Understanding Australians can be intimidating for both native and non-native English-speaking visitors!
While the main language of Australia is English, the spoken language is often interwoven with non-standard strange words called ‘slang’ often leading to confusion about what was said.
Most slang in Australia consists of the original word being shortened, then either ‘eee’, ‘ahh’ or ‘ohh’ added onto the back of the word. This slang should only be used verbally and never written.
If you are unsure of a term, do certainly ask for clarification and most locals are happy to rephrase the sentence or use the full name.
Whether you’re here for only a few days on holiday, studying or moving to Australia this terminology is still essential to at least be aware of.
10 Critical Words to Know
Arvo = Afternoon
- Do you want to catch up this arvo for a movie?
- What are you doing this arvo?
Brekky = Breakfast
- Do you want to catch up for brekky tomorrow?
- What did you have for Brekky?
G’Day = Hello
- G’day, how are you going?
Mate = Friend
Derived from the word ‘mateship’, the term mate is neutral and can be used to refer to someone who is both a friend or a complete stranger.
- How are you going mate?
- Calm down mate
- G’day mate
Chuck = Do Something
The word ‘chuck’ can be substituted for a wide range of verbs (doing words)
- I am going to chuck (take) a sickie on Thursday
- Chuck (put the) the rubbish in the bin
- Chuck (turn) a left at the traffic lights
Loo = Toilet
- Can you please tell me where the loo is
- The loo is out the back
Servo = Petrol Station
- Can you get me a packet of cigarettes from the servo
- We have to stop at the servo and get some fuel
Maccas = McDonalds
- I’m waiting outside Maccas
- Do you want to go to Maccas for lunch?
U’EY = U-Turn
- Throw a U’EY at the lights
Bucks = Dollars
- The cost of this poster is 20 bucks
- Can I please borrow a buck or two?
Not even locations are immune from Aussies shortening the name of!
Brissie = Brisbane
- How long have you been in Brissie?
Tassie = Tasmania
- We are off to Tassie later in the year
Woolies = Woolworths Shopping Centre
- I need to go woolies and pick up something for dinner
Coles = Coles Shopping Centre
- What time is Coles open too?
Bunnings = Hardware Store
A store which is an Australian icon and cult-like status, known for sausage sizzles
- Just going to bunnings to pick up a few things
- Do you want a snag from bunnings?
Clicks = KM (Distance)
- The next town is about 20 clicks away
Bottle-O = Bottleshop
Dan’s = Dan Murphys
Goon = Cask Wine
Slab = Carton Of Beer
Cold One = Cold Beer
Other Important Expressions
|footy||Australian Rules Football (AFL)|
|Chockers or Choc-A-Bloc||It’s full / It’s Busy|
|‘Rooted’ or ‘It’s F****d’||It’s broken|
|Taking The Piss||Someone is not being truthful|
|She’ll be Right||It will be ok|
Are there any words you’ve caught out or stories you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below