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Spring Break! Essential Aussie lingo

By Edited Feb 7, 2014 0 0

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

We both speak the

Most visitors to Australia are confused at one time or another, by the local slang.

 Most Australian slang is a mixture of shortened English words, Cockney slang & local words.

 While this can vary slightly by region, there are a few common slang words or expressions to be aware of to make your trip a bit less confusing.


Aussie. Used to describe people from Australia but can be used by immigrants to describe anglo/saxon Australians only.
Bush. (countryside, outback) This doesn't apply to a single bush more the less populated areas of Australia.

Outback. (Central Australia) The quintessential Australian semi desert area.

The Reef, The Rock. (The Great Barrier Reef, Ayres Rock) A typical example of shortening place names.

Mate. (Buddy, friend, amigo). Used  by both women & men but more commonly used by men when addressing another man. Very useful, if you can't remember or don't know someones name!

Pub. (Public bar). Pubs are found all over Australia. Drinking hours & dress codes vary state to state.The drinking age is 18 years old & identification is often required. 

Beer Garden. Literally an outside area within the premises of a pub where alcohol can be consumed.

Shout or Shouting.  Australians love a drink! Both these terms do not refer to making a loud noise with your mouth! A shout is paying for a round of drinks, usually at a bar or pub." Who's shouting?" or "who's shout is it?" or "your shout mate!", all mean you're paying for the next round of drinks! The term probably originated from the drink order being shouted across heads to the barman in a crowded pub.

Slab.( a box of beer) Usually a box of 24.

Snags.(sausages) Essential BBQ component, loved by children & adults alike.

Sheila. (Girl, woman). Only really used these days by the older generation. These days its more common to to hear "chicks", "girls" or "ladies".  The term "bitches" should never be used as it is highly offensive to Australian women.

Love. (A term of affection). Same as mate, but used to address the opposite sex or children.

Dunny. (toilet/restroom)

Fag/ciggie/durrie.(cigarette) Many public places in Australia are now "smoke free". Fines are often inforced for non compliance.

Footy. (Football) This term varies from state to state, region to region. Footy can refer to Rugby League, Rugby Union, AFL or soccer. Going to the "footy" is a very popular weekend pastime.

Arvo. (afternoon) Australians love to shorten words. This is just one example.

Boot.(the trunk of a car/footwear) Don't confused the 2!

Torch.(flashlight) The other type involving fire is rarely used.

Tummy.(stomach)Used by adults & children.

Westie/Bogan/Houso.(redneck) Both terms are mainly used to rudely describe uneducated, often unemployed, working class people. These people ideally live in the outer suburbs of major cities often in public housing or poorer neighbourhoods. However the term is often used by people themselves to describe their cultural background.

Wog.(ethnic immigrant /virus/maggot)  The term "wog" was used in the 1950's-1980's to describe European migrants as a derogatory name, but is now rarely used due to political correctness, apart from rural areas. Many children of migrants describe themselves proudly as "wogs" to identify their heritage but you need to be very careful before using the term.  Caterpillars, maggots or moth larvae in foodstuffs are also called "wogs". Stating that you had a "stomach wog/bug" for example means that you had a stomach virus or food poisoning.


Fag/fairy/poofta.(a gay man) Another one to be really careful of!  Usually used to as a way of describing someones sexual orientation or as an insult to a non gay man. 

Aussie BBQ
Credit: Cosmos magazine


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