Aussie-Info.com

Home

About Australia

Tourist Info

Explore AustraliaMAP

Links

What's New

Contact
Email


Language
Introduction
1. Coat of Arms
2. Flag
3. National Anthem
4. National Days
5. Southern Cross
6. History
7. Language
8. Flora
9. Fauna
10. Food

The Australian Language

Whilst Australia prides itself in its multiculturism, with over 80 languages spoken, the predominant language spoken in Australia is basic English, but as with other countries, there is a distinct and sometimes colourful local variation. It is helpful to understand all the variants, but it is not necessary to survive your stay here. Some people may even take delight in the discomfort of a foreign visitor struggling to make sense of a conversation, but as a whole, we are pretty friendly and most of the time we do go out of our way to steer tourists in the right direction.

Unlike other countries where there are regional accents, the only accents you will find here are those of the upper, middle and working classes, sometimes exaggerated if you are at a social function, but even here you should not find a problem.

Be warned, unless you are absolutely sure of a phrase, do not use it. Slang used in America or England may not mean the same as over here. In fact quite the opposite can be the case with much resultant embarrassment, so be careful. With all of its unique and mostly delightful idioms, the language remains basically English.

aggro - aggressive
amber fluid - beer
ant's pants - height of fashion, or to think highly of yourself
arvo - afternoon
Aussie - Australian
av-a-go-yer-mug - traditional rallying call, particularly at cricket     matches
ay - pardon me

back o'Bourke - back of beyond, middle of nowhere
barbie - barbecue
barking up the wrong tree - labouring under a misapprehension
barrack - cheer on a team at sporting event, support your team
battler - trier, struggler
beanie - ski hat
beat around the bush - not getting to the point
beaut, beauty, bewdie - great, fantastic
belt up - stop talking!
bench - table top
better half - husband or wife
bikey - motor cyclist
billabong - water hole in dried-up river bed
billy - tin container used to boil tea in the bush
biscuit - cookie
black stump - where the 'back o'Bourke' begins
block - do your block: get angry
bloke - man
blower - telephone: on the blower
blowies - blow flies
bludge - do nothing
bludger - lazy person, one who won't work
blue - argument or fight: have a blue
bluey - swag, nickname for a red-haired person
bonzer - great, ripper
boogie board - half sized surf board
boomer - very big, large male kangaroo
boomerang - curved flat wooden instrument used by Aborigines for    hunting
booze - alcohol
booze bus - police van used for random breath-testing for alcohol
bottle shop - liquor shop
bottler - something that has gone the way you want: you little bottler
brass - money
brekkie - breakfast
brown-eye - to show one's bottom, mooning
Buckley's - no chance at all
bundy - Bundaberg rum, also time-clock for employees
bung on - put on
bunyip - Australian yetti, or bigfoot
burl - have a try: give it a burl
bush - country, away from the city
bushranger - Australia's equivalent of outlaw of American Wild West
bush tucker - native foods, usually in the outback
BYO - bring your own (booze) to a restaurant

cask - wine box (an Australian invention)
cheerio - good bye
chock-a-block - full
chin wag - to have a good chat
chips - french fries
choof off - to go
chook - chicken
cobber -mate
coldie - a cold beer
come good - turn out all right
corroboree - Aboriginal festival dance
cozzie - swimming costume
crook - ill, badly made, substandard
cuppa - cup of tea
cut lunch - sandwiches

dag, daggy - mildly abusive term for socially inept person, nerd, nerdy
damper - bush loaf made from flour and water, cooked in camp oven
deli - delicatessen
didgeridoo - cylindrical wooden Aboriginal musical instrument
digger - Australian soldier
dill - idiot
dinkum, fair dinkum - honest, genuine
dinky-di - the real thing
dob in - to tell on someone
docket - receipt, bill
dole - unemployment payment
don't come the raw prawn - don't try and fool me
dunny - toilet

earbash - talk nonstop
esky - insulated box for keeping beer etc cool

fair go! - give us a chance
fairy floss - cotton candy
fanny - crude term for female genitalia
flat chat, flat out - going very fast
footy - football
full as a boot - drunk
funny farm - mental institution

galah - noisy parrot, hence 'noisy idiot'
game - brave
gander - look: have a gander
garbo - person who collects your garbage
gas bag - talk a lot
give it away - give up
g'day - good day, traditional Australian greeting
good oh - OK
good on ya - well done
grazier - large-scale sheep or cattle farmer
grog - alcohol
grizzle - complain

hang on a tick - wait a minute
hoon - idiot, hooligan, loud show-off
hoo-roo - good bye
how are ya - standard greeting
how ya going - how are you doing
howzat - asking how something is

idiot box - television
iffy - risky or suspect: something a bit iffy
irrits - irritating: you give me the irrits

jack of it - fed up with it, had enough (of a situation)
jiffy - short time: see you in a jiffy
job you - hit you or punch you: I'll job you
journo - journalist
jumper - sweater

keen - very interested
Kiwi - person from New Zealand
knickers - underwear
knock - criticise, deride
knock off work - time to go home
lamington - square of sponge cake covered in chocolate icing and    coconut (an Aussie icon)
lift - elevator
lollies - sweets, candy
lurk - a scheme

manchester - household linen
mate - friend, general term of familiarity, whether you know the person    or not
middy - 285 ml beer glass
missus - your wife
mobile phone - cellular phone
mozzies - mosquitoes

nappy - diaper
Never-Never - mythical, remote, isolated place in the outback
nick - steal
nick off - go away! get lost!
no hoper - hopeless case
nose - on the nose: something stinks
no worries - she'll be right, that's OK

ocker - uncultivated, uncultured, boorish Australian
off-sider - assistant or partner
off the beaten track - on an unused road, in a remote area
oldies - parents
once over - looking something or someone over, checking it out
outback - remote part of the bush, back o'Bourke
Oz - Australia
Ozzie - Australian

paddock - field
pavlova - meringue and cream dessert
perve - to gaze with lust
pinch - steal
piss - beer
pissed - drunk
pissed off - annoyed
piss in your pocket - brown-nose
piss-weak - no good, gutless
Pom, Pommie - English person
pokies - poker machines
postie - mail man
prang - motor vehicle accident
pub - hotel
pull your head in - mind your own business!
push bike - bicycle
put up or shut up - prove you can do it or keep quiet!

rack off - get lost!
Rafferty's rules - no rules, a mess
randy - sexually excited, horny
ratbag - friendly term of abuse
rapt - delighted, enraptured
reckon! - you bet! Absolutely!
rego - registration: car registration
rip off, ripped off - you have been cheated
ripper - good, also: little ripper
rip snorter - something that is great
root - have sexual intercourse
rooted - tired
ropable - very angry or bad-tempered
rubber - eraser
rubbish - deride, tease: to rubbish

sacked - fired from work
Salvo - member of the Salvation Army
sandshoes - sneakers, joggers
sanger - sandwich
scallops - fried potato cake in New South Wales,    shellfish elsewhere
schooner - large beer glass
semi-trailer - articulated truck
session - lengthy period of heavy drinking
sheila - woman (can be somewhat derogatory)
she'll be right - no worries, everything will be fine
shonky - unreliable, suspect
shoot through - leave in a hurry
shout - buy round of drinks, or pay for someone
shove off - go away!
sickie - day off work ill (or malingering)
sloppy joe - cotton fleecy-lined sweater
smoko - tea break, go and have a cigarette
snag - sausage
Speedo's - male swimming costume
spit the dummy - throw a tantrum
stickybeak - nosey person
stir - tease or joke with person
strides - trousers
Strine - conversation with a lot of Aussie slang
stubby - small bottle of beer
stuffed - very tired, had too much to eat
sunbake - sunbathe (not recommended)
surfies - surfing fanatics

take-away food - fast food, to-go food
tall poppies - achievers
tea - evening meal, dinner
tinny - can of beer
too right! - absolutely!
tracks - make tracks: leave to go home
truckie - truck driver
true blue - dinkum
tucker - food
two-pot screamer - person with low tolerance for alcohol
two-up - traditional heads/tails gambling game

uni - university
up yourself - have a high opinion of yourself
ute - utility, pick-up truck

vegies - vegetables
verbal diarrhoea - talking non-stop, usually nonsense

wag - to skip school or work: to wag school
walkabout - lengthy walk away from it all
weatherboard - wooden house
wharfie - dock worker
whinge - complain, moan
wobbly - disturbing, unpredictable behaviour, temper tantrum: throw a    wobbly
Wog - derogatory term for foreigner
wowser - spoilsport, puritan, old-fashioned
write-off - car involved in an crash that is not worth repairing

yabbie - small freshwater crayfish
yacking - talking non-stop
yahoo - noisy and unruly person
yakka - work
yobbo - uncouth, aggressive person
yonks - ages, a long time
youse - the plural of you

zonked - really tired
zebra crossing - painted pedestrian crossing on street


Recommended...

cover
Lonely Planet Australian Phrasebook (2nd...