Australian Slang Translated

Its clear that us Aussies are a lazy bunch, we shorten words or add an “O” to the end of a word, therefore creating our own language! We have compiled a list of Australian Slang to help the world understand us better!

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  • ambo – Paramedic, Ambulance Officer
  • bickie – biscut or cookie
  • arvo – afternoon
  • bloke – male, guy, boy
  • barbie – barbecue or BBQ
  • barra –  barramundi fish
  • bathers / togs / boardies: swimming costume / board shorts
  • bludger – Someone who wants something for nothing, person who does not work or works very little
  • boys in blue – Police
  • dob in – to betray or report someone to the authorities
  • budgy smugglers – swimming speedos (not boardshorts)
  • Aussie/Ozzy – person from Australia
  • ankle biter : small child (to me small annoying chilren)
  • bottle-o : liquor store
  • bush telly : campfire
  • cark it – to die
  • cheesed (off) – pissed off /angry
  • chook –  Chicken
  • chuck a wobbly – “throwing” a tantrum
  • Chuck a U-ey – Do a U-turn
  • dead set –used as an exclamation!
  • tinnie – a can of beer or a small aluminium boat
  • dead set against it – uncooperative
  • do your lolly or nana– to get very angry
  • dunny – toilet
  • mackas/maccas – McDonalds fast food
  • prawn – shrimp
  • ranga – person with red hair
  • kero – kerosene
  • esky – a portable icebox
  • fair dinkum – honest; genuine
  • full as a goog  –  full of food after a big meal
  • garbo – garbage collector /garbage man
  • goon – wine sold inside a bag and cardboard box
  • gutful – more than enough “I’ve had a gutful of this”
  • hoon – a stupid person or a fast or wreckless driver
  • larrikin – mischievous, wild or carefree person
  • local rag – local newspaper
  • mate – good or best friend (also used to talk to someone when you dont know their name)
  • metho – methylated spirits OR strong Alcoholic spirits
  • outback – the inland country far away from large cities (most of australia)
  • rego – vehicle registration
  • roo bar – metal bar fixed to the front of a vehicle to protect it against hitting kangaroos (also known as a bull bar)
  • sangers/sanga – sandwiches OR sausages
  • servo – a petrol station or gas station
  • shonky – poor quality
  • shotgun – shout it out when running towards the car and the front passenger seat of a vehicle is reserved for you (as long as you are the first to call it)
  • shrapnel – coins of a low denomination
  • sickie – a day taken off work, but not necessarily because of illness
  • smoko – a break from work, to smoke or just to take a break
  • snags  / sanga– sausages
  • speedo – vehicle speedometer
  • yobbo – a loud or stupid uncultivated person
  • stubby/stubby holder – a bottle of beer (330ml), holder for beer so you don’t get cold hands
Four friends with a fresh beer in a Beer garden close-up on beer stein.
  • tall poppy syndrome  – a cultural tendency to cut people down to size – criticism people who excel or achieve significantly and are arrogant about it.
  • top drop – a good tasting beer or wine
  • true blue – genuine
  • ute – open backed car or a “pick-up truck”
  • wag – to skip school or work
  • Billy/Billycan – lightweight cooking pot which is used on a campfire or a camping stove.
  • woop woop – out in the middle of no where
  • yakka – hard or heavy work
  • yonks ago (or yonks and yonks ago) – a long time ago
  • swag – a blanket roll of light bedding, great for camping

What odd Australian Slang have you heard?

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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  1. Great list!! I think ‘budgy smuggler’ has to be my favourite 🙂

    I’m an Aussie who has been living abroad for 12 years and have just returned home to explore my own backyard for a couple of months. And there is so much about Australia I didn’t realise I missed until now! ‘Aussie’ language is definitely one of them.

    I came across an ‘Aussie dictionary’ by Lonely Planet some years back which made me laugh – we certainly have a unique country!

  2. Hi Kellie!

    Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

    Us Aussies do have a funny language don’t we! I’m sure you won’t have a shortage of things to see and do here! We just got back from the Flinders, would highly recommend this if you haven’t already been! What a beautiful place! Keep your eyes out for our posts coming up shortly. We are also headed to Melbourne and the GOR in July and the Gold Coast in Decmeber! An action packed year!! Ill check out your site now, have a look at what adventures you have been up to!

  3. Flinders is next on my list, so that is good timing! I’ve been based in Adelaide (waiting for gallbladder surgery – yuck!) for a couple of months, so have been trying to break it up with a few short trips here and there, focusing on photography. Flinders in a couple of weeks – was thinking of basing myself at Rawnsley Station, near Hawker – so I’m looking forward to checking out your upcoming posts for inspiration and ideas!

  4. Hey Kellie!
    We should catch up for a coffee and chat about our travels!
    Would you be camping or staying in a cabin?
    We stayed at Rawnsley Park and Wilpena pound, both are pretty nice! I would say Wilpena for camping, they have fantastic bathroom and shower facilities. I’m at work now, had a quick look at your site, loved the pic of the day about the Emu, we had an encounter with one….. it was interesting to say the least… We will it out again tonight when I have a bit more time.

  5. Hey Tammy!
    hahah Luckily the Aussie men now were “boardies” rather than the good old “budgy smugglers” you still see some oldies wearing them but most guys seem to prefer boxers or boardies now a days 🙂 (thank goodness! – doesn’t leave much to the imagination)

  6. Streuth mate, that’s quite a list. Makes us sound like a mob of drongo;s, haha. Hooroo!

  7. Would love to chat more about our travels. Where are you based at the moment?

    I think I’ll be staying in a cabin and was checking out the YHA single room as it falls within my budget (on quite a tight one at the moment).

    I’m just recovering from a little surgery that has put a temporary stop to my travels but hope to get to the Flinders in a couple of weeks before I head out of Australia again for a while.

    I’m curious about your emu encounter…who came off second best?

  8. Hey Kellie!
    We are in Adelaide at the moment, fairly close to the city.
    Please do go to the FLinders is so beautiful!! Very peaceful and relaxing up there!

    Hmmm… The Emu… you will have to keep your eyes pealed and wait and see.. It will most likely be posted next week 🙂

    Hope your recovery goes well!!

  9. You bloody ripper! I recently moved back to Melbourne with my top notch Danish wife and have been flat out like a lizard drinking trying to knock some Aussie sensibility into her rather European vocab. This will be a great tool. I wrote a few down for her but they were about as useful as tits on a fish. Shared on my page as well. Nice one

  10. Wow that’s a beaut (another slang word I use a lot) list! Love it. I’ve used all of those words at least once in my lifetime. Never really think much of it when I am say it but gee we really are a lazy bunch. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Great list. So many lists of Aussie slang are so outdated and use terms that people just don’t say anymore. Having said that, I miss many of the funny old Australianisms my grandfather used to use like “not worth a brass razoo” (not worth anything) and the perennial favorite “stone the crows!”. I’m not sure about that spelling of budgie – no idea where the y came from!

  12. Thanks Jo!
    Yeah with my “research” i found a few interesting sites that were very outdated!
    One of my colleague’s at work is VERY Aussie and the things that come out of her mouth are worth writing down! She has the funniest sayings

  13. This is hilarious. It’s crazy how different english is in the US, England, Australia, Scotland etc. I lived 2,5 years in the US and I thought my english was really good until i ended up in the Scottish highlands and had some serious problems understanding the people. Your guide will be useful when I visit Australia.

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