good idea, useful information, or truth;
- Sook: With a pout. If someone turns to you and “gives you sook”, it’s because they think you’re complaining;
- Hooroo: Goodbye;
- True Blue: Truly authentic, honest;
- Ropeable: Being very angry;
- No drama: Similar to ‘no worries’;
- Rapped: Greatly happy;
- Mongrel: A despicable person;
- Sweet as: Fantastic. Australians often use to put ‘as’ at the end of adjectives for emphasis. Other examples include ‘lazy as’, ‘lovely as’, ‘fast as’.
- Tradie: Trader. Including brickie (bricklayer), sparky (electrician), truckie (truck driver), chippie (carpenter), and garbo (garbage collector);
- Ta: Thank you;
- Mickey Mouse: Excellent, perfect; However, in some parts of Aussie, it means irrelevant, stupid or not very good;
- Sus: Something suspicious;
- Grouse: Excellent, very good, terrific;
- Bogan: Redneck, uneducated person;
- Whinge: To complain
- Ace: Very good, Excellent;
- Bodgy: Of inferior quality, character;
- Aggro: Upset about something;
- Freo: Fremantle;
- Ankle biter: Small child;
- Fruit Loop: A fool;
- Lair: A vulgar behavior, to dress up in flashy clothes;
- Furphy: False, Unreliable rumor;
- Bailout: Depart, mostly in an angry way;
- Shout: It is someone’s turn to pay for drinks;
- Bail (somebody) up: To catch somebody physically;
- Aussie salute: Someone is brushing away flies with the hand;
- Technicolor yawn: More or less like the previous expression;
- Battler: Someone, who is working hard for a living;
- I see: Vegetarian;
- Gob: Mouth;
- Cark: To die;
- Piker: Someone who doesn’t want to match in with others socially, and leaves people early;
- Basket case: A crazy person. A fool;
- Screamer: Getting drunk very easily;
- Ratbag: Mild insult;
- Beaut: Excellent, fantastic;
- Molly Dooker: A left-handed person;
- Reckon: You bet! Definitely;
- Wombat: Someone who eats, making noises, and with little education;
- Balls up: A serious mistake;
- Bonzer: Well, a good thing;
- Fair go: Something that is pleasant to hear;
- Liquid laugh: Usually relates to the feeling you get after raising your elbow, exaggerating;
- Pig’s arse: I can’t entirely agree with you;
- Lager Bomb: It is pronounced when in bed is used to indicate the complaints of the wife;
- Ripper: Really amazing;
- Prezzy: A present or gift;
- Warm fuzzies: Feeling happy;
- Short and Curlies: Pubic hair;
- Wonky: Bad condition that affects one’s performance;
- Hoon: An idiot, thug;
- Bushwhacker: Someone who has no social thanks, an idiot.
- Airy-fairy: Insubstantial, nothing much, hare-brained, in your dreams;
- Bored shitless: Being very bored;
- Buckleys: No chance for it to occur;
- Crook: Sick (feeling crook), bad (crook weather), challenging (crook job), also used for dishonest person;
- Glam: Glamorous;
- Perve: Looking lustfully at the opposite gender;
- No-hoper: Somebody who’ll never perform well;
- Boldness: Attractive or a sexy person;
- Banana bender: Someone from Queensland;
- Barrack: To cheer on (AFL match etc.)
- Dog’s breakfast: Complete chaos, a mess, disaster;
- Bastard: Expression of endearment;
- Hooroo: Bye see you later;
- Zed: Aussie pronunciation of the letter ‘Z‘;
How to follow the Aussie accent?
Just like other languages, there are several accents in Australian English. Nonetheless, most of these accents have points in common. For example, Australians tend to raise the final pitch of words, like when asking a question. Besides, they have a fluid and relatively rapid language, but sweet and uniform. Nearly as if a sentence was made up of a single word. To put the finishing touches on the Oz (Australian) accent, one also requires to adjust the pronunciation.
Let’s see an example; the “i” is said more like an “oi,” as in oil in Australia. So the word right sounds more like “roite.” Not excessively, but to practice the pronunciation, it never bothers to overdo it a little.
Bonus: Any other peculiarities of the Australian slang?
Aussies do not pronounce “rs“ at the end of words.
You will often hear “foreva,” “togetha” instead of “forever,” “together.”
Even a little lazy even in pronouncing the “g” at the end of the word.
For example, you will hear: “fishin”, “drivin” “callin” instead of “fishing”, “driving”, “calling”.
During your Downunder journey, you will often hear new words and expressions! Don’t be hesitant to ask what they mean and have them repeated several times so that you can memorize them and be able to use them too!
Nothing gives more satisfaction during a language study stay than learning to master local slang!
Interesting Aussie Expression Facts
★ What is the origin of Aussie English?
The English language arrived in Australia in 1788, thanks to the first colonizers. Since these came from different regions, they had to adapt their accents. In other words, they worked to avoid local dialects as much as possible. For this purpose, Australian English was often said to be the purest at the time, because it was spoken with almost no slang accent. Following, in 1880,
English spoken in southern Britain acquired “accurate” English status. Australian English also became heavily influenced by both the Aboriginal language and the language used by the military presence in Australia at the time.
★ Aussie, Barbie, Selfie
The origin of the word “selfie” is undoubtedly Australian. A university student would have coined it, lover of abbreviations with the suffixes “ie” and “ey” (very common in Australia). After celebrating his big birthday, he seems to have gone to a student forum to discuss his lip injury and posted a photo with the following comment: Sorry about the focus; it was a selfie. (Sorry for the focus, but a self-timer).
★ Original Nicknames
The inhabitants of Queensland are called “Banana bender,” as 90% of the bananas of the entire Continent are produced in this state. The inhabitants of New South Wales are instead known as “Cockroaches” from the name of their rugby team.
★ Bob’s fate
Way back in 1954, an Oxford student named Bob Hawke set the world record for the “fastest drink,” swallowing 1.7 liters of beer in just 11 seconds. In 1983 Bob Hawke himself became Australian prime minister.
★ The Australian lexicon has been enriched
The new words that you cannot find in other types of English: Aussie, barbie, hooroo, ripper, etc.
★ A Number Of Letters
English speakers know that their alphabet consists of 26 letters, but find it difficult to accept that this is by no means a standard. Rotokas, this language spoken in Papua in New Guinea, is just 11 letters long, and that makes it the shortest alphabet on Earth. The most extended palm of the alphabet goes to Khmer, spoken in Cambodia, with 74 letters.
★ Which Was The First To Appear?
It is challenging to know which language is the oldest since languages are spoken, and cultures of oral tradition only are not taken into account. The earliest languages of which there are documents written in support are Hebrew, Sanskrit, Sumerian, and Basque.
Some Tv Series In Australia To Improve Your Slang Terms
Mates, are you preparing for your Aussie experience, but you feel that your Oz slang terms need some freshening up? In addition to exercises, courses, and syntax books, there is a more fun way to train your language skills during your stay in Australia: here are some of the original language TV series!
In this way, you will not only acquire terms related to specific Aussie expressions, but you will learn to recognize and distinguish different accents and slangs.
● Doctor Who
With this series, you can train yourself to recognize differences in accent and pronunciation of the same words.
Friends’ English is simple and is a language that we could easily find in everyday life. Also, narrative patterns are often repeated, and this helps to understand
Some more series to improve your English,
● Desperate Housewives
● How I Met Your Mother
A Special Tip: Shorten Your Words Mates!
Yes, because if you want to look like a real Aussie, our advice is to add the suffix “o” to shorten the words: put the “o” at the end of a word, and it will sound just like an Oz (Aussie) term!
“Mate, we’re gonna be late for the barbie this arvo at the beach.”
“No worries, but first, we gotta go to the servo and bottlo to get some stubbies.”
Now it’s your turn: what is the meaning of these words?
This is one of the things that they do best! Aussi people will be able to shorten many of the words they say so that everyone else in the country has little by little an idea of what Aussies are talking about. If you ask an Oz local to slow down and explain himself, Australian will always be happy to do it. As they are usually very friendly.
Now start experimenting with the Aussie slang! 😉 Good on ya, mate!