Australian Slang

Before migrating to this land I now call home, I’ve read a few books about Australia at first to get better acquainted with its culture. Frankly, I didn’t know a lot about Australia when I was still in the Philippines. Most Filipinos at home dream of someday migrating to the US or Canada. Most Filipinos living in the metropolitan areas are well versed and accustomed to American culture.

Anyway, one of the things I’ve been warned about in the books is that Australians use a lot of slang. I guess you can say Americans use a lot of slang, too. The difference though is that I’m already aware of a lot of American slang.

The books also gave some examples of common Australian slang. I cannot remember which words were those but I can at least give you a list of the slang I’ve encountered in my five years here in Australia.

Arvo – afternoon
Aussie salute – brushing annoying flies away
Bikkie – biscuit / cookie
Bludger – lazy person
Brekkie – breakfast
Budgie smugglers – essentially, it means Speedos (the tight swimwear)
Bush – the uninhabited parts outside of towns
Chokkie – chocolate
Chook – chicken
Chrissie – Christmas
Chuck a sickie – take sick leave even though you are not actually sick
chuck – throw (as in Chuck in the bin for Throw it in the trash can)
Ciggies – cigarettes (ugh!)
Crook – sick, not feeling well
Compo – worker’s compensation (in case of work-related injuries)
Dag/Daggy – nerd/nerdy (or campy)
Daks – pants
Dob – tell on someone (as in what informants do)
Docket – receipt, bill
Doco – document, documentation
Dodgy – unreliable, of questionable quality
Esky – portable icebox (it’s actually a brand of icebox)
Fair dinkum – genuine, real deal
Fairy floss – cotton candy
Fags – cigarettes
Flake – shark flesh (when you see this in supermarkets, that means that fish is from a shark)
Footy – Australian Rules Footbal (according to my ex-boss, it doesn’t apply to Rugby)
Grouse – great, good
Heaps – lots (as in instead of “I have lots of work,” they may say “I have heaps of work.”)
Jumbuck – sheep (this is important because it’s part of the song Waltzing Matilda)
Larrikin – prankster
Lolly – candy
Maccas (pronounced as Mackers) – McDonalds (like the Filipino McDo)
Manchester – bedsheets
Mate – good friend (like the Filipino kabarkada)
Milk Bar – corner shop (like the Filipino sari-sari store but bigger)
Muck around – mess around
No dramas – no worries, no problems
Oz – Australia
Pash – passionate kiss
Perve – being a pervert
Pokies – poker machines
Pom – English man
Prawn – shrimp (obviously)
Prezzy – gift, present (as in Chrissie prezzy for Christmas gift)
Rego – registration (as in car rego for car registration)
Ripper – fantastic
Root – f*ck
Rubbish – garbage, trash (obviously)
Rubbish bin – trash can
She’ll be right! – it’ll be all right!
Stuffed – in trouble
Salvos – Salvation Army (or Salvo for a member of the Salvation Army)
Scratchy – instant scratch-away lottery ticket
Sheila – woman
Shout – turn to buy (like the Filipino pa-blowout)
Stoked – very pleased
Strine – Australian slang and pronunciation
Sunnies – sunglasses, shades
Tall poppy syndrome – like the Filipino crab mentality syndrome
Thongs – cheap rubber sandals (tsinelas)
Tucker – food
Uni – university
Ute – utility vehicle, pickup truck
Whinge – whine (as in whinger for whiner)
Yewy – U-turn

There are others but they are very obvious like Give it a go (Give it a try) or I reckon (I think) or No worries (no problems) or G’day (good day).

For more Australian slangs, you can read this:

Just added:
Someone commented asking for the slang to be used in sample sentences. You can read my attempt at composing sample sentences in Strine right here.

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Published in: on February 22, 2005 at 11:43 pm  Comments (10)  

10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. FAR OUT!!!! (in English meaning NO WAY!!!!)

  2. ang hirap naman poh~~!! huhu~~~:((

  3. 😉 oohh!! itz cooooooooool

  4. Thanks for the additions, Sohail. 🙂

  5. Got Some Mor slangs for ya mate:
    barbie-Barbecue cooking outdoors
    Beanie-Woolen cap or hat
    Bloke- Australian male
    BYO- Bring your own (alcohol to a restaurant, OR meat to a barbecue)
    Cheers-Enjoy, Thanks(in some way), way to say goodbye
    Crikey!- Surprise at something
    Cuppa-A cup of tea or coffee
    Down under-Australia and New Zealand
    Kiwi- A New Zealander
    Vegemite- A yeast extract used as a spread commonly on sandwiches or toas

  6. Bugger! I forgot about that.

  7. y didnt u add bugger 😦

  8. Hi kaiz,

    You can read my attempt at using the slangs in sentences in a recent post here:
    http://palabok.com/2006/08/use-that-strine-in-a-sentence/

    Hope you find it useful. 😀

  9. i wanna know how to use the australian slangs in the way of talking

  10. […] First, you must read up on Australian slang so that you’ll know what they mean when Australians use them. Next, you have to get used to the way they speak. One way to train yourself for this is to watch a lot of Australian TV programs. […]


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