Australian Slang Vocabulary

In the mid-1990s I spent a couple years in the Melbourne, Australia area. Shortly after I returned, I compiled this list of over 550 Australian slang vocabulary terms while I learned how to build websites as a hobby. I recently found my old files and decided to repost the list.

If you know a term I have missed and would like it added, either comment with Facebook at the bottom of this page or send an email. I appreciate your help in growing this list again.


A.B.C.—Australian Broadcasting Corporation 

Abo—derogatory term for an Australian Aborigine 

Aborigine—Native inhabitant of Australia 

aggro—aggressive, aggravated; "Don't get so aggro, mate!" 

Alice—Alice Springs, Northern Territory; "The Alice" 


amber fluid—beer 

America's Cup—prestigious international yaght race 

antipodes—places on exactly opposite sides of the earth 

ANZAC—Australian and New Zealand Army Corp; war veteran 

Anzac Day—April 25; a national holiday celebrating the anniversary of ANZAC's landing at Gallipoli in 1915 

Apple Isle—Tasmania, Australia's island state 

arse—one's backside, buttocks; also means luck: "He's got more arse than class." 

arvo—afternoon; "We'll go this arvo." (pronounced 'avo') 

Aussie—Australian; "He's fair dinkum Aussie." 

Aussie Rules—Australian National Football, footy 

Australian Salute—to brush away flies with a hand movement 


award rate—minimum pay rate


back of beyond—an extremely remote place 

back o'Bourke—far outback; see above 

baked dinner—traditional roast and vegetable meal, usually baked leg of lamb 

banana bender—Queenslander 

banana land—the state of Queensland 

banger—sausage, (pronounced 'banga') 

barbie—a barbecue 

barrack—to cheer on (football teams, etc) 

bash—to attempt; "I'll have a bash; strike or hit; "I was bashed over the head with a bottle." 

bathers—swimsuit; see cossies, swimmers 

battler—one who struggles to make a living; underdog; "an Aussie battler", (pronounced 'battla') 

beanie—snug fit woolen cap which is turned up at the edges 

beaut—excellent, marvellous, "you beaut" 

beauty—expression of approval or agreement, (pronounced 'bewdy') 

beetroot—pickeled beets, popular on just about everything! 

beg yours—I beg your pardon 

belt up—shut up! 


bible basher—a devout person; clergyman 

bickie—cookie or biscuit 

bickies—money; "I'm making big bickies!" 

big-note—to inflate your status, position, achievements; "He's just big-noting himself." 

big smoke—the big city, usually refers to Sydney 

big wig—an important person or dignitary 

bigwiggin it—mixing with important people 


billabong—a natural water hole in a dried up river system 

billy—a metal container with fitted lid and handle used as a kettle. 

billy-tea—tea made in a billy over an open fire in the bush 


bite—to borrow or mooch, especially money or food; "Don't put the bite on me." 

bitumen—tarred road or blacktop (pronounced 'bich-U-men') 

black stump—far outback, toward Woop Woop 

Blind Freddy—a mythical character: "Even Blind Freddy could see that!" 

block—head: "knock your block off" 

bloke—a fellow 

bloody—the great Australian adjective; used as an intensive 

bloody oath—damn right; I agree! 

blotto—extremely drunk 

blowie—blow fly 

blow-in—arrive unexpectedly; a newcomer 

bludge(r)—to shirk responsibility or work; someone who lives or mooches off someone else 

blue—an argument or fight, "pick a blue"; a mistake; "a tactical blue" 

bluey—pack, equipment, traffic ticket 

bob—old currency equivalent to ten cents 

bodgie—inferior quality: "a bodgie repair job" 

boil the billy—make a cup of coffee, tea, or other hot drink 

bomb—an old junkie car 

bonnet—hood of a car 

bonzer—extremely good, "that's a bonzer idea" (pronounced bonza) 

boomer—large male kangaroo 

boot—car trunk 

booze bus—police van used for random breath testing for alcohol. 

boozer—a pub 

bo-peep—take a look, "have a bo-peep" 

bottle shop—liquor store (sometimes drive through liquor stores) 

Bottom of the Harbor—refers to tax evasion schemes 

bower bird—native Australian bird; also, person who collects and hoards odds and ends 

bowling club—club for lawn bowls, a popular sport down under 

bowser—petrol (gasoline) pumps 

Boxing Day—26th of December, a public holiday 

box seat, in the—most favoured position 

brass razoo, not a—nothing; no money at all; "I wouldn't give him a brass razoo." 


bring a plate—to take a plate of food as a contribution to a meal; pot luck 

Brissie—Brisbane, capital city of Queensland (pronounced Brizzie) 

brumby—a wild horse 


bull-bar—protective grid mounted on the front of a motor vehicle 

bull dust—very fine powdered dust found on dirt roads in the outback, also means nonsence or something that is not right. 

Buckley's chance—little or no hope or chance; "You've got two chances, yours and Buckley's." 

bugger—damn, "I don't give a bugger."; undesireable or unpleasant, "It's a bugger of a job." 

bugger-all—nothing, "there's bugger-all we can do" 

Bullamanka—imaginary place even beyond back of Bourke, way beyond the black stump. 

bung it on—deliberately exaggerating; putting on airs 

bush—the woods or forest; the country as opposed to the city 

bush tucker—native foods, usually in the outback. 

busker—street performer 


BYO—Bring Your Own alcoholic beverages to restaurant with no liquor license


caaarn!—traditional rallying cry at football games (contraction of "Come on!"). 

camp oven—large, cast-iron pot with a lid, for cooking on an open fire. 

can—of beer, tinnie 

capsicum—bell pepper 

caravan—motor home, travel trailer 


carton—a case of beer 

cask—wine box. 

chap or chappie—male person 

cheekie—smart reply 

cheerio—good bye 

chemist—pharmacist, pharmacy 

cheque—check dealing with money 

chewy—chewing gum 

chiko roll—Australian junk food. 

chin-wag—talk, "have a chin wag with your mates" 

chips—potato chips (crisps), french fries 

chockablock—jammed together; crammed full of something 


choko—an edible squash like vegetable 


Chrissie—Christmas, December 25th 

Christian name—first name 

chuck—throw or stage, "The child will chuck a fit!" 

chump—foolish person 

chunder—vomit, throw up 


cluey—informed; knowledgeable; "He's a very cluey bloke indeed!" 

cobber—friend, companion, mate 


come a gutser—make a bad mistake, have an accident 

come good—turn out all right. 

come raw the prawn—attempt to deceive someone by pretending innocent "Don't come raw the prawn with me, mate!" 

compo—compensation, usually for work related injuries 

conk—to hit someone. 

cooee, cooey—a call used to attract attention, within cooey means nearby 

corroboree—a spiritual gathering of Aborigines 

cossies—swimming costume; swimsuit, bathers, swimmers 

counter meal—meal taken at a hotel or pub at it's counter 

cow—an unpleasant or annoying thing, person or situation. (You cow!) 

crook—ill, "I feel crook." 

crust—livelihood or living, "I earn a crust by writing." 

cuppa—cup of tea, coffee, etc. "Boil the billy for a hot cuppa." 

curry—to give someone curry is to express anger at or verbally abuse 

cut lunch—sandwich


dag—funny person, nerd, goof, loser 


damper—Australian bushman's unleavened bread, made of flour, water, and baked in hot ashes 

dead set—indisputable, absolute; really! 

dear—expensive: "that restaraunt is dear" 

defacto—living together outside of marriage 


dice—reject; throw out 

didgeridoo—long hollow tree branch used as a musical instrument by Aboriginals 

digger—a term addressing a man, like mate, cobber 


dillybag—small bag to carry things. 

dingo—native wild dog of Australia 

dinkum—real; genuine 

dinky-di—the true thing; "a dinky-di Aussie" 

divvy van—police divisional van. 

dobber—a person who dobs someone in (see next entry) 

dob-in—inform or betray; "I was dobbed in by someone." 

docket—bill, receipt 

dole—unemloyment benefit; "on the dole" 

dole bludger—person preferring to collect a dole cheque rather than work for a living 

donkeys years—a long time 

doona—feather comforter, blanket 

Down Under—Australia and New Zealand; "the land Down Under" 

drink with the flies—to drink alone 

drongo—a foolish or useless person; person who is stupid; "bloody drongo" 

drop bundle—give up (he dropped the bundle) 

drove—to move or herd sheep or cattle 

drum—information, tip off: "I'll give you the drum" 

dry season—the season when it doesn't rain; "the dry" 

duco—car paint. 

dumper—wave that breaks suddenly hurling swimmers ashore with great force (pronounced 'dumpa') 


dunny—outhouse; loo; "I was all alone like a country dunny." 



earbash—talk incessently to someone; "She's a real ear-basher." 

emu—an ostrich like fast running bird native to Australia 

enzedder—New Zealander. 


esky—portable cooler for food and drinks 

everything's apples—everything is alright, in good order, under control 




fair crack of the whip!—fair go! 

fair-dinkum—unquestionable; true-blue; real; "A fair-dinkum Aussie" 

fair-go—equal treatment or opportunity; an even chance; "Most people just want a fair-go." 

fall pregnant—get pregnant 

fancy dress—masquerade costume; a fancy dress party is a costume party 

fix someone up—pay him what's due; attend to his needs 

flake—shark meat, used in fish and chips. 

flaming—bloody, damned; "a flamin' drongo" 


flat out—at top speed; all out; "flat out like a lizard drinking" 

flicks—movie or show 

flog—to sell 

flutter—a modest gamble or speculation; "lets have a flutter on the pokies" 

flying doctor service—medical unit visiting and transporting patients by air in the outback regions of Australia 

fob off—put someone off until a later date or time 

footy—Australian Rules Football 

fortnight—two week period; 14 days 

fossick—rummage or search for something 

Fosters—a brand of Aussie beer worth trying! (so I've been told) 

Fourex—a Queensland brewed beer; "make it a Fourex, mate!"; XXXX 

front up—to appear before; show up; "When's he gonna front up with my money?" 

fringe—bangs; the short hair at the front of ones head 



game - brave. 

galah - foolish person; also a species of native cockatoo 

gander - have a look. 

gaol - Australian and British spelling of "jail". 

garage - local petrol (gas) station or mechanic shop 

garbo - garbage collector 

garbologist - modern name for garbo 

G'day - hello (good day) 

give it a go - make an attempt; try; "Give it a go, ol' mate!" 

goanna - very large Australian lizard 

gob - mouth 

good oil - reliable information 

good on ya! - good for you, well done 

good sort - attractive female 

good sport - good sense of humor, willing to try anything 

grabber - greedy person; (pronounced grabba) 

Grand Final - final game of Aussie Rules footy, decides on premiereship 

grazier - sheep or cattle rancher 

green-grocer - fruit and vegetable shop 

greenie - conservationalist; enviromentalist 

grizzle - to complain. 

grog - booze; grogged up means drunk 

grouse - very good, unreal. 

grub - food 

Gulf Country - Gulf of Carpentaria in far north Queensland 

gum - eucalypt tree 

gutzer - some plans don't work out or to have an accident.


happy as Larry—completely happy and content 

hard case - a dry humourist 

have a bash - to have a try at something; to give it a go 

heaps - a lot of something; "heaps of money" 

hen's teeth, scarce as - very rare 

high falutin -(pronounced flootin')..pompous or pretentious 

hire - to rent, as "to hire a car". 

his nibs - the boss. 

hob knob - someone in high authority 

hob knobbin it - mixing with people in high authority 

holiday - vacation 

hooley - wild party. 

hooly-dooly - an expression of surprise. 

hoon - hooligan 

hoo roo - good bye 

hotel - often just a pub 

how are ya? - standard greeting. 

Hughie - slang expression for a fictitious "God"; "send down the rain Hughie" 

humpy - small shanty-like residence in disrepair 

Hungry Jacks - trading name for Burger King


icy pole - popcicle; lollypop 

identity - celebrity. 

in full feather - in fine health. 

in yer boot! - an expression of disagreement. 

it's a goer - something that will definitely occur.


jabiru - species of stork 

jackeroo - young man working on sheep or cattle station 

jack-in-the-box - person who can't sit still. 

jaffle - toasted sandwich made in waffle-like machine 

jillaroo - female jackaroo 

jingoes! - exclamation of wonder. 

joey - young kangaroo 

journo - journalist 

jumbuck - sheep 

jumper - not cables for your car! It is a sweater or pullover; also, a type of ant: jumping ant; (pronounced 'jumpa')


kangaroo - a native marsupial of Australia; "roo" 

kafuffle - argument. 

kero - kerosene 

kick - to share or join in. 

kiddies - children 

kilo - kilograms;(2.2 pounds) 

kip - sleep or nap. 

King's Cross - Sydney's red-light district; "The Cross" 

kiwi - A New Zealander; also, a type of fruit 

knackered - tired, tuckered out 

knickers - underwear 

knocker - one who criticizes 

knockback - refuse or reject 

knock off - to finish work: "Let's knock off early."; also steal: "I'm gonna knock off a surfboard!" 

knock out - to earn: "He knocks out a decent living." 

knocker - critical person (pronounced 'knocka') 

kombi - Volkswagon Van 

koala - native Australian marsupial mammal 

kookaburra - bird known for its laughter-like cry, also known as "bushman's alarm clock", "laughing jackass".


lairise - to behave in a vulgar, flamboyant manner. 

lamb-brained - stupid. 

lamington - square of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and coconut 

larrikin - mischevious person 

laughing gear - mouth 

lay-by - purchase on lay-away with small deposit 

lift - elevator 

lippies - lipstick 

litre - metric volume of approx. 1 3/4 pints 

lob in - arrive: "The rellies lobbed in for a visit." 

lolly - lollipop or sweet candy 

lolly water - soft drink, soda pop 

loo - dunny, outhouse, toilet 

lorrie - truck 

lot - everything, all of it: "hamburger with the lot" 

lotto - lottery, "Go lotto! Gotta be in it to win it!" 

Lucky Country, The - Australia, where else?


Macca's - McDonalds (fast food) 

manchester - household linen. 

mate - buddy, friend, cobber 

matey with - familiar or friendly with. 

matilda - the belongings of a swagman, wrapped in a blanket or bedroll. 

Melbourne Cup - horse race held the 1st Tuesday of every November in Melbourne, Victoria. All of Australia stops to watch this horse race begin (Victoria state holiday) 

mental - crazy 

metre - metric unit of measurement approx. 3ft 3in 

middie - glass of beer, 10oz 

midge - gnat-like insect, sand-fly 

milk bar - convenience store 

milko - milkman 

mince - ground meat 

mob - group; large number of: "mob of kangaroos" 

moke - small jeep-like vehicle 

Moreton Bay bug - shovelnosed lobster-like shellfish 

moreish - something is so good that you want more 

mozzie - mosquito 

mozzie coil - burning coil of insect repellant 

muck up - make a mess of; bungle 

muddie - mud crab (delicious to eat) 

muesli - granola 

mug - fool or gullible person 

mug's game - senseless or unprofitable activity 

mulga - remote wilderness, scrub, bush 

muso - musician 

muster - round up or gather, especially livestock 

my (bloody) oath - yes! of course! 

my shout - my turn to buy (a round of drinks, etc) 

my word. - no lies


naff - ridiculous, useless. 

nan - grandma 

nana - banana. 

nappy - diaper "Change the bub's nappy." 

nark - spoilsport. 

narked - annoyed. 

natter - chat or gossip: "Have a bit of a natter." 

neddies - horses. 

never-never - very remote bushland, near woop woop, beyond the black stump, far outback 

newsagent - newspaper dealer or shop 

nick - to steal. 

nick, in the - in jail; naked or nude; in good nick is in the good order 

nick out - go somewhere for short period of time. 

nipper - a junior lifesaver; also, small child 

nit - fool or idiot. 

no dramas - no problems 

no-hoper - useless person 

North Island - mainland Australia, according to someone in Tasmania. 

northern summer - summer in the Northern Hemisphere. 

no shortage of oscar - to be flush with money. 

not the full quid - not bright intellectually 

no worries - nevermind, it's no trouble 

not wrong, you're - you're right: "You're not wrong about that one, ol' mate!" 

nous - intelligence, common sense 

nuddy - nude: (pronounced nude-E) "They were swimming in the nuddy." 

nulla-nulla - wooden club used by Aborigines. 

num-nums - tasty food.


ocker - an uncultured, rough Australian 

offsider - partner or mate 

O.S. - overseas "he's gone O.S." 

outback - very remote area of Australia, it's the place that's never been reached, it's always elsewhere 

outstation - remote sheep or cattle station 

owyergoin - how are you going? Often used with "G'day" and "Mate" 

OYO - On your own (flat or apartment). 

oy! - an ocker's call. 

Oz - Australia, "the you beaut country"


packed out - filled to capacity. 

packet - large some of money, an envelope. 

paddock - field or meadow. 

pally - on friendly terms with. 

panel beater - auto body repair shop 

paper yabber - letter. 

parcel - package. 

pavers - paving stones 

pavlova - meringue cake topped with whipped cream and fruit, a traditional Australian dessert 

paw-paw - papaya 

pay packet - pay check 

peach - desirable or good looking 

pearl - excellent. 

peckish - hungry 

perv - a pervert; erotic gaze at somebody 

petrol - gasoline 

piffle - nonsense. 

pinch - to arrest, or steal 

pineapple, rough end of - stick, sharp end of. 

piss - alcoholic drink 

pissed - drunk 

platypus - native aquatic mammal 

plonk - cheap or low quality wine 

polly - politician 

poofter - homosexual (generally male) 

pokie - slot machine: "Play the pokies at the club." 

Pom, Pommie - British person 

post - mail: "post a letter" 

postcode - zip code 

postie - mailman 

pot - a 10oz glass of beer 

potch - worthless unformed opal 

possie - position 

prang - crash, collision: "got my car in a bit of a prang" 

prawn - shrimp; also, see come raw the prawn 

pressie - present or gift 

Proprietary (Pty.) - Company (Co.). 

pub - licensed hotel; the local bar 

punt - gamble or risk 

putt-putt - any small vehicle.


Q—thank you (mumbled). 

quack—doctor, especially if not very good. 

queue—line, form a queue or queue up 

quick smart—in a hurry. 

quid—English pound note in old Aussie currency


race, not in the—doesn't have a chance, out of luck 


randy—slang for lustful or horny 


ratbag—person with no common sense or respect for others 

rave—talk: "I'm going to have a rave with Jo at the pub." 

razoo—fictitious coin, as "I haven't a brass razoo". 

reckon—you bet! absolutely! 

red centre—the centre of Australia, the soil is litterally red! 

rego—car registration 


rich—excessive: "That was a bit rich of her." 

ridgy-didge—original, genuine 

right—okay: "She'll be right mate!" 

righto—to agree or all right then 

ripper—excellent person, thing, or idea (pronounced 'rippa') 

rissole—ball of meat mixed with bread crumbs 

road train—multi-trailered semi truck. 

rock melon—cantaloupe 


roo bar—see bull-bar 

root—vulgar slang for sexual intercourse 


ropeable—extremely angry, enraged 

rotten—drunk: "I went out last night and got rotten." 

row—quarrel, dispute: "They had a domestic row." 

RSL—Returned Services League, RSL clubs offer patrons meals, drinks, entertainment, pokies, etc. and are usually located in prominent town positions. 


rubbish—verbally put down someone or something; garbage 

rubbish bin—garbage can 

rug up—dress for warmth. 

runners—tennis shoes, sneakers, running shoes


sack—to dismiss from a job. 

salvo—member of the Salvation Army 

sand fly—see midge 

sandshoes—tennis shoes, runners 


sauce (tomato)—ketchup 

sausage roll—sausage meat baked in pastry 

schooner—large measure of beer 

scrub—thick bush "The city slicker got lost in the scrub" 

sealed road—surfaced road. 

see you in the soup—see you around. 

semitrailer—articulated truck. 

seppo (septic)—slang term for an American 

session—lengthy period of heavy drinking. 

shark biscuit—somebody new to surfing 

she’ll be right—it’ll be O.K. 

sheila—term referring to a female 

shoot through—leave in a hurry 

shop—the corner store 

shout—to buy or treat: "My shout, mate!" 

sickie—sick day from work 

silk shirt on a pig—something wasted. 

singlet—sleeveless underwear top, tank top 

sink the boot—drive fast. 


skite—boast or brag 

slab—case, carton of 24 bottles or cans of beer 

slob—an obnoxious, uncouth or slovenly person 

slog—hard work. 

sloppy joe—loose sweatshirt, jumper 

smash repairs—auto body shop, panel beater 

smoko—coffee break 


snob—one who over values his rank 

solicitor—attorney, lawyer 

spin a yarn—tell a tale 

spit the dummy—to lose one's temper

spot on—right on, a classic 

sport—more general way to refer to someone rather than a mate. 

spunky—good-looking, attractive as in "what a spunk". 

square off—to apologise. 

squatter—large landowner who originally occupied land as a tenant of the government. 

squattocracy—Australian "old money" folk, who made their fortunes by being first on the scene and grabbing the land. 

station—large ranch 

sticky—look: "have a sticky at" 

sticky beak—inquisitive nosy person 

stinks—something offensive (that stinks) 

stone—14 lbs; 6.35 kg 

strewth!—it's the truth! An exclamation, often of surprise. 

strides—daks, trousers. 

strife—trouble (of any kind) 

strine—Australian slang. 

stubbies—brand name of men’s shorts 

stubby—bottle of beer 


surname—last name 

swag—personal belongings 

swagman—hobo, wanderer 

sweet—all right: "it’s sweet" 


ta—thank you

T.A.B.—Totalisator Agency Board, administers of off-track betting 

ta da—good bye 

take away—take-out food. 

tall poppies—achievers, often a disparaging term. 


Taswegian—a person from Tasmania 

tea—a meal; dinner "evening tea" 


thingo—thing, whatchamacallit, hooza meebob, doo hicki, thingamajig. 

tick—time measurement "be back in a tick" 

tinned dog—canned meat (i.e. Spam) 

tinnie, tinny—can of beer 

tip—the dump: "Take the load of rubbish to the tip." 

togs—swimming suit 

tomato sauce—ketchup, (catsup) 

too right—yes, indeed! 


tongue-in-cheek—meant or expressed ironically 

tongue waggin'—a severe talking to someone 

troppo—crazy in the head: "He went troppo in Darwin." 

trucky—truck driver. 

true blue—patriotic 

tucker—food (pronounced ‘tucka’) 

tucker bag—food bag 

turps—mineral turpentine 

twistie—bottle of beer with twist-off top 

two-up—gambling game of tossing two coins, usually played on Anzac Day with penniies 

tyre—Australian and British spelling of "tire". 




up a gumtree—in a quandary, or difficult spot 

Uluru—National Park in central Australia also known as Ayers rock 

ute—utility or pick-up truck


vee-dub—Volkswagon car. 

Vegemite—black oozy yeast extract used as a spread on crackers or bread. It is an acquired taste, but definitely worth trying. Kraft Foods product 

velvet—highly profitable or advantageous.



wag—to skip school or work. 

wag—talks a lot 

wank(er)—to play with one’s self 

walkabout—periodic nomadic wanderings. 

wallaby track, on the—to wander from place to place in search of work 

weatherboard—wooden house. 

welsh(er)—one who doesn’t pay their debts 

wet, the—rainy season in northern Australia. 


whinge—constantly complain 

white coffee—coffee with milk or cream 

willy-nilly—small dust twister. 

wipe—to dismiss from consideration, abandon, reject: "I’ve wiped him as a mate." 

wobbly—excitable behavior, (someone upset "chucks a wobbly") 

wog—illness; also, refers to a foreign person especially from the Middle East: "He’s a wog." 

wombat—Australian marsupial 

Woop Woop—a mythical place that’s very remote: "out Woop Woop way." 

wowser—a spoilsport, killjoy, teetotaller 


XXXX—Fourex, a beer from Queensland


yabber—talk (a lot) "he’s quite the yabber" 


yahoo—noisy and unruly person. 

yahooing—boisterous behaviour. 

yakka—work: "digging trenches is hard yakka" 


yank tank—large American automobile

yarn—story or tale: "spin a yarn" means to tell a story

yewy—u-turn in traffic

yobbo—lout, hooligan, jerk, also someone who talks consistently

you blighter—an annoying person

youse—plural of you.


zebra crossing—broad-striped pedestrian roadway crossing.

zeds—pertaining to sleep (zzz).

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