How to Speak Aussie: A Guide to Australian Slang

By Aussie on the Road on  54 Comments
Share the love!

A Rough Guide to Australian Slang

Australian English (or Aussie┬áslang, really) is a language of subtle poetry. A beautiful tongue made up of colourful metaphors and delicately constructed witticisms, but it is also a language of simplicity. It is the language of a people who call things what they are while simultaneously looking to limit the amount of time it takes to get a point across. It’s a contrasting tongue – a mix of the obvious (calling soda ‘fizzy drink’) and the almost indecipherable (‘putting it on the Never Never’ means paying on a credit card).

Australian English is a language that takes a little getting used to, but I’m hoping this far from complete guide to Australian slang will put you in good stead for those awkward few days where it’s all ‘G’day’ and ‘Strewth’ and you’ve got no idea what’s going on. But damned if it doesn’t sound sexy in that Aussie drawl.

After my recent trek to the US showed me just how confusing our language can be, I’ve gone ahead and put through a (far from complete) dictionary of Australian slang for your reading pleasure. Please do let me know if I’ve missed any and I’ll be sure to update.

Food & Drink

Don’t believe was New Zealanders say. Hell, don’t even believe the facts – pavlovas are as Australian as Phar Lap and Russell Crowe.

Australian food and Australian slang have quite a bit in common. We’re a people of relatively simple tastes, and you’ll notice that virtually everything gets shortened down. I’m certain I’ve missed more than a few here – particularly when it comes to regional variations. Help a brother out!

  • Avo: Short for avocado.
  • Barbie: Short for barbeque.
  • Beetroot: Beet. Popular on hamburgers.
  • Billy: Tea pot. Sometimes also refers to a bong.
  • Biscuit/Bickie: Cookie.
  • Booze: Alcohol.
  • Bottle Shop/Bottle-O: A liquor store.
  • Brekkie: Short for breakfast.
  • Bush Tucker: Food made from Australian native plants and animals.
  • Capsicum: Bell pepper.
  • Carton/slab: A pack of 24 beers (cans or bottles).
  • Chewie: Chewing gum. Bubble gum.
  • Chips: Used for both potato chips and fries (sometimes called hot chips).
  • Chook: Chicken.
  • Cuppa: A cup of tea.
  • Damper: Bread baked in campfire coals.
  • Devon/Luncheon: Bologna.
  • Dog’s eye with dead horse: Rhyming slang for meat pie with sauce.
  • Esky: Cooler or ice box.
  • Fairy floss: Cotton candy.
  • Fizzy Drink: Soda. Pop. Sometimes called Soft Drink.
  • Frankfurt/Saveloy/Cheerio: Weiner.
  • Goon: Cheap wine, usually purchased in a 4L box or cask.
  • Grog: Alcohol of any kind. See also grog bog.
  • Hamburger: It should be noted that all cases of something served between buns are called hamburgers in Australia. There are no chicken or fish sandwiches. Only chicken and fish burgers.
  • Iceblock/Icy Pole: Non dairy popsicle.
  • Icecream: Specific to the variety served in a cone.
  • Jug: Electric kettle.
  • Lamington: A square of sponge cake covered in chocolate icing (frosting) and coconut.
  • Lolly: Candy.
  • Long neck/tall boy: A 750ml beer bottle.
  • Maccas: McDonalds.
  • Middy (NSW & WA)/Handle (NT)/Schooner (SA)/Pot (All other states): A beer glass measuring 285mls (10 oz).
  • Morning Tea: Similar to recess or brunch. A light meal between breakfast and lunch.
  • On the piss: Drinking alcohol.
  • Pavlova/Pav: A dessert made of meringue, fresh fruit, and cream.
  • Paw Paw: Papaya.
  • Pint (All states bar SA)/Imperial Pint (SA): A beer glass measuring 570mls (20 oz).
  • Piss: Alcohol. Ex: Nah mate, I was on the piss all weekend.
  • Pluto Pup/Dagwood Dog: Akin to a corn dog, but made using flour instead of corn meal.
  • Prawn: Large shrimp. Not eaten fresh from the barbie.
  • Roast: Sometimes called a baked dinner. A roast meat with vegetables.
  • Rock Melon: Cantaloupe.
  • Roo: Kangaroo meat.
  • Sanger: Short for sandwich.
  • Schooner (All states bar SA)/Pint (SA): A beer glass measuring 425mls (15 oz).
  • Silverside: Corned beef.
  • Skull: To ‘chug’ a beer. Generally in one go.
  • Smoko: A smoke or coffee break.
  • Snag: Sausage.
  • Spag Bol: Spaghetti bolognese.
  • Spirits: Liquor.
  • Spud: Potato.
  • Stubby: A 375ml beer bottle.
  • Sweets: Dessert.
  • Tea: Not to be confused with the drink. This is another word for dinner.
  • Tinny/stubbie: Can of beer.
  • Tomato sauce: Ketchup. What Americans call tomato sauce is known as pasta sauce in Australia.
  • Tucker: Food.
  • Tucker bag/box: A container for food.
  • Turps: Short for turpentine, but also used to refer to alcohol.
  • Vegemite: A salty, yeast based spread.
  • Yabby/Craybob/Crayfish: Fresh-water shellfish.

A Note on Beer Measurement: Australians love their beer, but they also love to confuse the hell out of anybody ordering it. Each state generally has its own terms for various glass sizes and, to confuse matters more, these names sometimes mean completely different things in different states.

australian beers
Which one is the odd one out?

A ‘schooner’ is 15oz/425mls in all states except South Australia, where it is a 10oz/285ml drink. Meanwhile, a ‘pint’ in South Australia is 150oz/425mls, but measures 20oz/570ml in every other state.

Confused? We all are.

Friendships & Dating

You may notice that Australians are a sometimes coarse people, and that is true of Australian slang and of dating in Australia. We’re not afraid to call a spade a spade and a prawn a prawn, nor do we shy away from discussing our sexual exploits with our mates.

I’m always surprised when I notice just how commonly used the ‘C word’ is in Australian day to day language. Hell, we drop the F-Bomb like it’s just another word.

funny bikini
I’ll be right back, lads. Just duckin’ down under for a few minutes.
  • B&S: Bachelors and Spinsters ball. A dance where singles meet.
  • Bastard: Often used as a term of endearment between friends.
  • Clacker: Anus. See also date.
  • Cobber: See mate.
  • Crack a fat: Get an erection.
  • Crack on: To hit on or make sexual advances towards. Ex: She goes alright. Reckon I might crack on to her.
  • Dog: An unattractive woman.
  • Franger: Condom. Ex: Mate, can you lend us a franger? This girl’s a bit of a goer.
  • G’day: Hi. Hello.
  • Gash: Vagina. See also flaps.
  • Gobbie: A blowjob.
  • Goes Alright: Somebody who ‘goes alright’ is considered to be an attractive and/or likable person.
  • Goer: A ‘goer’ is somebody who likes sex. Ex: She’s a bit of a goer.
  • Kangaroos loose in the top paddock: Crazy.
  • Map of Tassie: Pubic hair on a woman.
  • Mate: Friend.
  • Missus: Girlfriend. Partner. Wife.
  • Pash: A passionate kiss. French kiss. Ex: Did you guys pash last night?
  • Perve: Short for pervert. Also, ‘to look’. Ex: Yeah mate, I had a sneaky perv. She’s a bit of a prawn.
  • Pink bits: Female genitalia.
  • Prawn: A derogatory term for somebody with a nice body but a bad face. Similar to ‘butter face’.
  • Root: Sex.
  • Root rat: Somebody who is always looking for sex. Most men.
  • Shag: Sex.
  • Spunk: A good looking person. Usually male.
  • Tackle: Male genitalia.
  • Wristie: Hand job.

Sports & Leisure

  • Aerial Ping Pong: Derogatory term for Aussie Rules football. See also Gay FL.
  • Aussie Rules: Australian rules football. Popular in South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia.
  • Bathers/Swimmers/Togs: Swimming costume.
  • Blue: A fight. Ex: Me and my missus had a blue last night.
  • Boil-over: An unexpected sporting result.
  • Bottler: A particularly exciting game.
  • Boys, the: The team. Ex: Full credit to the boys. They gave 100% tonight.
  • Budgie Smugglers/Banana Hammock: Y-Front swimmers for a man.
  • Cream: To defeat by a large margin. Ex: See the game last night? We creamed ’em!
  • Football/Footy: Dependent on region can mean Aussie Rules, Rugby, Rugby Union, or Association Football.
  • Full credit: Well done.
  • Rooted: Tired. Exhausted.
  • Rape: To defeat by a large margin. Ex: Did you see the game last night? We absolutely raped ’em!
  • Rugby: Specifically rugby union. Popular with wankers.
  • Rugby League: 13 man variety of rugby with a larger national following than rugby. Popular in NSW and QLD.
  • Wog Ball: Derogatory term for association football/soccer.

Names and Name Calling

A bogan in his natural environment.

Name-calling in Australia is standard operating procedure amongst friends, and it’s not uncommon to be called worse things by your friends than by your enemies. It’s also, sadly, a language littered with racial slurs – a few of which I’ve included today. And like all Australian slang, it bounces from the imaginative to the painfully unoriginal.

  • Banana Bender: A resident of Queensland.
  • Battler: An ‘Aussie battler’ is somebody who works hard against the odds.
  • Bludger: A lazy person. Somebody unemployed.
  • Bogan: Akin to ‘white trash’. People of low income and generally low education.
  • Chink/Slope: A derogatory and racist term for an Asian of any kind.
  • Cockroach: A person from New South Wales.
  • Crow Eater: A resident of South Australia.
  • Cuntstruck: Spellbound by a woman. Equivalent to ‘pussy whipped’.
  • Dag: A socially awkward person. Ex: You’re such a dag, Tezza!
  • Derro: Homeless person. Short for ‘derelict’.
  • Digger: Soldier.
  • Dill: An idiot.
  • Dipstick/Drongo/Dropkick: Idiot. Fool.
  • Dux: Top of the class.
  • Feral: Hippie. Unkempt individual. Unattractive person.
  • Frog: A person from France.
  • Fucktard: Short for ‘fucking retard’. An especially dumb person.
  • Galah: A silly or unintelligent person.
  • Horse’s Hoof: Rhyming slang. A homosexual.
  • Kiwi: A person from New Zealand.
  • Larrikin: A man who is always having a good time.
  • Lemon: Derogatory term for a lesbian. Also dyke and lezzo.
  • Mexican: A resident of Victoria.
  • Piker: Somebody who leaves a party early.
  • Pom: A British person.
  • Poof/Poofter: Derogatory term for a homosexual. Fag is also common.
  • Seppo: An American.
  • Shark biscuit: A newcomer to surfing.
  • Sheep Shagger: A person from New Zealand.
  • Sheila: Woman.
  • Soap Dodger: A person from England.
  • Sook: An overly emotional or sensitive person. See also Sooky La La.
  • Sticky-beak: A nosy person. Can be used as a verb meaning “to look”.
  • Sunshine: Condescending term. A weak or emotional person. Ex: Quit your cryin’, sunshine.
  • Tasweigan: A person from Tasmania.
  • Wog: Somebody of Mediterranean origin. Not necessarily derogatory.
  • Woos/Wooz: A cowardly or soft hearted person.
  • Yank: An American.


crocodile dundee
Crikey, cobber. Are you pullin’ me leg? Fair go!

These ones always make people laugh and there are a few here I rarely use. But I’ve heard every one of these more than once in my life and in my mind, they’re the best bits about Australian slang. Brace for amusement.

  • Back of Bourke: A long way away. See also Beyond the Black Stump
  • Built like a brick shit-house: Muscular or broad shouldered. Ex: Did you see him? He’s built like a brick shit house!
  • Busy as a cat burying shit: Busy.
  • Chuck a wobbly: To overreact to something.
  • Cross as a frog in a sock: Very angry.
  • Dingo’s breakfast: A yawn, a piss, and a look around. The absence of food.
  • Dry as a nun’s nasty: Very dry.
  • Fair suck of the sav: An expression of shock and disbelief.
  • Flat out like a lizard drinking: Very busy.
  • Give it a burl: Give something a true. Ex: Ah mate, I’ll give it a burl.
  • Give them the flick: To break up with somebody. Ex: Yeah, he was cheatin’ on me so I had to give him the flick.
  • Goes off like a frog in a sock: Pretty terrific.
  • Grinning like a shot fox: Satisfied. Happy.
  • Had a gutful: Fed up. Ex: Mate, I’ve had a gutful of your shit. Fuck off.
  • Have a gander: To take a quick look.
  • Have tickets on oneself: To have a high opinion of oneself.
  • I hope your chickens turn to emus and kick your dunny door down: I wish bad luck upon you, good sir.
  • I’m not here to fuck spiders: Why else would I be here? Ex: Want a beer, mate? Well, I’m not here to fuck spiders.
  • Lower than a dead dingo’s donger: Depressed.
  • Mad as a cut snake: Furious. Ex: Leave him be, Bruce. He’s mad as a cut snake right now.
  • Off his face/off her chops: To be very drunk. Either one is fine for either sex.
  • Piece of piss: Easy.
  • Pissed as a fart: Really drunk.
  • Pour yourself a glass of concrete (and harden the fuck up): Stop complaining. Ex: Oh, you cut your finger? Pour yourself a glass of concrete, sunshine.
  • Put it on the Never Never: Pay for something with a credit card.
  • She’ll be right: It will all be okay.
  • Spit the dummy: To become very angry. To have a tantrum.
  • Stands out like a dog’s balls: Obvious. See also Stands out like a shag on a rock.
  • Strike a light!: An exclamation of surprise or frustration.
  • Taking the mickey/Taking the piss: Making fun of somebody or something.
  • That’d be right: Accepting bad news. Ex: She’s not coming? That’d be right.


funny australia map
Pretty accurate, actually.

Didn’t find it anywhere above? There’s a good chance that enigmatic piece of Australian slang that’s had you scratching your head can be found below. It’s a messy little mish-mash of words and exclamations, but that’s why God (or was it Steve Jobs?) invented the search function.

  • Arvo: Afternoon.
  • Aveagoodweekend: Have a good weekend.
  • Beaut/Beauty: Something good. Ex: I just won the lottery. You beauty!
  • Big Note: To self promote. See also ‘talk up’.
  • Big Smoke: City.
  • Bloke: Man.
  • Bloody: Very. Ex: It’s bloody hot out today.
  • Blowie: Short for blow-fly. A large variety of fly in Australia.
  • Bogged: Stuck in the mud in a car.
  • Boondoggle: An expensive waste of money. A white elephant.
  • Bonza: Very good.
  • Bored shitless: Especially bored.
  • BrisVegas: Brisbane.
  • Cactus: Not working. Broken. Ex: Nah mate, I can’t make it; my car’s cactus.
  • Cark It: To die. Ex: Didn’t you hear? Her mother carked it on Sunday.
  • Chrissy: Short for Christmas.
  • Chuck: To throw or pass. Ex: Chuck us a beer, would you?
  • Chuck on: To turn on. Ex: Chuck on the telly, Kev.
  • Cleanskin: Unlabelled wine.
  • Cranky: In a bad mood.
  • Crikey: An exclamation of surprise.
  • Crook: Sick or unwell. Ex: Yeah mate, she’s real crook.
  • Cubby House: A small outdoor play-house. A tree house without the tree.
  • Daks/Strides: Pants. Trousers.
  • Date: Asshole. Anus. Ex: Did you see that? That guy just flashed his date at us.
  • Deadset: True.
  • Dinky Di: The real deal. Legitimate.
  • Dole, the: Unemployment benefits. Ex: Yeah, I’m on the dole, eh?
  • Dob: To tell on somebody or rat them out. Ex: You’re smoking? I’m going to dob on you!
  • Docket: Receipt. Bill.
  • Doovalacky: Gizmo. Fancy gadget.
  • Doozy: An exceptional event or occurrence. Ex: That party was a doozy!
  • Dumper: A wave that ‘dumps’ a person on their ass or head.
  • Dunny: Toilet.
  • Earbash: To talk at or yell at incessently. Ex: Mate, she gave me an ear-bashing last night.
  • Fair dinkum:┬áLegitimate. True. Can be used as a question or a statement. Ex: Are you being fair dinkum, mate?
  • Fair go: A chance. Ex: Mate, you didn’t even give me a fair go. How fucked is that?
  • Fossick: To prospect for gems or minerals. Also, to look for something in general.
  • Fucked: Broken or unfair. Ex: It’s fucked.
  • Furphy: A lie or rumour.
  • Gob: Mouth.
  • Gone walkabout: Missing. Departed.
  • Good onya: Good job. Kudos.
  • Grog Bog/Bog Baby: The painful (and usually foul smelling) bowel movement one makes after a night of drinking.
  • Grouse: Good. Ex: A new iPhone? That’s pretty grouse!
  • Grundies/Undies: Underwear.
  • Gyno: Gynecologist.
  • Heaps: Lots.
  • Hooroo: Goodbye.
  • Kindie: Short for kindergarten.
  • Knock back: To reject. Ex: I had to knock the job back, mate.
  • Laughing tackle/laughing gear: Face or smile.
  • Mate’s rates: Discount for a friend.
  • Mob: A group of people.
  • Mobile phone: Cellphone.
  • Mozzie: Short for mosquito.
  • Nah yeah: Yes.
  • Nipper: A child.
  • No worries/no dramas: Not a problem. You’re welcome.
  • Nuddy: Naked. Ex: Yeah mate, I had to run around the Gabba in the nuddy.
  • Oi: Pay attention. Ex: Oi! Look at that sheila’s tits!
  • Olds: Parents. Ex: I’m going round to the olds’ place tonight.
  • Op Shop/Vinnies/Salvos: Goodwill or thrift store.
  • Out in the Sticks: In a rural area.
  • Pig’s arse: Not true. Bullshit.Ex: You slept with her? Aw, pig’s arse you did!
  • Pokies: Video poker machines. Slot machines.
  • Pommy Shower: To wear deodorant instead of showering.
  • Porky Pie: A lie. Ex: Mate, you’re telling porky pies!
  • Prezzie: Short for present.
  • Rack off: Get lost. Go away.
  • Reckon: Think. Ex: What do you reckon, mate?
  • Ridgy-didge: The real deal. Authentic.
  • Rip snorter: A great time. Ex: That party last night was a bloody rip-snorter!
  • Ripper: Good. Great. Ex: We won? You little ripper!
  • Rock up: To arrive. Ex: You can’t just rock up without calling, Shane.
  • Ropeable: Very unhappy.
  • Rort: To cheat or rip off. An unfair deal. Ex: Tickets to the Acca Dacca concert are a bloody rort!
  • Rubbish: Not true. Also, trash.
  • Scratchie: A scratch lottery ticket.
  • Shart: A fart with ‘follow through’ of the messy variety.
  • Shit house: Not good.
  • Shit Tonne/Metric Shitload: A lot. See also fuck tonne.
  • Sickie: Short for sick day. Ex: I don’t reckon I’ll go into work tomorrow. Might chuck a sickie.
  • She’ll be right: It will be okay.
  • Shoot through: Leave.
  • Shout: To pay for somebody else’s purchase. Ex: Your shout, mate. I’ll take a schooner of New.
  • Snarky/Stroppy: Being snide or critical. Short tempered.
  • Spewing: Vomiting. Or very angry.
  • Spiffy: Nice. Ex: That’s a nice hat, Shazza. Pretty spiffy!
  • Sprung: Caught doing something you shouldn’t be.
  • Squizz: A look. Ex: Give us a squizz, mate.
  • Strewth: An exclamation of surprise.
  • Stoked: Very pleased.
  • Stuffed: Tired. Not working anymore.
  • Tee up: Set up. Ex: I teed up an appointment at me gyno for tomorrow.
  • Telly: Short for television.
  • Thongs: Sandals. Flip flops.
  • Too right: Yes. Correct.
  • Uni: University. College.
  • Up oneself: To be arrogant or self obsessed. Ex: Don’t even talk to her, mate. She’s up herself.
  • Up someone: To be angry at somebody. Ex: She’s gonna get up you when she sees you, Trev.
  • Ute: Pickup truck.
  • Wag: To skip school.
  • Whinge: Complain.
  • Within Cooee: Nearby. Ex: Yeah mate. It’s within cooee of here. Just keep walking.
  • Wog: Influenza. Common cold.
  • Yak: Talk. Ex: Quit your yakking back there!
  • Yarn: A story. Ex: Tell us a yarn, Billy.
  • Yeah Nah: No. Ex: Yeah nah, I can’t make it this weekend, eh?
  • Yewy: U-turn. Ex: Mate, just chuck a yewy and we’ll be there.
  • Youse: You (multiple people). You all. Ex: Youse guys had better shut up.

Any missing?

I am 100% certain I haven’t covered the whole tapestry of words and images that make up Australian slang, so I need your help. If it’s not here, tell me! I want this to be a fun little resource for people, and that means getting as many words and phrases in as I can.

Strewth, mate! You’d think I was trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Just chuck us a few words and she’ll be right.

Headed to Australia?

You’ve brushed up on your Aussie lingo, so now it’s time to plan that dream trip to Australia!

Check out the Ultimate Australia Bucket List for some inspiration!

how to speak australian slang dictionary

From Facebook