Australian slang is so unique and varied that it deserves an article all of its own. Many of the words or phrases that make up Australian slang have become so common, in fact, that they’ve practically replaced their original words in everyday vocabulary.
If you’re new to Australia, or you’re planning to make a trip (now that international travel is back on the cards) then it’s worth getting clued up on some Australian slang, so you can understand what an Australian actually means when they’re talking to you.
Have a look through this list of well over 100 Australian slang words and phrases. We’ll be sure to continue to add any new ones we hear too, so be sure to check back often.
A Cold One – A beer
Accadacca – How Australians refer to Australian rock band AC/DC
Ambo – Ambulance
Ankle Biter – Child
Arc up – To lose one’s temper
Arvo – Afternoon
Aussie Salute – Wave to scare the flies
Avo – Avocado
Bail – To cancel plans. “Are you going to the party tonight?” “Nah, I’m gonna bail.”
Barbie – Barbecue
Bathers – Swimsuit
Beauty! – Often said as “You Beauty” or “What a beaut.’ To say something is great.
Billabong – A pond in a dry riverbed
Billy – Teapot (In the Outback on the fire)
Blonk – Another word for an idiot
Bloody – Very. Used to extenuate a point
Bloody oath – To say something is true, or to agree with someone. “Did your mate drink an entire carton of beer?” “Bloody oath he did.” You may also hear some Australians exchange the word ‘bloody’ for ‘f***ing’.
Blotto – Very drunk. “Did you have much to drink last night?” “Ah mate, I was blotto.”
Blow in – Someone who is uninvited, or is a new arrival in a town or city.
Bludger – A lazy person, generally also who relies on others. If someone receives government payments, they may be referred to as a “dole bludger.”
Bogan – Used to refer to someone deemed to be unsophisticated, in regard to how they dress, speak and act. Can be compared with the American “Redneck.”
Booze Bus – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers
Bottle-O – Somewhere to buy alcohol. Australia doesn’t sell alcohol in supermarkets like some other countries, so has dedicated shops, “Bottle-Os” for all your alcohol needs.
Brasco – Another word for ‘toilet’
Brekky – Breakfast
Brolly – Umbrella
Bruce – An Australian man
Bubbler – A water fountain
Buckley’s Chance – Little chance
Budgie Smugglers – Speedos
Buggered – Exhausted
Bush – Used to describe incredibly rural parts of Australia. Also known as the Outback.
Cab Sav – Cabernet Sauvignon
Cactus – Dead, Broken
Choc A Bloc – Full – “This restaurant is choc a bloc.”
Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit
Chook – Chicken
Chrissie – Christmas
Chuck us – To ask for something. “Chuck us a towel would ya?”
Ciggy – A cigarette
Clucky – Feeling maternal
Cobber – A very good friend. ‘Alright me ‘ol cobber’.
Coldie – Another version of “a cold one”, to describe a beer.
Coppers – Policemen
Cop shop – Police station
Crack the shits – Getting angry at someone or something
Crikey – An expression of surprise
Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook’
C*nt, the “C” word – The “C” word is an interesting one in Australia, as its meaning depends on how it’s said. If used in an aggressive tone, it means the person is insulting you. But, if it’s said in a more lighthearted tone, then it’s another way of saying “mate.”
Dag – Someone who’s a bit of a nerd or geek.
Daks – Trousers. ‘Tracky daks’ – tracksuit pants
Dardy – meaning “cool”, is used amongst South West Australian Aboriginal peoples and has also been adopted by non-indigenous teens.
Deadset – True
Defo – Definitely
Devo – Devastated
Donk – A car engine
Drongo – A Fool, ‘Don’t be a drongo mate’
Dunny – Toilet
Durry – Cigarette
Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers)
Facey – Facebook
Fair Dinkum – Used as an expression of approval. “They were asking a lot for the car, but fair dinkum considering how new it is.”
Fang – Can have multiple uses. Most commonly used in place of ‘throw’ or ‘pass’, “Fang us a chip will ya mate?”. But can also mean driving as fast as you can.
Flannie / Flanno – Flannel shirt
Flat out – Really busy – “I’m so flat out today I haven’t had a chance to see your message”
Footy – Football, usually AFL or NRL.
Frothy – Beer
F*ck Me Dead – That’s unfortunate, that surprises me
Furphy – Rumours or stories that are improbable or absurd. Also the brand name of a beer.
G’day – Hello
Galah – An Australian cockatoo with a reputation for not being bright, hence a galah is also used to call someone a fool. But, they’re a loveable fool.
Get a dog up ya – To have a beer
Gnarly – Often used by surfers to describe something as being very good, or very challenging. “That was a gnarly surf today,” or “The waves today are so gnarly, I’m not sure if I’m going to head out.”
Going off – Used to describe somewhere as being busy, or to describe an angry person. “This club is going off tonight,” or “I’d avoid him right now, he’s going off.”
Good On Ya – Good work
Goon – Cheap, boxed wine that is adored by backpackers. Used to play various drinking games, such as “goon of fortune.”
Hard yakka – Hard work
Heaps – Lots, many, very. “It’s raining heaps today,” or “I’ve got heaps of work to do.”
Hoon – Hooligan
Iffy – Bit risky or unreasonable
Knickers – Female underwear
Lappy – Laptop
Larrikin – Someone who’s always up for a laugh
Legless – Someone who is really drunk
Lollies – Sweets
Maccas – McDonald’s
Manchester – Used to refer to homeware items such as sheets or towels. It’s not the English city.
Mongrel – Someone who’s a bit of a dick
Mozzie – Mosquito
Noah’s Ark – Australian rhyming slang for ‘shark’
No Drama – No problem
No Worries – No problem
No Wukkas – Yet another way of saying “no problem,” or “no worries.” No Wukkas is probably the most Australian way, however.
Nuddy – Naked
Old Mate – A replacement for someone’s name when referring to them. “I went to the pub with old mate the other day.”
Outback – The interior of Australia, “The Outback” is more remote than those areas named “the bush”
Pash – to kiss
Pommie – Used to describe someone from the UK
Piece of Piss – Easy
Piss Up – A party or some other social occasion. “Let’s have a piss-up this weekend.”
Pissed Off – Annoyed
Rack Off – The less offensive way to tell someone to ‘Eff off’
Rapt – Very happy
Rat dog – A bad person with no scruples
Reckon – For sure. ‘You Reckon?’… ‘I reckon!’
Rellie / Rello – Relatives
Ripper – Something that is good, or excellent. “How was the concert last night?”, “It was bloody ripper mate!”
Root – To have sex
Root Rat – Someone who sleeps around a lot
Rooted – Tired or Broken
Runners – Trainers, Sneakers
Sanger – Sandwich
Savvy B – Sauvignon Blanc
Servo – Service Station / Garage
Shark biscuit – Kids at the beach
Sheila – A woman
She’ll be apples – Everything will be alright
Shoot Through – To leave
Sick – Awesome; “that performance was so sick.”
Sickie – A sick day off work, or ‘to pull a sickie’ would be to take a day off when you aren’t actually sick
Skull – To down a beer
Slab – A carton/case of beers
Smoko – Cigarette break
Snag – Sausage – can be any meat
Sook – Someone who complains a lot
Stiffy – Erection
Stoked – Happy, Pleased “I’m so stoked for you.”
Straya – Australia
Strewth – An exclamation of surprise
Stubby – A bottle of beer
Stubby Holder – A fabric holder for your beer.
Stuffed – Tired
Sunnies – Sunglasses
Swag – Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag.
Tea – Dinner
Tinny – Tinny can be used to refer to a can of beer or small boat.
Thongs – Flip Flops.
True Blue – Genuinely Australian
Tucker – Food. ‘Bush Tucker’ tends to be food found in the Outback such as witchety grubs.
Two Up – A gambling game that is only legal to play on Anzac day.
U-IE – To take a U-Turn when driving, “Pull a u-ie up here mate.”
Up Yourself – Stuck up
Woop Woop – Middle of nowhere “he lives out woop woop”
Ya – You
Yobbo – A loud, inconsiderate, uncouth person. “That group of lads are leaving trash everywhere.” “Yeah, bloody yobbos.”
You Dog – Hope you get what’s coming to you
Yous – (Youse) plural of you
There you have it, some of the most common Australian slang words you’re practically guaranteed to come across during your time in Australia.