Posts Tagged ‘lingo’

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He’s still spewin’ over the footy last night…

Do people say “crikey” a lot Down Under? In my experience, not as much as I had assumed they would. Except for the few times that I’ve heard “fair dinkum” via the generation older than me, I also haven’t heard much of the typical slang “g’day” or “sheila.”

I have to begin this blog with the slang I’ve heard firsthand in the Sydney-area. Slang throughout Australia can vary, so I’m just limiting what all I share here to what I actually have heard, and I will add to this list as my journey continues.

It might equally be helpful to share with you what not to say in Australia, such as “fanny” pack.” Something to keep in mind is that a “fanny” in Australia is not the derrière, but instead Aussies are referring to a woman’s genitalia. My advice is that you say instead that it’s a “belt bag” or “belt pouch,” as long as it’s anything but a “fanny” pack. I’ve tried to include below in my list as well a few other important words to remember avoiding, like “root.”

You can of course find lots of great slang dictionaries online, such as this handy Australian Slang Dictionary or Aussie Slang, but there will often be words or sayings listed there which the Aussies around you might never utter. Also note: Some words are proper English words, but they are the not the version one would say in American English.

Hopefully my growing list of Sydney-area sayings will help any newbies who come to stay as well, and do feel free to contact me with any additional words or sayings you feel should be added to the list.

Aboriginal = Relates to the indigenous peoples of Australia {Aborigines}
Aerial Ping Pong = Australian Rules Football
Aggie line = French drain
Aggro = Describes someone or something aggressive or aggression.
Air con = Air conditioning/conditioner
Aluminium =
Ankle biters = Little children
Arvo = Afternoon
Avo = Short for avocado
Backpacker = Young, foreign tourist visiting Australia. Often backpackers walk around with their backpack on their back, making them even more obvious.
Banger = Sausage
Barby = Or barbie; Grill or Barbecue grill {short for barbecue}; Click here for more
Bathers = Swimming suit
Behaviour = Behavior
Bench = {Or “benchtop”} Counter or countertop, especially in the kitchen
“Big night” = A very good time out with friends for the evening. Can even involve heavy partying all night long {sometimes with lots of drugs and/or alcohol], depending on who’s talking.
Bikie = Someone who rides a Harley Davidson, but most commonly used to describe the member of a bikie gang.
Bikkie = Cookie {short for biscuit}
Bloody = An adjective, used as an intensive: “Serves you bloody right.”
“Bloody oath = An expression used to stress a point or an opinion: “Are you going to talk to him about the mess he made?” “Bloody oath I am!” Read more here.
Blow in = Someone who is uninvited {eg at a party or someone who’s from out of town surfing}
Boardies = Slang for boardshorts, worn by surfers.
Bonnet = Hood {engine end} of a car.
Booger = Boogie/body boarder. Also called “sponger”.
Boot = Trunk end of a car.
Bottle-o = A liquor store {short for what Australians call a bottle shop; also the name of one of the bottle shops [here]}
Bowls = Lawn bowling
Brekkie = Breakfast; Also spelled brekky or breaky
Brisvegas = Nickname for Brisbane, Queensland
Brolly = Umbrella
Bub = Baby
Bucks = A bachelor party; The buck is the groom-to-be. Read more here.
Budgy smuggler = {Also: Budgie smuggler} Nickname for Speedo swimming trunks for men. Also called “ballhuggers”. Read more here.

Click here to watch video

Click on this image to watch the video

Bum = Butt
Bush = Foresty-area.
Bushie = Somebody who lives in the bush
B.Y.O. = Bring your own {alcohol/drinks}. There are some unlicensed restaurants where you bring your own wine {sometimes beer} into their establishment.
Cakage = The fee some restaurants will charge if you bring your own cake for a party.
Canadian passport = A mullet hairstyle
Capsicum = What we call in America a green pepper, for example, Aussies call it a {green} capsicum.
Centre = Center
Cheque = A personal bank check
Cheeky = Saucy; bold; smart-alecky
Chemist = Pharmacy
Chewie = Chewing gum
Chippy = Carpenter
Chook = Chicken
Chrissy = Christmas
“Chuck a sickie” = Call in sick to work for a day off.
Cleanskin = An unlabelled bottle of wine which usually costs a lot less.
Coathanger = The Sydney Harbour Bridge
Colour = Color
Cook top = Stove
Cordial = Flavored liquid concentrate that you add water to, similar to Kool-Aid {America}; available in a variety of flavors, like lemon barley.
Corkage = The fee a B.Y.O. restaurant will often charge for each bottle {eg wine} you bring into a restaurant that wasn’t bought on the premises.
“Couldn’t be bothered = Something Aussies say when they don’t want to do something: “I couldn’t be bothered going to the supermarket today.”
Cozzie = Swimming suit
Cracker = Something that’s great, like the best bargain for the day being the “cracker of the day.”
Crook = Ill or sick
Cubby house = Outdoor playhouse for children {or: cubby}
Cup Day = The day everyone watches the Melbourne Cup.
Cuppa — A hot beverage “Why don’t you come on over and we’ll talk about it over a cuppa?”
Dag = Someone who doesn’t dress well and/or has unrefined manners.
Dead horse = Tomato sauce
Dear = Expensive
Defo = Short for “definitely”
Diarrhoea = Diarrhea
Disco biscuit = Ecstasy {pill}; Also called “E” or “Jack and Jill”
Docket = Receipt or bill
Dog’s breakfast = A mess
Dog’s eye = Meat pie
Doona = Duvet {down- or fiber-filled quilt; comforter}
Draught = Pronounced “draft”, it’s just that. Just like Miller Genuine Draft.
Dummy = Pacifier {for a baby}
Dunny = Toilet {outdoors}
EFTPOS = Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale. This is called “direct debit” in America.
Ensuite = Master bathroom {attached to the master bedroom}
Entree = Appetizer {“main” or main course is what the American version of entree is called in Australia}
Esky = Ice cooler {some Americans call it an Igloo cooler}
Exy = Expensive
Fag = Cigarette
Fair dinkum = I haven’t yet heard this. If you do hear it, it means true or genuine.
Fairy floss = Cotton candy
Fanny = Slang for the vagina. In North America, this is an old way to say “butt.”
Feral = Someone who lives like they’re living out in the wild.
Fibre = Fiber
Fillet = Means the same thing, a strip of boneless meat/fish. Aussies pronounce it with the t… {or: filet}
Flanno = Flannel
Flat out = Some Aussies say “Flat out like a lizard drinking” to describe how supposedly busy they are.
Flat mate = Roommate
Flat white = Coffee with milk or cream.
Flavour = Flavor
Fly screen = Window screen
Foot path = Sidewalk
Footy = Australian rules football {the use of this varies in each region of Australian}
Fortnight = Once every two weeks; a period of consecutive 14 days {We understand this in America, but it’s not commonly said.}
Fussed = Bothered. “I just couldn’t be fussed calling him back last night.”
Gas = LPG {Liquid Petroleum Gas}; You don’t get gas for your car usually, but you do get gas for the barby.
“Get stuffed” = Piss off; get lost; go away {more via Urban Dictionary}
“Going off” = Something that’s going extremely well {eg the surf or a party}. “I’m glad I woke up early for a surf because the surf was really going off this morning.”
Good on ya = Great job or well done.
Grannie flat = A separate living accommodation, usually attached to the home or in a separate building in the back of the home.
Grommet = Someone who is new to surfing {usually a child}.
“Haitch” = This is how Aussies pronounce the letter H.
Hard yakka = Hard work {more here}
Heaps = A lot. “Thanks heaps!”
Hens = A bachelorette party; The hen is the bride-to-be. Read more here.
Herb = Means the same thing, but Aussies pronounce the h with it. “Herb” is also used in place of marijuana, in conversation.
“How ya going? = “How are you doing?” Very common to hear Aussies greeting each other this way. Also means someone is odd: “See that guy talking to that tree over there? He’s a bit how ya going.” Read more here.
Hungry Jack’s = Burger King {website}

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Click the image to see an old Aeroplane Jelly ad…

Jelly = Jell-O
Joey = A baby kangaroo or the name for any baby marsupial, including koalas and wombats.
Jumper = A pullover sweater
Kerb = Curb
Kindie = {Also: kindy} Kindergarten
Kip = Nap {also: in Dutch, a kip is a chicken}
Kiwi = Someone from New Zealand
Knackered = Pooped; Tired; Exhausted
Layby = Layaway
Light globe = Light bulb
Lippie = Lipstick
Lolly water = Soft drink
Loo = Toilet; Restroom
Loose cannon = Someone who is behaving out of control
Lounge room = Living room
Lung lolly = Cigarette
Maccas = Nickname for McDonald’s {pronounced mă-kahs or mackers}
“Mad as a cut snake” = A crazy or a very angry person
Malaka = Greek for “masturbate”, it holds the same usage in Australia as “wanker”. Heard in areas of Sydney.
Maori = Native people of New Zealand. This means “original people” or “local people”, and it was given to the original inhabitants of New Zealand by the European settlers.
Mash = Mashed potatoes
Maths = Math or mathematics
Mate = Friend/Buddy
Mate’s rates = Discounted price for, e.g. work services, from a friend.
Me = Depending on where you are and who you are talking to, some Aussies say “me” in place of “my”, so instead of asking “Where are my sunglasses?”, they might say “Where are me sunnies?”
Metre = Meter
Mould = Mold
Mozzies = {or: mossie} Mosquitoes
Nappies = Diapers
Neighbourhood = Neighborhood
Nits = Lice
“No dramas = See “no worries”
“No worries = They do say this and often. It generally means “don’t worry about it” or “no problem.”
Noughts & Crosses = Tic-Tac-Toe
Ocker = A person with poor social skills/manners, often speaking with a strine. Read more here.
Odour = Odor
“Off your head” = High on drugs. “Caz was totally off her head last night at the party.”
“On the DOL” = Collecting unemployment payments from the Department of Labour {click here for more}; Also nicknamed “Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Aussies.
“On the piss = Drinking alcohol
One-off = Something that is one of a kind; made, happening or done only once.
Outback = The barren lands
Pacer = Mechanical pencil. Also called a propelling pencil, it’s a pencil with refillable lead, used mostly for technical drawings. Aussies usually don’t call it a mechanical pencil and/or understand that name. Other names it’s called around the world are: automatic pencil, drafting pencil, technical pencil, click pencil, clutch pencil, leadholder, pen pencil, and spacer {via Wikipedia}.
Paddle Pop = A popsicle-type frozen treat {website here}.
Paella = Aussies pronounce this incorrectly. They’ve Aussie-fied it. They say something close to “Pay Ella” instead.
Pash = Passionate kiss
Passion Pop = A cheap fizzy drink that some youth drink to get drunk {more about this here}.
“Peninshoola” = How Aussies say “peninsula”
Petrol = Gasoline; Fuel
“Piss off” = Go away; get stuffed; get lost
Pissed = Drunk
Pohm = {Also: Pom; Pommie; Pommy; Pohmmy; Pohmmie} A term used by Australians when referring to English people. Read more here.
Pokies = Poker machines
Poo man = Plumber
Poo tickets = Toilet paper
Postie = Postal worker

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Power point

Power point = Power/electrical outlet
Pram = Stroller {babystroller}
Prezzy = {or: pressie} A gift or a present
Pyjamas = Pajamas or pj’s
Rack = Cocaine {“They’re in the loo racking up again” = They’re doing cocaine in the bathroom again; “He was racked up last night” = He was high on cocaine last night}
Reckon = Figure; think; assume. “I reckon the summer will be a hot and dry one.”
Rego = Vehicle registration {click here for more info}
Rellie/Relo = A relative, family member
Reno = Short for renovation
Ripper = Great
Ripping = When something {eg surfing} is done really, really well {same as “killing it”}.
Rizzle = {or: rissle} RSL: Returned and Services League {about this here}
“Rock ‘n’ Roll” = Collecting unemployment payments from the Department of Labour; Also said by Aussies “On the DOL”. More here.
Rock up = Arrive or show up: “He rocked up to the party at about 11 last night.”
Rocket = {In food, eg salad} Arugula. See more about this here.
Rockmelon = Cantalope
Root = I now feel a bit embarrassed whenever I use the word root because in Australia it is both a verb and a noun used in place of f***. So I won’t say to a friend who is playing a game, “I’m rooting for you.” I’ll say “I’m cheering for you” instead. Even saying “root beer” seems to have taken on a whole new meaning…
Ropeable = Very angry.
RSL = Returned and Services League {about this here}; Also called the “Rizzle.”
Rubbish = Garbage. Also used to describe when something is ridiculous: “That music is rubbish.”
Rug up = Bundle up to keep warm when it’s cold outside.
Rumpus room = Family room; recreation room
Salvo = Salvation Army
Sanger = Sandwich
Savoury = A dish which is not sweet.
Scratchies = Scratch lottery tickets
Script = Prescription
Schoolies = {also: Leavers} High-school graduates who have completed their exams take a week-long vacation and this is what the students are called. Read more here.
Schooner = Pronounced “skooner,” it’s a large beer glass, generally holding a pint or more.
Scratchy = Scratch lottery ticket
Seppo = Originally a surfer term, a seppo {short for septic tank, rhymes with Yank} is an American surfer. Read more here.
Servo = Service/gas station

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Surfies in Burleigh Heads, Queensland

Shark biscuit = Amateur surfer
“Shedjool” = How Aussies say “schedule”
“She’ll be right = “Everything’s going to be OK.”
Shopping centre = Shopping center or shopping mall
Shout = Someone’s turn to buy a round of drinks: “It’s your shout, mate.”
Sickie = Calling in sick to work.
Sinking piss = Drinking alcohol at home {generally beer}
Smoko = Cigarette or coffee/tea break {a term used often on construction sites}. Read more here.
Snag = Sausage
Snag bag = Sausage roll
Soft drink = Pop or soda beverage; Many Aussies I’ve met in the Sydney-area don’t understand “pop”, but if you go to America most Americans will understand — Check out this map of what Americans call it per region…
Sook =
Someone who is tame or unoffending.
Sparky = Electrician
Spewin’ = Very angry: “He’s so mad, he’s spewin’”
Spit the dummy = To throw a fit or get upset about something. Read more here.
Sponge = A boogie board {a “sponger” is a boogie boarder}. Read more here.
Strine = Broad accent of Australian English. Read more here.
Stroppy = Copping an attitude
Stubbie = Bottle of beer

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Stubbie holder

Stubbie holder = Beer cozy/holder
Study = Den
Sunday surcharge = The 10% Sunday and public holiday surcharge at many restaurants, added on to your bill.
Sunnies = Sunglasses
Surfies = People who surf a lot
Suss = Size up or study something {ahead of time}; Or if someone seems a bit suspicious, you can call them suss.
Sweet as = Something they seemed to take from New Zealanders {“Kiwi’s”}, this means something is really good. “The surf was sweet as.” The point being you mentally fill in how sweet the surf was.
Swimmers = Bathing suit
Ta = Thanks a lot {said: tah}; My husband said this one in America to a cashier and she stood there puzzled until I explained to her that it’s how some Aussies say thanks.
TAFE = Training {or Technical} and Further Education. A school where vocational education courses are offered. Read more here.
Tap = Faucet
Tax File Number = Social Security Number {U.S.A.}
Ten-pin bowling = Bowling {U.S.A.-style}
Terry towelling = Terry cloth.
“The Lot” = Aussies say this when they mean “everything”. A burger with “the lot” means everything, for example. In this case, that typically means the beef patty with beetroot, egg, pineapple, cheese, bacon, onion, tomato {and/or tomato sauce}.
“The Mrs.” = {also: “Me Mrs.”} Someone’s wife.

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The Toaster

The Toaster = Also known as the “Toaster Building,” the Bennelong Apartments building, next to the Opera House in Sydney.
Thongs = Flip-flops. Typically the favorite favourite brand of thongs is Havaianas.
Tin lids = Kids
Tinny = Small aluminum boat or a can of beer
Tip = The garbage dump
Torch = Flashlight
Tosser = A useless idiot; a wanker “Jono can’t do anything right. What a tosser.”
Tracky = Tracksuit or sweats/sweat pants {also known as trackies or tracky dacks—read more here}
Tradie = Tradesman/woman
Trolley = Shopping cart; cart
Turps = Turpentine {short for mineral turpentine}; Also refers to alcohol “Did you get on the turps last night?”
Tyres = Tires {like on a vehicle}
Uluru = Aboriginal name for Ayers Rock. It is now known only as Uluru and best to refer to it as so.
Uni = University
“Up the duff” = Pregnant {usually referring to an unplanned pregnancy}
Ute = Pickup truck or utility vehicle {example here}
Veranda = Porch or balcony
Vico = Victoria
Walk of shame = Wearing the same dress clothes out in public in the morning, following a big party night.
Wanker = A ridiculous person
Whinge = Persistently and annoying complaining {somebody who does this would be a “whinger”}.
Whiteant = To deter someone from buying something by criticizing it.
Windscreen = Windsheild {on a vehicle}
Wobbly = Behavior behaviour that is either excitable or slightly off.
Woolie’s = Woolworths; woolen clothing
Woop Woop = Made up name for a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.
Yank = An American. Not intended to be offensive at all.
Yeew! = I hear a lot of Aussies saying this when they’re expressing excitement
Yewy = U-turn
“Zed” = This is how Aussies pronounce the letter Z

Last, but not least, a different kind of alphabet… I’m still learning this part, but here is what I notice so far. The letter H is often pronounced by Aussies as “haitch,” as opposed to how Americans pronounce it “aitch.” In addition, Aussies say the letter Z as “zed,” whereas Americans say “zee.” The letter O, for most of those who I know in the Sydney-area, in “two” sounds more like the German ö, so “two” sounds like it has a faint r or -er on the end. Even on the Qantas airline customer service telephone recording, the man sounds like he’s saying “twoer.” I also notice this sometimes whenever I hear someone here say “no” and “hello.” The letter A varies as well: the letter A without the letter R following gains an R-sound {“gnaw” becomes “gnarw”}, and the letter A with the letter R loses the R-sound {“shark” becomes “shahk”}.

Update: Sorry, dear readers, that I’ve not had time to update or reply, but your additions & corrections are definitely welcome in these comments. I’ll adjust or add when I do get free time. In the meantime, Aussie Aussie Aussie!! 🙂


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