Oi, you! There are many Australian slang words that you should learn if you move to or want to visit Australia. Australian English is a lot more than just an accent; in some cases, it varies significantly from American English or British English.
Australians are notorious for slang words that often leave foreigners confused. In my first six weeks in Australia, not a day went by when I didn’t learn a new word.
Definition: slang /slaŋ/ noun : a type of language consisting of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people
Australian slang terms are a big, endearing part of their culture. I have also found that most Australian’s have a nickname of some sort and rarely go by their given name. If you’re interested in visiting Australia or learning about Australian culture, their slang is an excellent place to start.
Here is a list of Australian slang words and phrases I’ve come across, in the order that I’ve come across them. I know there are so many more, but I wanted to share the Australian lingo that stood out to me as an American ex-pat. Enjoy!
Long black - an americano
Rocket - arugula
Bloody - used to express anger, annoyance, or shock, or simply for emphasis
Brekky - breakfast
Melb - Melbourne
Esky - cooler
Stinker - A person who stinks or a hot day. Ex. the newscaster said, “prepare for a stinker.”
Journo - journalist
Heaps/stacks/loads - used to describe a large amount of something
Bogan - unsophisticated person regarded as being of low social status; a lazy person or stupid person
Bin chicken - a kind of Australian bird
Jab or Jabbed - injection. Ex. “Did you get your COVID jab?” “Yes, I got jabbed.”
Struth - an explanation “ah f*ck”
Pie - pot pie, usually filled with meat
Ranga - a person with red hair
Stubbie - a small glass of beer
No worries, mate, she'll be right - everything will turn out fine
Tinny - a can of beer or a boat
Pub - a bar/a public house - a place you can get bar food
Piss - means alcohol - I’m drunk “get on the piss” - let’s go out drinking “pissing rain” take the piss out of someone - mocking them, heavy rain
Bashed - beaten up
Crikey - use to express amazement or surprise
Blokes and sheilas - men and women
Munted - hungover
Throw a shrimp on the barbie - probably cook some prawn on the barbeque
Yobbo - a bit of a troublemaker
Having a slap - a bet
Having a poke - a poker machine
Pash - making out
Prawns - shrimp
Reckon - to assume or think
Tits on a bull — something that is useless
Good onya - good for you (in a genuine way)
Mate - friend, buddy, term of endearment. ex. “Hey, mate. Want to catch the game later?
Yank - American
Acca Dacca - ACDC
Mintox - marvelous or mint
Uggies - sheepskin boots or shoes
Chucking a wobbly - tantrum
To be cactus - to be dead
True blue - the real thing
Booze bus - A sobriety checkpoint
Garbo - garbage man
Bum bag - fanny pack
“How you going?” - how are you
To rock up - show up or arrive somewhere. Ex. I’ll rock up to my mom’s house on the 4th.
Goon bag— wine bag
Lollies - candy
Pleb - an average joe or a disadvantaged person
Cruisy - relaxed or easy-going
Ocker - Australian (pronounced aucca)
Oz - Australia
G’day - hello
Arvo - afternoon
Cobber - another version of mate, as in g’day cobber
Yous - plural of you
Footy - an Australian football game
Tacker - child, pronounced “Taka”
Rack off - F*ck off
Ankle bitter - child
Tomato sauce - ketchup
Bottle shop - liquor store
Stubbie holder - beer koozie
Mozzie - mosquito
Roo - kangaroo
Woop woop - meaning a far distance from anything
Kangaroos loose - To be crazy; to act, think, or behave in an eccentric, foolish, or nonsensical manner
Fair dinkum - It is good or genuine
Bloody oath - A phrase of approval when you agree with something
Truckie - truck driver
Choccy biccy - a chocolate biscuit
Poms - British people
Aussie salute - It is a gesture used to deter bush flies from the human face
Good onya, mate! You got to the bottom of my list. Aussie slang is nothing short of colorful. Most of the time, I’m giggling when I learn a new word.
Also, Aussies curse a lot. I think that’s a big part of their lifestyle. Australian slang insults are some of the most entertaining; I left out quite a few words for fear of Google flagging my website as 18+.
And many words can have a double meaning. Mate, for example, can be used towards a friend, like “What’s up Mate?” But mate can also be used in a super derogatory way. For example, if two guys were about to get into a bar fight, one might say, “You good, Mate?!”
Words that provoke in the US are much more commonplace here. Aussies don’t seem to be put off by words we find taboo in America, like the “c” word. I’ve heard the C-word used endearingly, shocking, I know! The Australian expressions themselves also vary from the region to region, South Australia and Western Australia have their own colorful language.
I hope you enjoyed my collection of Aussie words. I’d love to know what I missed! Please add your favorite words to the comment section below.
We are currently in Launceston, Tasmania. Supposedly we are headed to Auckland, New Zealand, in May because there has been a COVID free travel bubble that’s opened between Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand is high up on my bucket list, and I am pumped to go!
Here are some photos from our time here in Launceston:
Rasmus’s basketball team has been having a tough season so far. The team has been on the road and away from family since December. But last week, they did beat the Perth Wildcats in their home arena that sits 15,000 people!
Sending love to your corner of the world,