Understanding Common Expressions In The English Language–Chapter Eight–Common Expressions in Australia and New Zealand

When you learn English you’re taught how to speak and write ‘proper’ English. Then you visit an English speaking country and start hearing some very strange slang terms. Australian slang is certainly ‘interesting’! Whether you’re dreaming of visiting Australia, have just arrived or have been in this gigantic island of paradise for a while, there are a few Australian slang words that you should learn to help you get through day to day life.

Although Australia is an English speaking country, arriving into the country with little knowledge of the most popular Aussie slang words may just get you into a few awkward situations. It’s worth noting that Aussies have a tendency to shorten most words in the English vocabulary as well. You will soon become accustomed to this! Here are a list of some common slang words (some found in other English speaking countries) that should help you get by…

If we’ve missed any please free to leave a comment below.

125 Australian Slang Words & Phrases

  1. A Cold One – Beer
  2. Accadacca – How Aussies refer to Australian band ACDC
  3. Ankle Biter – Child
  4. Arvo – Afternoon (S’Arvo – this afternoon!)
  5. Aussie Salute – Wave to scare the flies
  6. Avo – Avocado
  7. Bail – To cancel plans. ‘Bruce bailed’ = Bruce isn’t going to turn up.
  8. Barbie – Barbecue
  9. Bathers – Swimsuit
  10. Beauty! – Great! Most often exclaimed as “You Beauty”
  11. Billabong – A pond in a dry riverbed
  12. Billy – Teapot (In the Outback on the fire)
  13. Bloody – Very. Used to extenuate a point
  14. Bloody oath – yes or its true. “You right mate?”… “Bloody Oath”
  15. Bludger – Someone who’s lazy, generally also who relies on others (when it’s someone who relies on the state they’re often called a ‘dole bludger’)
  16. Bogan – This word is used for people who are, well let’s say, rednecks. Or, if you like, just call your friends a bogan when they are acting weird.
  17. Booze Bus – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers
  18. Bottle-O – Bottle Shop, basically a place to buy alcohol
  19. Brekky – Breakfast
  20. Brolly – Umbrella
  21. Bruce – An Aussie Bloke
  22. Buckleys Chance – little chance (Buckley’s Chance Wiktionary)
  23. Budgie Smugglers – Speedos
  24. Buggered – Exhausted
  25. Bush – “Out in the bush” – “he’s gone bush” In the countryside away from civilisation
  26. Cab Sav – Cabernet Sauvignon
  27. Cactus – Dead, Broken
  28. Choc A Bloc – Full
  29. Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit
  30. Chook – Chicken
  31. Chrissie – Christmas
  32. Ciggy – a Cigarette
  33. Clucky – feeling maternal
  34. Cobber – Very good friend. ‘Alright me ‘ol cobber’.
  35. Coldie – Beer. ‘Come over for a few coldie’s mate.’
  36. Coppers – Policemen
  37. Crack the shits – Getting angry at someone or something
  38. Crikey – an expression of surprise
  39. Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook’
  40. C*nt, the “C” word – Used when exchanging pleasantries between close friends or family member. If someone calls you the “C” word in Australia (and you haven’t done anything to make them angry), then breathe a sigh of relief… it means you have entered the mate zone.
  41. Dag – Someone who’s a bit of a nerd or geek.
  42. Daks – Trousers. ‘Tracky daks’ = sweatpants (tracksuit pants)
  43. Dardy – meaning “cool”, is used amongst South West Australian Aboriginal peoples and has also been adopted by non-indigenous teens. – wikipedia
  44. Deadset – True
  45. Defo – Definitely
  46. Devo – Devastated
  47. Drongo – a Fool, ‘Don’t be a drongo mate’
  48. Dunny – Toilet
  49. Durry – Cigarette
  50. Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers)
  51. Facey – Facebook
  52. Fair Dinkum – ‘Fair Dinkum?’ … ‘Fair Dinkum!’ = Honestly? … Yeah honestly!
  53. Flannie / Flanno – flannelette shirt
  54. Flat out – Really busy – “Flat out like a lizard drinking” – As busy as a bee
  55. Footy – Football (AFL / Aussie Rules)
  56. Frothy – Beer
  57. F*ck Me Dead – that’s unfortunate, that surprises me
  58. Furphy – rumours or stories that are improbable or absurd
  59. G’day – Hello
  60. Galah – an Australian cockatoo with a reputation for not being bright, hence a galah is also a stupid person.
  61. Gnarly – awesome – often used by surfers
  62. Going off – busy, lots of people / angry person “he’s going off”
  63. Good On Ya – Good work
  64. Goon – the best invention ever produced by mankind. Goon is a cheap, boxed wine that will inevitably become an integral part of your Australian backpacking experience.
  65. Hard yakka – Hard work
  66. Heaps – loads, lots, many
  67. Hoon – Hooligan (normally driving badly!)
  68. Iffy – bit risky or unreasonable
  69. Knickers – female underwear
  70. Lappy – Laptop
  71. Larrikin – Someone who’s always up for a laugh, bit of a harmless prankster
  72. Legless – Someone who is really drunk
  73. Lollies – Sweets
  74. Maccas – McDonalds
  75. Manchester – Sheets / Linen etc. If you’re from England, finding a department within a shop called Manchester could seriously confuse you.
  76. Mongrel – Someone who’s a bit of a dick
  77. Mozzie – Mosquito
  78. No Drama – No problem / it’s ok
  79. No Worries – No problem / it’s ok
  80. No Wucka’s – A truly Aussie way to say ‘no worries’
  81. Nuddy – Naked
  82. Outback – The interior of Australia, “The Outback” is more remote than those areas named “the bush”
  83. Pash – to kiss
  84. Piece of Piss – easy
  85. Piss Off – go away, get lost
  86. Piss Up – a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions
  87. Piss – (To Piss) to urinate
  88. Pissed – Intoxicated, Drunk
  89. Pissed Off – Annoyed
  90. Rack Off – The less offensive way to tell someone to ‘F Off’!
  91. Rapt – Very happy
  92. Reckon – for sure. ‘You Reckon?’… ‘I reckon!’
  93. Rellie / Rello – Relatives
  94. Ripper – ‘You little ripper’ = That’s fantastic mate!
  95. Root Rat – someone who enjoys sex (maybe a little too much)
  96. Rooted – Tired or Broken
  97. Runners – Trainers, Sneakers
  98. Sanger – Sandwich
  99. Servo – Service Station / Garage
  100. Shark biscuit – kids at the beach
  101. Sheila – A woman
  102. She’ll be apples – Everything will be alright
  103. Shoot Through – To leave
  104. Sick – awesome; ‘that’s really sick mate’
  105. Sickie – a sick day off work, or ‘to pull a sickie’ would be to take a day off when you aren’t actually sick
  106. Skull – To down a beer
  107. Slab – A carton of beers
  108. Smoko – Cigarette break
  109. Snag – Sausage
  110. Stiffy – Erection
  111. Stoked – Happy, Pleased
  112. Straya – Australia
  113. Strewth – An exclamation of surprise
  114. Stubby – a bottle of beer
  115. Stubby Holder – Used so your hands don’t get cold when holding your beer, or to stop your hands making your beer warm!
  116. Stuffed – Tired
  117. Sunnies – Sunglasses
  118. Swag – Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag.
  119. Tea – Dinner
  120. Tinny – Can of beer or small boat
  121. Thongs – Flip Flops. Do not be alarmed if your new found Australian friend asks you to wear thongs to the beach. They are most likely expressing their concern of the hot sand on your delicate feet.
  122. True Blue – Genuinely Australian
  123. Tucker – Food. ‘Bush Tucker’ tends to be food found in the Outback such as witchety grubs.
  124. Two Up – A gambling game played on Anzac day.
  125. U-IE – to take a U-Turn when driving
  126. Up Yourself – Stuck up
  127. Woop Woop – middle of nowhere “he lives out woop woop”
  128. Ya – You
  129. Yous – (youse) plural of you!

Some of these words may not be as commonly used these days, but you might still hear them being used ironically or by older Australians.

Australian slang: 33 phrases to help you talk like an Aussie

33. Fair go, mate. Fair suck of the sauce bottle. Fair crack of the whip

Made famous by the ill-fated former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who enjoyed using Australian slang to speak to the electorate and often pleaded for a “fair suck.” The phrase generally means that you want to be treated fairly.

“Fair suck” was coined by struggling Australian families who shared droppings of tomato sauce to flavor their meat. Such was the hard life that all they wanted was an equitable suck. In the fields, they needed a “fair crack of the whip.” Fair go, mate.

32. No worries, mate, she’ll be right

Reflects a national stoicism that suggests everything (she) will turn out fine in the end. This being the case, there’s no real point in worrying about anything.

31. Have a Captain Cook

A look, a brief inspection. In apparent honor of the first Brit to map eastern Australia, Captain James Cook, who skippered the HMB Endeavour. After landing at Botany Bay he sailed on past Sydney Harbour. He had a Captain Cook (a look) and liked it.

30. What’s the John Dory?

John Dory is a fish found in Sydney Harbour and it’s great grilled with lemon and pepper, or deep-fried. It also rhymes with story. So when people want to know what’s going on, or they’re requesting the “goss” (gossip), they ask what the John Dory is.

29. A few stubbies short of a six-pack. A few sandwiches short of a picnic

A six-pack has evolved to mean anyone with fit abdomens, but long ago the six-pack was (and still is) a group of beers. If one is perceived as being a little slow — more than feeling “under the weather,” they’re actually quite dumb — they’re a few stubbies short of a six-pack. They’re not the “full quid.” For those who don’t speak about money or alcohol, they’re “a few sandwiches short of a picnic.”

28. Tell him he’s dreaming

Given air time by Michael Caton in “The Castle:” when you advise someone involved in a business transaction to tell their counterpart that he’s “dreaming,” you’re suggesting that the other side is not offering a fair deal.

27. Dog’s breakfast

Messy, but doesn’t refer to food. Often used by parents to describe their kids’ chaotic lives. Not in order, a shambles, no thought, just a bit of everything. A “dog’s breakfast.”

26. Wrap your laughing gear ’round that

While some suggest you can laugh on the inside, your main laughing gear is your mouth. So when you wrap your laughing gear ’round something, you eat it.

25. Ripsnorter

Someone playing a good game of sport (having a “blinder”), or something that’s exceptionally good. Can also be “bonza” or “beaut.”

24. Better than a ham sandwich. Better than a kick up the backside

Something that is better than nothing. Even if you are paid peanuts — a pay rate that usually attracts monkeys — it’s better than a kick up the backside. You’d prefer a “fair whack.” As things become more worthwhile, they may even be better than a ham sandwich.

23. Buckley’s chance

William Buckley was Australia’s very own Robinson Crusoe, a man who escaped a convict ship during the first attempt to settle Melbourne in 1803. Three decades later, colonials returned to find a tattooed, two-meter tall, long-bearded man with half Aboriginal children who spoke tribal tongue. He picked up English within days.

They soon realized it was Buckley, who was given a pardon and used as a peacemaker between whites and blacks.

Buckley’s local knowledge led settlers to indigenous tribes throughout modern-day Victoria. He advocated cooperation with Aboriginals. After the 1840s decade of indigenous slaughter saw locals massacred, it was said that he had “Buckley’s chance” of making peace.

Buckley spent the latter part of his life as a poor loner in Tasmania. There was a concerted lobby for the government to give him a pension for his service to the colony. Once again, he had “Buckley’s.”

22. Pull the wool over your eyes

Similar to “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse and chase the jockey,” this one derives from the bush. A history of “earning a buck” around woolsheds meant people had to give an honest day’s work (“eight hours’ work, eight hours’ play and eight bob a day” chanted the union movement).

Australians had to be genuine with each other so they could all get their “fair share” of “spuds” (potatoes). If someone is being a little “sheepy,” dishonest, or “spinning a yarn,” they are trying to “pull the wool over your eyes.”

21. Dog’s eye

There’s much conjecture about what really goes inside the national staple, a meat pie. Is it beef? Kangaroo? The important thing is that it rhymes. So when you’re having a pie, it’s looking back at you, in a canine kind of way. It’s a dog’s eye. Could that really be the runny meat filling?

G'Day! was the greeting at from the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

G’Day! was the greeting at from the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Billy Stickland/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images

20. Bastards

Often used to refer to the British, or anyone who doesn’t play fair. The last Australian to be shot by an English firing squad in the Boer War, Breaker Morant, famously shouted his last words: “Shoot straight, you bastards!”

During the infamous 1932-33 Bodyline cricket series, English captain, Douglas Jardine, walked into the Australian dressing room to complain about being called a bastard. An Australian cricketer supposedly asked his team: “Which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?”

In politics, a third party, the Australian Democrats, was formed in the 1970s to “keep the bastards honest.”

19. Toads, banana benders, cockies, sandgropers, crow eaters

These are favorite ways Aussies disparage those who live elsewhere. Tropical Queensland has many more bananas and cane toads than people, so they’re branded banana benders or cane toads. Queenslanders get their own back, calling Sydneysiders cockroaches in honor of the omnipresent, nuclear-immune pest found around the harbor city. South Australians — particularly early settlers — partake in the delicacy of crow eating, while Western Australians spend their lives groping sand (sandgropers).

18. Ocker, yobbo

The loudmouth who’s a larrikin, who likes the sound of his own voice, is a yobbo — often a bit of a troublemaker. A yobbo typically has a deep Australian twang to his accent, in which case he’s an “ocker.”

17. Put a sock in it

Tells somebody to “shut up.”

16. Throw a shrimp on the barbie

 "Throw another shrimp on the barbie!"

“Throw another shrimp on the barbie!”

In a regression to stereotype, Paul Hogan introduced the world to this phrase and in the process invited countless tourists to come over. Australians aren’t in the habit of cooking small people — a “shrimp” refers to a yabby (or more simply, a “prawn”). It’s a way to invite someone to your house for lunch, where you throw a shrimp (or a “snag,” that’s a sausage) on the barbie.

15. Do the Harry

Harold Holt was the prime minster who disappeared off Victoria’s coast in 1967. He did the bolt, some say, from the responsibilities of the prime ministership.

Some suggest the (secretly communist) politician was abducted by a Chinese submarine or UFO.

More likely, he was caught in deadly currents and washed out to sea from Cheviot Beach, near Portsea. His body, however, has never been found, so anyone doing a disappearing act is doing a “Harold Holt.” So, when you have to “mosey on,” or “get the hell out of here” you do the “bolt” — the “Harold Holt.” Or simply, you do “the Harry.”

14. Six of one, half a dozen of the other

It’s not quite you’re “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” nor is it being “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.” It’s when it’s 50-50 odds that whatever decision you make will not likely affect the outcome of the situation. “Six of one, half a dozen of the other” means you’ll end up with a dozen, anyway. Unless, of course, it’s a baker’s dozen.

13. Not pissing on someone when they’re on fire

Means you don’t really care about somebody. Even if they were on fire, you wouldn’t do them the service of pissing on them to put the fire out.

12. Crikey, blimey

Euphemisms used to communicate amazement or surprise.

11. Oi for drongos and galahs

Chanted three times after “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie,” in perhaps the world’s cheesiest national cry. But in normal use, it’s mouthed when you disagree with what someone is doing, or to convey annoyance and get someone’s attention: when you’re being a “drongo” or a “galah” — in fact, not native birds, but someone who has “rocks in their head” — doesn’t know what they’re doing.

10. Blokes and sheilas

When Julia Gillard was voted in as the country’s first female prime minister, it didn’t take long for Australia to start calling the prime minister’s partner “the first bloke.”

9. Bushman’s handkerchief

Not really a handkerchief at all, but using your hands to delicately drain the snot from your nose.

8. Onya bike. Tell your story walkin’

When you don’t want to have anything to do with someone, you tell him or her to get “onya bike,” which suggests he or she leave. Quite the opposite to “hold your horses,” which requests someone to stay, or begs their patience, similar to “keep your pants on” or “don’t get your knickers in a knot.” When you tell someone to get “onya bike,” even if they’re trying to excuse themselves with well-concocted verse, you bid them to “tell your story walkin’.”

7. Lobster, pineapple, gray nurse

Australians don’t barter with lobsters and pineapples, but most have had at least one friend ring them up (or hit them up at the pub) to lend a lobster or a pineapple.

The $20 note being a sparkling red (lobster) and the $50 note being bright yellow (pineapple) lends itself to the phrase. The $100 note, a blue gray, has now been named after a shark (grey nurse). The less important $5 and $10 notes are often referred to as past international sporting stars — Pam Shriver (fiver) and Ayrton Senna (tenner).

6. Smoko, garbo, bowlo, bottlo, arvo

An “o” is the suffix to any word it can shorten. If in doubt, throw an “o” on the end of the word and it’s bound to be Australian.

A break when you smoke is a “smoko.” Someone who collects garbage is a “garbo.” A bowling and community club is a “bowlo.” A bottle shop is a “bottlo.” And the word afternoon, with three syllables, just doesn’t stand a chance: it’s evolved/devolved to arvo.

5. Have a go, you mug

The favored call of those who watch sport from budget seating. Heard at cricket games where batsmen block the ball too much, or football games where the team isn’t being inventive enough in trying to score. Generally refers to anyone who isn’t putting in a full effort or taking any risks.

4. Cooee

A loud, Aboriginal cry in the “outback” that tells people where you are, assuming they’re within cooee range. So, if you’re not within a cooee of something, you’re nowhere bloody near it.

3. Gone walkabout

Another piece of language (much like the accent itself) that’s derived from indigenous culture. The natives enjoy going “walkabout,” as do other Australians who enjoy traveling — whether it’s backpacking around Asia or following a harvest at home, they’re going walkabout.

2. One for the road

A last drink before going home. Said at bars or friends’ houses before going home. The saying hasn’t been eradicated by the increased amount of random-breath alcohol testing on roads.

1. Hit the frog and toad

Different to “having a frog in your throat,” which means having a sore throat. And while some Queenslanders and Territorians organize whacking day outings against the spreading plague of cane toads, it’s not used to describe the ritualized slaying of the dreaded toad. Hitting the frog and toad is when you hit the road. Get out of ‘ere.

125 Common Australian Slang Words, Terms and Phrases

1. Brekkie

The most important meal of the day, “brekkie” means breakfast.

“I eat brekkie every morning before sunup.”

2. Bush telly

“Bush telly” is what you’ll want to call the campfire when you’re camping in the Outback.

“We sat around the bush telly telling ghost stories.”

3. Not my bowl of rice

The Australian version of “not my cup of tea,” this expression is used to express when something is not to your liking.

“These shiny pink leather pants are not my bowl of rice.”


4. Bog standard

“Bog standard” means basic or unadorned; it’s used to describe the simplest version of something.

“It’s your bog standard refrigerator, nothing fancy.”

5. Bog in

If you’re hungry for brekkie you may “bog in.” This expression denotes digging into a meal with enthusiasm.

“‘Well, bog in,’ she said, setting down the massive cheese board in front of her sister.”

6. Bizzo

This handy Australian word is short for business.

“It’s none of your bizzo what I was doing at midnight in the graveyard.”

7. Billy

The most important object in any kitchen, a billy is a teapot.

“He filled the billy with water and waited impatiently for it to boil.”

8. Big-note (oneself)

Australians use this phrase to talk about someone who’s boasting about themselves, exaggerating their achievements, or displaying their wealth in a showy way.

“They were trying to bignote themself by name-dropping all the famous people they’d worked with.”

9. As busy as a cat burying sh*t

If you’re swamped with work or running from one thing to the next you could tell your Australian friend that you’re “as busy as a cat burying sh*t.”

“I haven’t had a moment to put my feet up all week, I’ve been as busy as a cat burying sh*t with this new job.”

10. Chunder

This Australian slang word means to be sick.

“He’d come down with the flu and ran to the bathroom to chunder.”

11. Captain Cook

Think rhymes for a second—that’s the key to understanding what Australians mean when they use this phrase to denote taking a look. You can even just say you’re having a captain if you feel the need to be extra brief!

“In the dead of night she heard a strange noise, so she went downstairs to have a Captain Cook.”

12. Cactus

When something is cactus in Australia, it means it’s ceased to work or is dead.

“When I tried to leave for work this morning I realized the car was cactus.”

13. Cobber

Are you on your way to Australia to visit friends? If so, this word will be very handy—you should really say you’re on your way to visit your cobbers!

“G’day cobber! Wanna meet at the park later for a skate?”

14. Click

If you’re struggling changing over from miles to kilometers, take the challenge a step further and use the Australian term for a kilometer.

“We drove 15 clicks just to see the crowd that had assembled at the mention of UFOs.”

15. Crack onto (someone)

If you see someone cute on your trip to Australia and you want to make a move, you may want to crack onto them, aka hit on them.

“I met my wife by cracking onto her at the restaurant where she worked.”

16. Mad as a cut snake

If an Australian is angry, you could say that they’re “mad as a cut snake,” although you may want to be careful who hears you!

“When I accused him of cutting in front of me he started yelling and became mad as a cut snake.”

17. Daks

Daks are an integral piece of clothing, otherwise known as pants!

“When we met he was wearing this gorgeous pair of orange flared daks and a lace blouse.”

18. Dinkum, fair dinkum

If something is dinkum in Australia that means it’s true or genuine.

“Is the news about the UFO crash fair dinkum?”

19. The bush

If you’re out in the bush you’re away from civilization and in the countryside.

“Of course, the UFO crash happened out in the bush so no one was around to see it.”

20. Dob (somebody) in, dobber.

To dob someone in is to tattle on someone or inform on their behavior and actions. In Australian vernacular, a dobber is a tattletale.

“Despite the risk of being called a dobber, he dobbed the spy in for sharing Australian secrets to foreign powers.”

21. Doovalacky

Maybe you call it a thingummyjig or maybe in your house it’s known more as a whatsit. Whatever its name, we all need a word for that thing whose name you just can’t remember.

“‘Where’s the doovalacky??’ I shouted to myself as I riffled through the kitchen cupboards.”

22. Down Under

Are you headed Down Under? This term refers to Australia and New Zealand; there’s no better way to sound like a local than to use the locals’ term for where you’re heading!

“I took a trip Down Under last winter and I can’t wait to get back this fall.” 

23. Drink with the flies

While we won’t list this as one of the top 10 things to do in Australia, if you’re way out in the bush and trying to have a relaxing evening you may end up doing just this—aka drinking alone.

“Every Sunday he sits on his front porch and drinks with the flies.”

24. Drum

If someone gives you the drum, they’re giving you the inside scoop, information or a tip-off.

“The spy stealing Australian secrets was given the drum that someone had dobbed him in and managed to stow away on a boat out of Australia.”

25. Dux

Both a noun and a verb, this Australian slang phrase relates to being the top of one’s class.

“She duxed Chemistry and History, but she had to repeat Biology that year.”

26. Earbashing

An earbashing is what you might receive if you encounter a particularly chatty tour guide. This slang word conveys nonstop talk or nagging, and can also denote a lecture or scolding.

“When I found the boys in the kitchen eating the cake I’d just baked for our wedding, I gave them an earbashing.”

27. Exy

You may know this term as expensive, but Australians prefer the shorter “exy.”

“Buying dinner for the whole office was exy.” 

28. Fairy floss

A fairground staple, this delicacy is known outside of Australia as cotton candy.

“As soon as they arrived at the fair, she bought ten bags of fairy floss.”

29. Figjam

While this isn’t the most polite Australian phrase out there, it sure can come in handy. This nickname denotes people who think a little too highly of themselves, and actually is an acronym for “F*ck I’m good, just ask me!”

“Figjams love to brag about how easy everything is for them with their superior skill set.”

30. Flat out like a lizard drinking

If your trip to Australia is a bit hectic and you only have a few days to pack everything in, you might use this expression to say you’re busy.

“Between work, school, and my new girlfriend I’m flat out like a lizard drinking.”

31. Flick

If you need to get rid of something (or someone) in Australia, you can say you need to give them the flick.

“On his way to the harbor the spy realized he was being tailed so he gave them the flick.”

32. Fly wire

This useful invention helps locals and guests alike survive in Australia, and is the Australian name for a window screen.

“When I saw the size of the insects outside my room, I was grateful for the fly wire.” 

33. Fossick

To fossick is to search for something or to rummage about in search of a doovalacky.

“After the spy left Australia, his apartment was fossicked by the police.”

34. As cross as a frog in a sock

If someone is as cross as a frog in a sock in Australian slang that means they sound angry!

I could hear Grandma from across the yard yelling; she was as cross as a frog in a sock that the boys had stolen her cigarettes.”

35. Fruit loop

A fruit loop is slang for a fool in Australia.

“When she’d finished lecturing the boys, Grandma called me a fruit loop for how I’d raised them.”

36. Furphy

Furphy is the name for false or unconvincing rumors in Australia.

“Have you heard the furphy going around about the UFO crash?”

37. G’day

The most important slang to know when visiting Australia, “g’day” means hello and can be used anytime!

“G’day mate!”

38. Give it a burl

To give something a burl is to give something a go in Australia.

“Go on, give horse riding a burl, you may like it!”

39. Gobsmacked

You might be gobsmacked (aka astonished) at the size of the spiders in Australia!

“She was gobsmacked to discover that the strange noise downstairs was an alien fossicking through her fridge!”

40. Going off

Although this term may sound negative to the untrained ear, it actually indicates a well-known party spot or a place to have a good time Down Under.

“If you’re bored here at the garden party, I can take you to a place that’s really going off!”

41. Good onya

This phrase is used to congratulate Australians on a job well done.

“You won the game? Good onya!”

42. Grouse (adj.)

If something is grouse in Australian slang, that means it’s very good.

“This wedding cake we stole is grouse!”

43. To do the Harold Holt

This is another instance of rhyming in Australian slang and means to bolt.

“When Grandma was through lecturing the boys, they did the Harold Holt.”

44. Heaps

If an Australian tells you “Thanks heaps!” you should know it means “Thanks a lot!”

He earned heaps spying on Australia and stealing information about the UFO accident until his untimely departure.”

45. Hooroo

When your time in Australia comes to a close, be sure to tell everyone “hooroo!” meaning goodbye.

“Hooroo! See you all again soon!”

46. Hottie

If you get your seasons mixed up on your trip Down Under and are underdressed, you might need to sleep with a hottie in your bed—that is, a hot water bottle.

She filled her hottie with the billy and curled up with her latest novel.”

47. Iso

Part of a new iteration of Australian slang phrases, iso is short for isolation—a common occurrence during the pandemic while traveling.

“When I first arrived I had to do two weeks of iso before I could go see the sights.”

48. Joey

If you’re lucky while traveling in Australia, you’ll see a joey—a baby kangaroo!

“Did you see that joey in his mama’s pouch?”

49. Journo

A journo in Australian slang is someone who works as a journalist.

“The journos struggled to balance their broadcasts between the news about the UFO and the news on the escaped spy.”

50. Frog and toad

If you need to get going and you’re prone to a bit of poetry, you may say that you have to hit the frog and toad—aka the road.

He hit the frog and toad back in ‘85—all we get are postcards at Chrissie.”

51. Facey

Facey is the Australian term for the ever-popular Facebook.

Last week on Facey I saw an article stating that the UFO crash was real.”

52. Kangaroos loose in the top paddock

To say that someone has kangaroos loose in the top paddock is to say that they’re either not very bright, eccentric, or foolish.

“As far as I’m concerned, anyone who believes the news about the UFO has kangaroos loose in the top paddock.”

53. Kindie

This Australian slang word is the term for kindergarten Down Under!

“When I picked my child up from kindie today they told me that they spent the day finger painting.”

54. Knock

To knock something is to criticize something in Australia.

“She knocked the new car model, saying she didn’t see what was wrong with the old one.”

55. Lair it up

If someone’s lairing it up in Australian slang that means they’re behaving vulgarly.

I couldn’t believe his attitude; he was really lairing it up to impress his friends.”

56. Lippy

Lippy is the perfect accessory for a fancy night out when visiting Australia—it means lipstick!

He complimented his choice of orange daks with a shocking blue lippy.”

57. Lollies

In Australia, candy is called lollies—and it doesn’t have to be on a stick!

“She begged her mom to stop and buy lollies when they passed the fair.”

58. London to a brick

If something is London to a brick in Australia then it’s absolutely certain.

He said it was London to a brick that the escaped spy and the UFO were related.”

59. Mate

“Mate” is the quintessential Australian slang word. It means friend, and can be used not only with friends but acquaintances and strangers as well. Be cautious using it sarcastically though or you may start a fight!

“Good on yer, mate” (thank you!).

60. Milk bar

A milk bar is a local general store in Australia, selling everything from newspapers to—you guessed it—milkshakes.

Let’s go to the milk bar after school and buy lollies.”

61. Mob

A mob in Australian slang can refer to a lot of different things. It can mean a group of people (not necessarily a nefarious group!) as well as a group of kangaroos!

There was a mob watching the mob jump down the road.”

62. Moolah

This Australian slang term means money.

Did you bring the moolah so we can purchase our tickets?”

63. Mozzie 

You may encounter a few mozzies while you’re in Australia—mozzie means mosquito!

“Did you see the size of the mozzies??”

64. Goss

The goss in Australia is the gossip.

My friends love to meet up between classes and share the goss.”

65. Muster

This phrase will be particularly useful if you’re spending time in the Australian Outback, and refers to rounding up sheep or cattle.

Go muster the cows before the sun goes down.”

66. Prezzie

A prezzie means a present in Australian slang.

This is the best birthday prezzie I’ve ever received!”

67. In the nuddy

To be in the nuddy is to be naked.

“My wife caught me in the nuddy grabbing a midnight snack and she thought I was an alien raiding the fridge!”

68. O.S.

When you leave Australia you’ll be heading O.S.—short for overseas!

Can’t you put off going O.S. a little longer?”

69. Oldies

Your oldies in Australia are your parents.

Ask your oldies if you can come to the milk bar with me after school.”

70. Biccy

Very important to have on hand if you’re boiling the billy, a biccy is a cookie! Be warned though, they’re not always sweet!

Would you pick up a packet of biccies from the milk bar on your way home please?”

71. Outback

The Outback is the rural area beyond Australia’s cities. It’s known for being wild, arid, and undeveloped, and it’s even more remote than the bush.

“Make sure you visit the Outback while you’re in Australia.”

72. Oz

Oz means Australia itself!

“How are you enjoying your time in Oz?”

73. Bring a plate

Despite how this sounds, if an Australian tells you this they’re not asking you to bring crockery—they’re asking you to bring your own food to the party! 

G’day mate, party at Don’s tonight, bring a plate!”

74. Porky/ porky pie

A porky pie or a porky for short is a lie in Australian slang.

“When I looked into the story about the UFO crash I realized it was all a porky pie.”

75. Port

Be sure you don’t forget your port if you’re headed to Australia—that is, your suitcase!

“G’day mate, are these ports all yours?”

76. Postie

If you’re waiting for news from home while in Australia, you’ll be eager to see the postie, or mailman.

“Has the postie come by yet? I need to mail this letter.”

77. Pozzy

Pozzy is short for position in Australian slang.

“You want to make sure you’ve got the best pozzy in the house at a football match.”

78. Chrissie

Chrissie is Australian slang for Christmas!

“We’re so glad you managed to visit for Chrissie.”

79. Make a quid

To make a quid is to earn a living in Australian slang.

“Are you making a quid at that new job of yours?”

80. Rage on 

When a party doesn’t stop even in the wee hours of the night an Australian might say it raged on.

Don’s house was going off last night—we raged on until 5am!

81. Reckon!

If an Australian says this to you it means they’re willing—”you bet!”

“‘Will you come to the dance with me Friday?’ ‘Reckon!’”

82. Rellie or relo

Your rellie or relo is your relative.

“I heard your rellies are visiting from O.S.”

83. Ridgy-didge

If something is ridgy-didge in Australia then it’s the real thing.

“No way, is that the ridgy-didge collector edition? I thought it was out of print!”

84. She’ll be right

This reassuring Australian slang phrase means “It’ll be alright.”

“No matter what you hear in the news about aliens, I’m certain she’ll be right.”

85. Ripper

This hardcore word means fantastic in Australian slang.

“That party last week at Don’s sure was ripper!”

86.  Road train

A road train is a big truck hauling a chain of trailers in Australia.

“Traffic was held up for hours by the road train blocking the frog and toad.”

87. Rock up

To rock up somewhere is to arrive somewhere in Australia.

“We rocked up at Don’s party straight after work.”

88. Rollie

A rollie is slang for a hand-rolled cigarette, popular in Australia.

“G’day mate, spare a rollie?”

89. Roo 

Going hand in hand—er, pouch—with “joey,” “roo” is short for “kangaroo.”

“Did you see that roo jump!?”

90. Aussie salute

You may find yourself performing the Aussie salute often if your house isn’t equipped with fly wire—this expression comically means to brush away flies.

“We tried to sit outside last night and enjoy the sunset, but I couldn’t stop performing the Aussie salute.”

91. Sanger

Find yourself hungry in Australia? You need to find yourself a sanger—a sandwich!

Every day I pack myself a sanger of pickle and peanut butter for lunch.

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92. Shark biscuit

This vivid piece of slang denotes someone new to surfing—beware!

“Let’s go somewhere else, this beach is full of shark biscuits.”

93. Hard yakka

Hard yakka is Aussie slang for hard work.

“Clearing the land to build the farm was hard yakka.”

94. Barbie

A barbie in Aussie slang is a barbeque.

“Come round for a barbie later?”

95. Crook

The Australian slang word crook covers all manner of things that are bad, and can refer to something that’s unpleasant, unsatisfactory, tough, illegal, or injured.

“When we first moved out here to build the farm things were crook on the land.”

96. Sleepout

A sleepout is a popular feature of Australian architecture, it’s a verandah which has been converted into a bedroom—useful in the heat!

“It’s so hot outside, let’s sleep in the sleepout tonight?”

97. Smoko

When you need a break from hard yakka in Australia you might go for a smoko—a smoke or coffee break.

“Fancy a smoko? My back is crook.”

98. Spag bol

A classic dinner around the world, spag bol is Australia’s way of saying spaghetti bolognese.

“Grandpa made my favorite dish for dinner: spag bol with feta cheese on top.”

99. Spewin’

If someone’s spewin’ then they’re extremely angry. It’s best to step away!

“If you’re late for curfew one more night this week I’ll be spewin’!”

100. Spiffy/ pretty spiffy

Spiffy is an Aussie’s way of saying that something is excellent.

“You’re looking pretty spiffy in your new car!”

101. Sprung

If you’re sprung, you’ve been caught doing something wrong in Australia.

“Grandma sprung those boys stealing her cigarettes again.”

102. Squizz (noun)

Another way to say you’re taking a look if you want some variety from “Captain Cook.”

“Take a good squizz at this strange feather I found the other day.”

103. Stickybeak

In Australian slang, a “stickybeak” is a nosy person who can’t mind their own business.

“My uncle is such a stickybeak, always asking about my marriage troubles.”

104. Stoked

If an Australian is stocked then they’re extremely pleased about something.

“I’m stoked that you’re coming to Oz to visit.”

105. Stonkered

The word stonkered encapsulates exhaustion, confusion and defeat for Australians.

“I just can’t work this math problem out, I’m stonkered.”

106. Strides

Strides is another word for daks aka pants!

“She was wearing these beautiful bright green strides and carrying a surfboard.”

107. Strollout

Another recent addition to Aussie slang, this term expresses exasperation and refers to the slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

“I’m sick of the strollout, I want to get vaccinated already.”

108. Sunbake

If you’re sunbathing in Australia you should be calling it sunbaking istead!

“I love to sunbake for hours on the beach while my friends surf.”

109. Sunnies

An essential item if you’re sunbaking, “sunnies” are sunglasses.

“My yellow oval-shaped sunnies compliment my summer highlights.”

110. Surfies

Another important beach term in Australian slang, “surfies” are surfers.

“All my friends are surfies, but I don’t know how to swim.”

111. Tall poppies

This unique Australian term is used to talk about successful people.

“I feel like I’m surrounded by tall poppies here yet I don’t know what to do with my life.”

112. Tinny

A tinny on a hot day just tastes better. Tinnies are cans of beer in Australia.

“G’day mate, fancy a tinny?”

113. Trackie daks

This harmonious slang term refers to sweatpants.

“Those trackie daks are spiffy mate!”

114. Uni

Uni is short for university aka college in Australian slang.

“I can’t wait until I’m at uni and I can focus on studying Biology.”

115. Unit

A unit is an apartment—useful for finding a place to stay on your trip to Oz!

“G’day mate, I was wondering if you have any units available?”

116. Veggies

Veggies is a sweet way of saying vegetables in Australian slang.

“Do you want any more veggies?”

117. Vee dub

Vee dub stands for the Volkswagen campervan—VW.

118. Veg out

If an Australian is vegging out, they’re relaxing—and you should, too!

“Let’s stay in tonight and veg out in front of the TV.”

119. Vejjo

A vejjo is a vegetarian—useful to know when traveling to Australia.

“I’m vejjo—does this have any meat in it, mate?”

120. Waggin’ school

If you’re waggin’ school you’re playing truant or hooky.

“He caught me waggin’ school at the milk bar.”

121. Thongs

If an Australian asks if you’ve seen his thongs, he’s talking about flip-flops, not underwear!

“Hey mate, did you bring a pair of thongs?”

122. He’s got the wobbly boot on

If someone’s got the wobbly boot on in Australia then they’re drunk.

“Don had the wobbly boot on at his party the other night.”

123. Pash

A pash is a passionate kiss.

“He gave me a pash outside the milk bar and everyone saw!”

124. Yewy/ U-ie

To chuck a yewy means to perform a u-turn in Australian slang.

“Chuck a yewy at the light!”

125. Bob’s your uncle

Used for emphasis and to sum up, this phrase essentially means, “that’s that” or “there you have it.”

“All you gotta do is take it out of the freezer, open the package, warm it up—and Bob’s your uncle.”


nomadsworld.com, “125 Australian Slang Words & Phrases.” By Amy Jones; cnn.com, “Australian slang: 33 phrases to help you talk like an Aussie.” By Matt Khoury; parade.com, “125 Common Australian Slang Words, Terms and Phrases.”;