A Beginner’s Guide to Speaking Australian

A Beginner’s Guide to Speaking Australian

Although Australia is an English speaking country, arriving into the country with little knowledge of the “Aussie slang” may just get into you into a few awkward situations. Aussies have a tendency to shorten most words in the English vocabulary.

So, whether you are dreaming of visiting Australia, have just arrived or have been in this gigantic island of paradise for a while, there are a few Australian terms that you should know to help you get through day to life. You will soon become accustomed to this. Here are a list of some common terms that should help you get by…

A Cold One – Beer

Arvo – Afternoon

Aussie salute – Wave to scare the flies

Bail – to cancel plans

Barbie – Barbecue

Bathers – Swimsuit

Bea – Beer

Beauty! – Great!

Billabong – A pond in a dry riverbed

Billy – Teapot (In the Outback on the fire)

Bloody – very. Used to extenuate a point

Booze Bus – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers

Brekky – Breakfast

Brolly – Umbrella

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.

Cab – Sav – Cabernet Sauvignon

Cactus – Dead, Broken

Choc A Bloc – Full

Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit

Chrissie – Christmas

Ciggy – a Cigarette

Clucky – feeling maternal

Cobber – Very good friend

Coppas – Policemen

Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook’

Deadset – True

Devo – Devastated

Dunny – Toilet

Esky – an insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers)

F*ck Me Dead – that’s unfortunate, that surprises me

Fair dinkum – Honestly?

Frothy – Beer

G’day – Hello

Going off – busy, lots of people

Good Onya – Good work

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.

Hard yakka – Hard work

Heaps – loads, lots, many

Knickers – female underwear

Legless – Someone who is really drunk

Lollies – Sweets

Maccas – McDonalds

No Worries – it’s Ok

Nuddy – Naked

Pash – to kiss

Piece of Piss – easy

Piss Off – go away, get lost

Piss Up – a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions

Piss – to urinate

Pissed – Intoxicated, Drunk

Reckon – for sure

Root Rat – someone who enjoys sex (maybe a little too much)

Rooted – Tired

Runners – Trainers, Sneakers

Servo Service Station

Sickie – a sick day off work

Slab – a carton of beers

Snag – Sausage

Stiffy – Erection

Stoked – Happy, Pleased

Straya – Australia

Stubbie – a big Beer

Stuffed -Tired

Swag – Single tent

Tea – Dinner

Thongs – Flip Flops (or Jandals in New Zealand). 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.

Tucker – Food

U-IE – to take a U-Turn when driving

Ya – You


Bet you haven’t heard this one, “Put some snags on the barbie” – this is a statement you’ll hear way more often than “Put a shrimp on the barbie“… why? Well because snags, i.e. sausages, exist, whereas in Australia shrimps don’t… they’re known as prawns!


Once you’ve been in Australia for, well, an hour, you’ll notice that nearly every word has an ‘o’ on the end of it. It might equally be helpful to share with you what not to say in Australia, such as “fanny” pack.” Something to keep in mind is that a “fanny” in Australia is not the derrière, but instead..well you get the drift.


Looking to travel to Australia to learn first hand? Then call us at 1-800-788-0829, we are experts at creating dream vacations just perfect for you!