Australian Slang @tagxedo
Australian Slang

related: australia, language, slang
recommended listening: Word for Word
recommended viewing: Celebrating the Australian Accent
hashtag: #aussieslang
editing: Australia

Even a drongo can use a dongle!

Traveler Tip: If you are uncertain about a particular expression or word, just say, 'Hang on a moment, I'm not quite sure what you're on about.'

Top Faves: Waddaya reckon?

Arvo = Afternoon
As fit as a mallee bull = Very strong
Back of Bourke = Any remote outback area (Macquarie Dictionary)
Banana Bender = Person from Queensland
Barbecue stopper = Controversial topic of conversation, a social gaffe
Barrack = To shout encouragement for a player or team
Big Ask = To request an unreasonably large favor
Billabong = Smallish lake formed when the river path changes, leaving a branch with a dead end. Also called an oxbow lake
Biro = Ballpoint pen
Blinder = Excellent performance
Blower = Telephone
Bludger = Lazy person
Boots and all = Making every effort; with no holds barred
Bunghole = Mouth (feed that into your bunghole)
Bush tucker = Indigenous animals and plants
Chook = Chicken
Chunder = To vomit
Cracker = Something great!
Cracking = Great
Damp squib = Event which people think will be exciting but which is disappointing when it happens
Devo = Devastated
(The) Ditch = Tasmanian Sea
Dongle = USB Wi-Fi Thumbdrive
Drongo = Idiot
Drover = Herder
Fair dinkum = True
Flash = Ostentatious or showy
Flat out = Busy
Front bench = ?
Full on = Intense
Furphy = False or unreliable rumor (listen to Hindsight)
Galah = Fool, silly person. Named after the bird of the same name.
G'day 友達
Ginger = Red-head
Gumsucker = Person from Victoria
Hard yakka = Hard work
Hinterland = Countryside, backcountry; satellite urban/rural areas within 60-90 minute drive of metro areas
Humpy = Rough bush shelter
Jersey = Wool sweater
Killing the pig = Catching a lot of fish
Lurgy = Flu or cold, often described as the dreaded lurgy
Mate =
Mate's rate = Free (or at least cheaper than full price)
Mateship = Deep friendship
Mob = Group
Mongrel =
Mossie = Mosquito
Mouth organ = Harmonica
MP = Member of Parliament
No dramas = No worries
No wuz! = No worries
Not wrong = I agree emphatically
Nut out = To work through
Oz = Australia
Piece of Piss = Easy
Pissup = A gathering where a lot of alcohol is consumed
Pub Test =
Pulling up stumps = Moving house, changing address
Punter = Passenger
Push bike = Bike
Rat Run = To take a shortcut through back streets to avoid traffic lights or tollways (queensland)
Ready = Cash in hand
Reckon = To think
Ripsnorter = Something that is really great
Root = To have sex
Rubbity-dub = Pub (also shortened to rubbity)
Send 'er down Hughie = Make it rain
She'll be right = Everything will be okay
Sherbet = Alcoholic drink
Shout = To buy a round of drinks; to pay for something for another person.
Snag = Sausage
Spit the dummy = To lost one's temper ('dummy' is a pacifier)
Stoush = A brawl
Straya = Australia
Stroppy = Grumpy (Australia: are we the stroppy nation?)
Stubby Holder = Insulated holder for beer cans and bottles
Strewth = An exclamation expressing surprise
Stuff up = Blunder
Tacker = Child (young tacker)
Tall poppy syndrome = Tendency to criticize successful people
Toey = very nervous ('I'm a bit toey about this')
Under the pump = under pressure
Vegemite = Black paste with a salty taste best spread lightly on toast
White-anting = To subvert or undermine from within
Witchetty grub = Large, white larvae of several moths used as food

More Faves

Abattoir = Slaughterhouse
Balanda = European descent
Built like a brick shithouse =
Clean skin = Bottled wine that does not carry a label or any other identifying marks
Cotton Wool =
Crack the sads = To get very annoyed
Cracked the shits =
Dobber = informant
Double_dissolution = Procedure permitted under the Australian Constitution to resolve deadlocks between the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Flat out like a lizard drinking = Busy (We're inviting everyone who isn't flat out like a lizard drinking to join us.)
Flog = To sell something
Goodonya cobba! -
Gunna = Going to ('I'm gunna hit the piss this weekend.')
Horses for courses - Selecting suitable people for particular activities
I wouldn't be dead for quids = Aussie expression of lust for life
Jacked off - To get annoyed
Larrikin - Prankster (see: larrikin spirit)
Pearler - Great
Punt =
Reg Grundies = Underpants
Shit stirrer = Trouble maker
Shitstorm = Trouble
Sluggos, Budgie smuggler, Fish frighteners - Speedos
Swag - Blanket-roll containing personal belongings and useful items carried by a traveler
Shitstirrer =
Swag - Rolled up bedding, used by a swagman (Bilarni)
Tim Tam - Chocolate cookie
Cop a lot of stick =
Wang on =

Turn of Phrase

As unwelcome as an echidna in a balloon factory. (Wordwatch)

Star Wars Downunder


Double dissolution = procedure permitted under the Australian Constitution to resolve deadlocks between the House of Representatives and the Senate. If the conditions are satisfied (called a trigger), the government of the day can request the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of parliament and call a full election.
Election 2016: Australia heads for double dissolution on July 2 - AFR

Hung = A hung Parliament results when no party has more than half the MPs (Members of Parliament) in the House of Representatives, which means no party can pass laws without gaining support from other parties or independent members of the House.

Asio File

As featured in Macquarie Best Aussie Slang

- I hope your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down
- useful as a roo bar on a skateboard
- silly as a two-bob watch
- mad as a cut snake
- don't come the raw prawn with me

Australia/New Zealand English

Abseiling = Rappelling
Good on you = Good for you
Paddock = Agricultural or playing field

Aussie slang is as diverse as Australia itself - The Conversation

Wiki Essays

English Slang



Elsewhere on the Web

Aboriginal loanwords
A Dictionary of Ozian Terminology
Australian Rules Football Slang
Australian Lingo - Fun Trivia
Australian Slang - Koalanet
Celebrating the Australian Accent
Aussie Slang
Aussie Slang in German and American English
Index of Australian Words
Macquarie Dictionary - Aussie Word of the Week - Australian English - Facebook
Word Map
Website of the Australian National Corpus - @LocaliseEnglish
The story behind 'Australian English'

The Australian National Dictionary is a Dictionary of Australianisms. It includes words and meanings that have originated in Australia, or that have a greater currency or special significance here than elsewhere. While the first edition of the dictionary, published in 1998, contained about 10,000 headwords, compounds, idioms, and derivatives, this second edition contains over 16,000. New terms include Sorry Day, trackie daks, schmick, chardy, marn grook, mugachino, firie, rello, drop bear, shirtfront and not happy Jan.

Recommended Viewing

Celebrating the Australian Accent - Big Ideas
How to Speak Australians

Word for word

Recommended Listening

Word for Word is a new podcast from Macquarie Dictionary (

Word for Word is produced by Kate Sherington for Macquarie Dictionary and Pan Macmillan Australia.
Thanks are due to Sue Butler, Victoria Morgan, Melissa Kemble, Adrik Kemp and the whole team at Macquarie. Thanks also to Alex McKinnon and the good people at The Games Den for their favourite words.


Go behind the scenes with the dictionary editors, and meet some of Australia's most interesting word-lovers, from Scrabble champions to hip-hop artists. Favorite bits include favorite words including Freude Freude. "Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it."
Subscribe now on itunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or your favourite podcast app

Introducing Word for Word

#1 Good blokes & great guys

Thanks to the Sydney Hog Chapter for their favourite words: bastards, sensational, swain, paramour, pastizz, bugalugs, conciliation
Thanks to the St George Studio Potters Group for their favourite words: peculiar, calypso, pogonip, shemozzle, shit
Thanks to the Turramurra Dojo for their favourite words: antidisestablishmentarianism, knuckle, endeavour, unlucky
Thanks to the Pan Macmillan book club for their favourite words: petrichor, schadenfreude, freuden freuden, onomatopoeia, discombobulation, antiglobalist, cheese
Thanks to the Games Den for their favourite words: syzygy, obstreperous, singularity, defenestration/(de)fenestrated, subtle, susurration, moist

The etymology of country - Aboriginal English terms like country, deadly and gammon are part of the wider Australian vernacular while the latest edition of the Australian National Dictionary includes 536 words from Bundjalung to Yolngu Matha. The term country encodes cultural knowledge and also has a spiritual and philosophical dimension - the relationality of people to a certain place.

Expressions of Interest - The monthly segment exploring aspects of language, grammar and everyday phrases. In this instalment, the evolution of Australian English.

Australia's lost lingo - Lamenting what he calls 'Australia's lost language', Hugh Lunn continues to recapture the way we spoke back in the 1950s, in his latest book called Words Fail Me.

Aussie battlers: what's their story? - Hear tell how the words 'Aussie' and 'battler' came about. Bruce Moore explains, from his book What's Their Story? A History of Australian Words.

Australian comedy: what makes us laugh? - As this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival gets underway, Australia Talks looks at the comedy business in Australia and examines the Aussie sense of humour. What makes us laugh? What's shapes our distinctive sense of humour?

The Australian National Corpus: a big inventory of language in Australia - Kate Burridge launched the AustNC at Griffith University in Brisbane in March 2012. A great collection of language data, text-based as well as digital, has been launched online, so that documentation of Australia's linguistic landscape is now available for all.

Victoria Mielewska - Voice coach, Victoria Mielewska, has taught many actors how to assume an accent that is foreign to them.

Aussie slang - Kel Richards presents a range of words and phrases you'll hear regularly in Australia but nowhere else.

'Drunken slurring' unrelated to Aussie twang: Dr Howard Manns
If you've ever travelled, especially to another English-speaking country, chances are you'll have had your Aussie twang mentioned.


Australian Slang


Australian English

Words that are pronounced differently in Australia (compared to the USA)

aluminum - penalize - renaissance

Word for Word
Australian English has many fascinating stories, interesting etymologies, and wonderfully weird slang. The language is constantly evolving as the world around us changes; new words are created, meanings change, and other things get left behind. In Word for Word, we explore the surprising histories behind everyday words and phrases, go behind the scenes with the dictionary editors, and meet some of Australia's most interesting word-lovers, from Scrabble champions to hip-hop artists. Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it.

Subscribe now on iTunes, Soundcloud, or your favourite podcast app to get the first episode delivered direct to your inbox in November.


Embedded Tweets


Dick Smith Foods Australia Day 2013 - UNCENSORED from Dan Ilic on Vimeo.