100 Most Common Australian Slang Words and Sayings
In 2013, selfie became Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year. Guess who invented it? That’s right: Australians.
It is not the first Australian slang word or saying to make it to the wider English vocabulary. Aussies are known for their unique creativity when it comes to tweaking and rejuvenating our language. They wear sunnies with their cozzies, while cooking a barbie in the arvo. Many of these words were coined by adding the suffix ‘-ie’ in the end (just like Aussie), but there are more rules. There’s no real reason why Aussies do this except maybe to save time, effort and to sound more friendly.
Here are 100 popular Australian slang words, terms and sayings to sound like a local during your next trip in Down Under.
01. Acca Dacca
AC/DC, the rock band. Why spell it out when you can say it?
02. Aggro (or Agro)
When you are mad at someone or something, you’re aggro—short for “aggravated”.
03. Ankle biter
A child. Basically a child who is so little they can only reach an adult's ankles.
Afternoon. Aussies love hanging out in the arvo with a cold one.
Avocado. A fruit loved by most Aussies, some who even eat it with the Australian classic vegemite (a salty, distinct tasting spread). Here’s a fun new word, Avanavo = Have an avo.
To bail is to cancel plans. “He bailed on your birthday party last year too”.
Barbeque. What is summer without one of these? Throw some snags (“sausages”) on the barbie.
Short for “biscuit”, a.k.a. cookies in the States. See “Choccy” for how to use it in a sentence.
09. Bloody oath
Meaning “yes”, “true”, “100%”, “most definitely”. Can be used as an affirmative response to virtually anything.
Someone who is lazy. “Why do you keep skipping math class? You’re such a bludger”.
A person who is considered unsophisticated or unrefined, commonly associated by Aussies with someone of low socio-economic status.
A place where Aussies buy their alcohol, the local bottle shop.
Breakfast. “Why not avanavo for brekki on some toast.”
An umbrella. You don’t wanna forget your brolly when it's bucketing down rain outside.
15. Budgy Smugglers
Speedos, for men.
16. Cab sav
Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine, a personal fave slang of mine to use for a happy hour.
17. Choc-a-bloc (or Chock-a-block)
If a place is chock-a-block, it is full with either people or things, like cars in a parking lot.
Chocolate. “Can I have a choccy bikkie?”
A chicken. Yes, the animal. Most often used when ordering dinner.
Christmas. Most kids can’t wait for Santa to drop them a Chrissie prezzie in December.
21. Chuck a sickie
Taking a sick day when, more often than not, you’re not actually sick (and often just hungover).
Cigarette. Also commonly called a durry.
23. Cold one
A beer. “Hey mate, pass me a cold one.”
Swimming costume a.k.a. bathing suit a.k.a. bathers a.k.a. togs.
26. Crack the shits
To get pissed off or very angry at someone or something.
When you’re feeling crook, you’re either feeling unwell or angry. Crook comes from the old English verb for “bend” or “hook”, so basically when you’re feeling crook you’re feeling bent out of shape.
Devastated. “That’s defo a devo outcome, I’d crack the shits if that happened to me.”
A useless individual. Used as an insult.
Toilet. “Oh, I’m just gonna use the dunny real quick”.
Another slang word for “cigarette”. “Hey mate, pass me a durry”.
Cooler. “Don’t forget to pack the esky for camping this weekend”. It derives from the word “Eskimo”.
Expensive. “That watch is a little exy for my budget”.
Facebook. “Just gonna check Facey and see whose birthdays are coming up”.
36. Fair dinkum
Excellent. “That’s fair dinkum”. The term comes from “a fair day's work’” with the word dinkum being added by workers on Australian goldfields—din kum comes from the translation of “true gold” in one of the Chinese dialects that was spoken there.
37. Flat out
Extremely busy. “I’m flat out at work today”.
Football. “Wanna come watch the footy at me this weekend?”
39. Fruit loop
Crazy person, lunatic. “Ah, he’s a bloody fruit loop!”. Derived from the Froot Loops, a breakfast cereal brand that is a mixture of crazy different colors.
Hello, hey, hi!
When you’re gobsmacked by something it means you are shocked it happened or surprised you saw what you did. For example, if you saw a dog walking on two legs, you can bet you’d be gobsmacked.
42. Good on ya
An Aussie slang phrase for “good work”, “well done”. “Good on ya, mate!”
Really, very. ”That’s heaps good.”
“Goodbye” in Australian slang. Comes from the 1700s British word “hooray”.
45. Icy pole (or Ice block)
A popsicle. As a kid in Australia in the summer, this would be one of your favourite words!
Journalist. “Did you see what that Channel 7 journo said on the news last night?”
Kindergarten. Usually for kids aged 0-5 years old.
Laptop. I’m using my lappy to write this blog post now.
A person who is mischievous or unsophisticated, however has a good heart and is well liked. Often a jokester, likes to play pranks.
Candies, sweets. Basically every Aussie child's favourite after school snack.
52. Maccas (or Macca’s)
McDonald’s. After a big night out, you’ll likely end up at the Macca’s drive-thru. Fun fact: 55% of Aussies refer to McDonald’s by its slang nickname, so much that the fast-food chain used it as its new brand name in Australia!
53. Milk bar
The local general store, deli or corner shop. They don’t just sell milk.
Mushrooms, yum. Who doesn’t love a good pizza with mushies?
Musician, singer, instrumentalist or sound engineer. If you’re in the music industry, you’re a muso.
57. No wuckas
No worries, no problem. Basically when it’s all good, it’s no wuckas.
A passionate, romantic kiss.
59. Piece of piss
When something is considered easy, it’s a piece of piss.
The Australian slang term for “drunk” or “intoxicated”.
Pregnant. “My wife is preggas again with our second kid”.
Present. Birthday prezzies, Chrissie prezzies, Aussies love their prezzies.
A short of “Do you reckon?”, an Australian slang equivalent for “Do you think?”. Commonly used in a sentence as “ya reckon?”. “Ya reckon we should eat there tonight?”. Can also be used as a sarcastic response to something obvious.
Registration. “Make sure you update your car rego for the next year.”
Relatives. “Gotta love holidays with the relos.”
66. Rock up
To show up somewhere, usually without notice or last minute.
To have sex. Not the most romantic term, however.
For “service station”, meaning a gas station.
Aussie slang for “sandwich”.
A woman. Sheila initially was how Aussies would refer to Irish women, but eventually the name stuck as slang for women in general.
Sausage. Throw a few snags on the barbie and you’ll have happy guests.
A cigarette/smoke break.
A crybaby. Someone who is easily upset or who complains about little things.
74. Spag bol
The Australian short for “spaghetti bolognese”.
Annoyed, not happy, angry. “Did you see the dent he hit in my car? I’m spewin’.”
To take a squiz is to take a quick look at something. “Hey mate, take a squiz at this blog post”.
An Australian slang term for a nosy or overly inquisitive person.
Pleased. “I’m bloody stoked with those footy seats you got.”
Australia. Need I say more?
A 375ml bottle of beer. The name derives from the fact that these “stubby” beers are short in comparison to their 750ml bottles cousins.
82. Sweet as
Cool, really good, awesome. “That concert was sweet as, bro”.
A thing, a thingy, a thingamajig. Essentially, what you call something when you don’t know what it is.
85. Tinny (or Tinnie)
A can of beer. Also, a small tin boat. However Aussies usually use this word when referring to the alcoholic beverage as it’s served in a small tin can.
86. Trackies (or Trackie daks)
Short for “tradesman”, a skilled manual worker specialized in a particular craft that requires on-the-job training (electrician, carpenter, plumber, etc.).
You guessed it: A truck driver.
89. True blue
A real Australian. “Ah Sheila, she’s a true blue with the way she drinks that stubby”.
Trying to. “I’m really just tryna explain how Aussies speak.”
Food. Comes from bush tucker which is food such as bugs from the outback.
A U-turn. “Chuck a uey” is commonly said when driving to make a u-turn.
Ugg boots. For such a popular and comfy pair of shoes, the word Ugg actually comes from them being considered “ugly” by the wife of the very creator of the Ugg boots.
Underwear or panties. Also referred to as knickers.
95. Up yourself
A person who is up themselves is stuck up.
96. Veg out
To be lazy. “I’m just gonna veg out on the couch this arvo”.
98. Woop woop
Somewhere in the middle of “nowhere” or “very far away”. “Na, it’s in woop woop, can’t be bothered going that far”.
You, in plural form. “What are yous up to today?”
Ready for a visit Down Under now? Ye, Ye, Na (No) or Na, Na, Ye (Yes)?
Dana Gilden, Content Coordinator at Wix
An Australian-Israeli who loves to write and bake (in the kitchen and on the beach), is a singer/songwriter and a coffee addict.