G'day Mate - A Guide to Aussie Slang

Friday, October 23, 2015


Being an Aussie I'm used to all the random phrases and made up slang that we throw around on a daily basis. My international friends however, not so much! It's not until I sat down and thought about it that I realised just how odd some of what we say must sound!

There are so many weird and wonderful ways that us Aussie's pronounce words, shorten them and just talk in general that it'd take hours to go through it all. So for all the budding travellers who want to visit the Land Down Under, here's a quick guide to our local slang!

  • Arvo - short for afternoon
  • Away with the pixies/fairies - not listening, staring into space
  • Barbie - short for Barbecue
  • Big Smoke - the city
  • Bloody - very "i.e. that's bloody good of you"
  • Bloody oath - the truth or agreement i.e. "it's hot today" "bloody oath it is"
  • Bog standard - basic or ordinary
  • Bogan - we use a quite loosely, just think Crocodile Dundee!
  • Bottle-O - a alcohol / liquor store (like an off-licence)
  • Cark it - to die "i.e. my car decided to cark it this morning"
  • Chuck a Sickie - calling in sick for work when you're perfectly healthy
  • Chuck a U-e - perform a U-turn
  • Cold one - a beer "i.e. chuck us a cold one would you?"
  • Deadset - similar to bloody oath, means the truth "i.e. she's deadset gorgeous"
  • Dole bludger - someone receiving social welfare unjustifiably
  • Dunny - outside toilet or lavatory (not generally very flash!)
  • Fair dinkum - can be true or genuine "i.e. he's a fair dinkum bloke"
  • Fuck that - when said as a general comment means "no thanks" or "not likely"
  • G'day - short for good day but means hello
  • Going to town - to get angry and verbalise it "i.e. she went to town on him"
  • Good onya - well done or congratulations
  • Hard yakka - hard work
  • It's gone walkabout - something has gone missing
  • Loose cannon - out of control, doesn't conform "i.e. that guy's a loose cannon"
  • Off your face - drunk (very drunk...)
  • On the piss - to go drinking or get drunk
  • Put a sock in it - shut up
  • Rock up - to arrive "i.e. nice of you to rock up" (not generally positive)
  • Rooted - ruined or broken
  • Sheila - a woman
  • She'll be right - it'll be ok, no need to worry
  • Smoko - morning or afternoon tea, a break during the day
  • Sparrows fart - dawn "i.e. We got up at sparrows fart this morning"
  • Spit the dummy - get very upset or angry "i.e she really spit the dummy"
  • Spewin' - angry "i.e. He's spewin' about the cost"
  • Stoked - very pleased with something
  • Stunned mullet - surprised or bewildered
  • Thongs - flip-flops (not a g-string!)
  • Togs - bathing suits, bikini, board shorts, general beach/swim wear 
  • Woop woop - somewhere off the beaten track "i.e. we're in woop woop"
  • Ya right mate? - "can I help you" or "what do you need"
  • You beauty! - when something goes right, an exclamation of happiness

These are also some of my favourite Aussie phrases (which you may or may never hear!):

          A few stubbies short of a six-pack - someone who's not very smart

          Built like a brick shit-house - a big or strong person (generally a male)

          Face like a slapped arse - used to describe someone who looks unhappy or bored

          Flat out like a lizard drinking - just means the person is really busy!

          Fuck me dead - has nothing to do with sex, usually said as an exclamation of surprise!

          Kangaroos loose in the top paddock - intellectually challenged (like having a screw loose)

A few other things to remember

We like to add the letter O to the end of a lot of words (sometimes to shorten then). Things like smoko, servo, arvo or aggro are common terms. We also tend to make men's names end with an O, like Daveo, Johno, Steveo and Robo (yep, we're different!).

There are a few words to avoid using which are common for a lot of international visitors, like root. In Australia root is slang for having sex. I heard one of my English friends tell a shop assists she didn't need a hand, she was just rooting around (the look on the ladies face!). Avoid this one ;) Also, call a fanny-pack a bum-bag... just trust me!!


Be aware that it is quite common for Aussie's to swear in general conversation, so instead of saying "no thanks" someone might say "fuck that". Even saying "fuck off" can sometimes be said in a way that is not offensive and just means "oh shush". You're just going to have to judge body language on whether they're being serious!

Aussies have a very sarcastic sense of humour, so don't take anything too literally! Knowing how to take a joke is very important.

Got any more Aussie words and phrases you'd like to share? Feel free to comment below and I'll add them to the list! We have so many Aussie born and bred phrases it'd be impossible to list them all, but hopefully these few will help you decipher our weird and wacky local language!

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