Australian slang glossary

Welcome to our comprehensive Australian slang glossary!🦘🤠🐨

Australia’s got more than just kangaroos and beaches; it’s packed with unique slang that can baffle the best of us. Here, we’ve curated the most iconic Aussie slang terms, each with its meaning, origin and examples. Whether you’re a local or a curious traveler, this guide’s got you covered. Speak like a true blue Aussie in no time! Without further ado, here’s our list of Australian slang:

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Trouble finding a certain phrase? Click control + F on your keyboard, and type in the term you’re trying to find. Still not able to find it? Let us know down in the comments below!



  • Meaning: Afternoon.
  • Origin: A common feature in Australian slang is shortening words and adding an ‘o’ to the end. “Arvo” is a classic example of this.
  • Example: “I’ll see you this arvo for a coffee.”


  • Meaning: An Australian person or relating to Australia.
  • Origin: It’s a colloquial abbreviation of the word “Australian”.
  • Example: “He’s a true blue Aussie, loves his footy and barbecues.”

Ankle biter

  • Meaning: A young child.
  • Origin: The phrase humorously refers to the height of children being low to the ground, so they’re close to your ankles.
  • Example: “Watch out for the ankle biters at the park, they’re full of energy!”


  • Meaning: Ambulance or ambulance worker.
  • Origin: Another classic Australian abbreviation. This one takes “ambulance” and truncates it for quicker use.
  • Example: “Call an ambo! He’s hurt himself on the footy field.”


  • Meaning: Avocado.
  • Origin: Yet again, Australians have a knack for abbreviating words, and ‘avo’ fits that bill perfectly.
  • Example: “Can I get some avo on my toast?”


  • Meaning: A brand of hat that’s very popular in Australia, especially among rural workers.
  • Origin: Named after the company that manufactures them.
  • Example: “It’s sunny out; don’t forget your Akubra.”


  • Meaning: All good or okay, often used in the phrase “she’ll be apples.”
  • Origin: Thought to be from rhyming slang, “apple and spice” meaning “everything nice.”
  • Example: “Don’t worry about the car; she’ll be apples.”

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  • Meaning: Barbecue.
  • Origin: Shortening of the word “barbecue.” This abbreviation is an iconic piece of Australian slang.
  • Example: “We’re having a barbie this weekend. Wanna come?”


  • Meaning: To leave or depart.
  • Origin: Likely derived from the English term “bail out.”
  • Example: “I’m too tired, think I’m gonna bail.”


  • Meaning: Swimsuit.
  • Origin: The term is specific to certain regions of Australia. Other regions might say “swimmers” or “togs.”
  • Example: “Don’t forget to pack your bathers for the beach.”


  • Meaning: A lazy person; someone who avoids work.
  • Origin: Originally referred to a pimp, thus someone who lived off the efforts of others. Its meaning has since broadened.
  • Example: “He’s a bit of a bludger, always sitting around doing nothing.”


  • Meaning: Liquor store.
  • Origin: An abbreviation of “bottle shop.” Another example of the Australian penchant for adding ‘O’ to the end of words.
  • Example: “I’m heading to the bottle-o to grab some beers.”


  • Meaning: Rural, undeveloped areas of Australia, or the countryside.
  • Origin: Direct reference to the vast, wild nature and forests of Australia.
  • Example: “We’re going camping in the bush this weekend.”


  • Meaning: Man or guy.
  • Origin: Derived from English slang, this term is commonly used in Australia to refer to a man in a general sense.
  • Example: “He’s a good bloke, always willing to lend a hand.”

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Cark it

  • Meaning: To die or stop working.
  • Origin: The exact origin is unclear, but it’s a colloquial way to refer to something or someone dying or breaking down.
  • Example: “My old car finally carked it on the freeway yesterday.”


  • Meaning: Chewing gum.
  • Origin: A shortening and playful take on the term “chewing gum.”
  • Example: “Got any chewie? I need to freshen up my breath.”


  • Meaning: Chicken.
  • Origin: Perhaps derived from the sound a chicken makes, “chook chook.”
  • Example: “We’re having roast chook for dinner.”

Chuck a sickie

  • Meaning: To take a day off work pretending to be sick.
  • Origin: “Chuck” in this context means to do, and “sickie” refers to a sick day.
  • Example: “I’m thinking of chucking a sickie tomorrow. Need a long weekend.”


  • Meaning: An exclamation of surprise or disbelief.
  • Origin: Possibly a polite alternative to Christ, used as an exclamation. Made globally famous by Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.
  • Example: “Crikey! Look at the size of that spider!”


  • Meaning: Police.
  • Origin: Originally a British slang term, it became popular in Australia as well. The term might originate from the copper buttons that policemen once wore.
  • Example: “Slow down, there are coppers ahead!”


  • Meaning: Very full.
  • Origin: Possibly related to being as full as a “chocka block.”
  • Example: “The pub was chockers last night.”

Chuck a sickie

  • Meaning: To take a day off work pretending to be sick.
  • Origin: “Chuck” meaning “do” and “sickie” referring to a sick day.
  • Example: “I’m thinking of chucking a sickie tomorrow.”


  • Meaning: Friend.
  • Origin: Early 20th century, from “cob” which means “to take a liking to.”
  • Example: “G’day cobber!”

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  • Meaning: Genuine or the real thing.
  • Origin: From the phrase “dinkum” or “fair dinkum,” meaning true or genuine.
  • Example: “He’s a dinky-di Aussie, born and bred.”


  • Meaning: A fool or an idiot.
  • Origin: Named after a racehorse in the 1920s that never won a race.
  • Example: “Don’t be such a drongo.”


  • Meaning: Absolute, for certain.
  • Origin: A straightforward combination of “dead” and “set,” emphasizing surety.
  • Example: “It’s deadset the best movie I’ve seen.”

Dog’s breakfast

  • Meaning: A mess or something that’s very untidy.
  • Origin: Unknown, but it’s a colorful way to describe disorder.
  • Example: “My room’s a dog’s breakfast right now.”


  • Meaning: A cigarette.
  • Origin: Shortened version of “Bull Durham” brand tobacco.
  • Example: “Got a spare durry, mate?”


  • Meaning: A funny person, a goof.
  • Origin: Originally referred to the matted wool on a sheep’s tail.
  • Example: “You’re such a dag!”


  • Meaning: A traditional Australian bread, typically baked in the ashes of a campfire.
  • Origin: From its basic ingredients and method of cooking.
  • Example: “We cooked up some damper on the campfire.”


  • Meaning: A bill, receipt or an itinerary.
  • Origin: Borrowed from British slang.
  • Example: “Can I get the docket for that purchase?”


  • Meaning: Toilet.
  • Origin: Early 20th century, perhaps from “dunnekin” meaning privy.
  • Example: “Where’s the dunny?”


  • Meaning: To report someone, usually for something minor.
  • Origin: Possibly from “dub,” meaning to provide with or as if with a name.
  • Example: “I can’t believe you dobbed me in to the teacher.”


  • Meaning: A derelict or a homeless person.
  • Origin: Short for “derelict.”
  • Example: “He’s been living like a dero since he lost his job.”

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  • Meaning: A portable cooler or icebox.
  • Origin: Short for “Eskimo,” the brand name of a popular icebox.
  • Example: “Grab a cold drink from the esky.”


  • Meaning: Constant talk or nagging.
  • Origin: The imagery of one’s ear getting a bashing from excessive talk.
  • Example: “She gave me a good earbashing about leaving the dishes out.”


  • Meaning: Expensive.
  • Origin: Simply a shortened form of the word “expensive.”
  • Example: “Those shoes look nice, but they’re a bit exy for me.”


  • Meaning: The Brisbane Exhibition Show, an annual show in Queensland.
  • Origin: Abbreviation of “exhibition.”
  • Example: “Are you heading to the Ekka this year?”


  • Meaning: A type of tree native to Australia, commonly known as gum trees.
  • Origin: Derived from the tree’s botanical name “Eucalyptus.”
  • Example: “The landscape was dotted with eucalypts.”

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Fair dinkum

  • Meaning: Truthful, genuine, real.
  • Origin: The origins are debated, but it’s an affirmation of honesty or truth.
  • Example: “Are you fair dinkum about moving to Sydney?”


  • Meaning: Australian rules football or rugby, depending on the region.
  • Origin: Short for “football.”
  • Example: “Are you watching the footy match this weekend?”


  • Meaning: A false report or a rumor.
  • Origin: Named after water carts made by the Furphy company in WWI; soldiers would exchange rumors by the carts.
  • Example: “Ignore that, it’s just a furphy.”

Full as a goog

  • Meaning: Very full or satiated, often after eating.
  • Origin: “Goog” is slang for an egg; the phrase implies being as full as a full egg.
  • Example: “I can’t eat another bite; I’m full as a goog.”

Fair go

  • Meaning: A fair chance or opportunity.
  • Origin: A quintessential Aussie value of giving everyone a fair chance.
  • Example: “All I’m asking for is a fair go.”

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  • Meaning: A greeting, short for “Good day.”
  • Origin: Simply a contraction of “Good day,” a common greeting.
  • Example: “G’day mate, how’s it going?”


  • Meaning: A term for a foolish or silly person; also a type of Australian bird.
  • Origin: Named after the galah bird which can make loud and sometimes amusing sounds, reflecting the silly nature of someone being called a “galah.”
  • Example: “Don’t be such a galah!”


  • Meaning: Garbage collector.
  • Origin: Shortened form of “garbage.”
  • Example: “The garbo comes early on Wednesdays.”


  • Meaning: Cheap box wine.
  • Origin: Originally from “goon bag,” the bag inside a wine cask.
  • Example: “We bought some goon for the party tonight.”


  • Meaning: Alcohol.
  • Origin: From “grog,” a mix of rum and water, named after Admiral Edward Vernon, who was nicknamed “Old Grog.”
  • Example: “Let’s grab some grog for the party.”

Good onya

  • Meaning: Well done or good for you.
  • Origin: A contraction of “good on you.”
  • Example: “You got the job? Good onya!”


  • Meaning: Young surfer.
  • Origin: Likely from the term for a young person or child.
  • Example: “The beach was full of grommets today.”

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Hard yakka

  • Meaning: Hard work.
  • Origin: “Yakka” is derived from the Aboriginal Yagara language meaning “work.”
  • Example: “Landscaping in this heat is hard yakka.”


  • Meaning: A lot or many.
  • Origin: Traditional English meaning “large amount,” but used more colloquially in Australia.
  • Example: “Thanks heaps for helping me move.”


  • Meaning: A reckless driver.
  • Origin: Possibly from the sound of a car horn or an alteration of “hooning” meaning “move fast.”
  • Example: “There was a hoon speeding down the main street.”

Hotel (often “Pub”)

  • Meaning: A bar or place to get alcoholic drinks.
  • Origin: Many older Australian pubs offer accommodation, hence “hotel.”
  • Example: “Let’s meet up at the hotel later.”

Hungry Jack’s (or HJs)

  • Meaning: The Australian franchise of the fast-food chain Burger King.
  • Origin: Due to trademark issues, Burger King is known as Hungry Jack’s in Australia.
  • Example: “I’m craving a Whopper from Hungry Jack’s.”

Hoo roo

  • Meaning: Goodbye.
  • Origin: Phonetic spelling of a colloquial farewell.
  • Example: “I’m off to bed. Hoo roo!”


  • Meaning: A brand of Australian car.
  • Origin: Named after Sir Edward Holden, the company’s founder.
  • Example: “He drives an old Holden Ute.”


  • Meaning: People who live in government housing; often used derogatorily.
  • Origin: Short for “housing commission.”
  • Example: “The TV show ‘Housos’ portrays a comedic take on life in the suburbs.”

Have a Captain Cook

  • Meaning: Have a look.
  • Origin: Rhyming slang, named after the famous British explorer Captain James Cook.
  • Example: “Give me a sec to have a Captain Cook at the menu.”

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Icy pole

  • Meaning: Popsicle or ice lolly.
  • Origin: Descriptive, as it’s an icy treat on a stick.
  • Example: “It’s so hot outside, I could go for an icy pole.”

If it’s not one thing, it’s the other

  • Meaning: Expression of exasperation or frustration.
  • Origin: Common English phrase, widely used in Australia.
  • Example: “First the fridge breaks, now the car won’t start. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other.”

Illawarra plums

  • Meaning: A dark purple fruit native to the east coast of Australia.
  • Origin: Named after the Illawarra region of New South Wales where they are found.
  • Example: “These Illawarra plums make a tasty jam.”

In a tick

  • Meaning: In a short while or very soon.
  • Origin: “Tick” referring to a short moment, like the ticking of a clock.
  • Example: “I’ll be with you in a tick.”

It’s gone walkabout

  • Meaning: It’s lost or missing.
  • Origin: Borrowed from Indigenous Australian culture where a “walkabout” is a rite of passage.
  • Example: “I can’t find my keys, they’ve gone walkabout.”

Ifs or buts

  • Meaning: Excuses.
  • Origin: An abbreviation of the phrase “no ifs, ands, or buts”.
  • Example: “No ifs or buts, just get it done.”

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  • Meaning: A young man working on a rural station (ranch); a trainee station manager or owner.
  • Origin: Derived from “jack” (a general term for a lad or man) and a borrowed term “kuri” (meaning ‘man’ in several Indigenous Australian languages).
  • Example: “He’s starting out as a jackaroo on that big station up north.”


  • Meaning: A toasted sandwich.
  • Origin: Named after the jaffle iron, a closed metal skillet used to make this type of sandwich.
  • Example: “Let’s make some cheese and tomato jaffles for lunch.”

Joe Blow

  • Meaning: The average person; Mr. Nobody.
  • Origin: Origin is uncertain but has been used in English-speaking countries to refer to the ordinary man on the street.
  • Example: “He’s just your average Joe Blow, nothing special.”


  • Meaning: A sheep.
  • Origin: Possibly from an Indigenous Australian word.
  • Example: “Waltzing Matilda is about a man who steals a jumbuck.”


  • Meaning: Police.
  • Origin: Short for “Jackaroo,” meaning a policeman.
  • Example: “Watch out, the jacks are about.”


  • Meaning: Journalist.
  • Origin: Shortened form of the word “journalist.”
  • Example: “I have an interview with a journo tomorrow.”


  • Meaning: Sweater or pullover.
  • Origin: Derived from the British term for a pullover or sweater.
  • Example: “It’s cold, don’t forget your jumper.”

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  • Meaning: Kangaroos.
  • Origin: Informal shortening of the word kangaroo.
  • Example: “We spotted some kangas while driving through the outback.”

Keen as mustard

  • Meaning: Very enthusiastic.
  • Origin: A play on the idea that mustard is a strong, potent condiment.
  • Example: “She’s keen as mustard to start her new job.”

Kick the bucket

  • Meaning: To die.
  • Origin: Phrase is used in various English-speaking countries; its origins are unclear but could be related to hanging.
  • Example: “Old man Jenkins kicked the bucket.”


  • Meaning: A person from New Zealand.
  • Origin: Named after the kiwi bird, which is native to New Zealand.
  • Example: “She’s a Kiwi, moved to Australia a few years ago.”


  • Meaning: To criticize.
  • Origin: Common English usage, possibly from the idea of “knocking” someone down a peg.
  • Example: “Don’t knock it till you try it.”


  • Meaning: Exhausted or worn out.
  • Origin: Possibly related to the older usage of “knacker,” a person who buys up old horses to slaughter them.
  • Example: “After that hike, I’m totally knackered.”


  • Meaning: A short sleep or nap.
  • Origin: Likely derived from the Middle Low German word “kippen” which means to seize or grasp.
  • Example: “I might have a quick kip before we go out.”

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  • Meaning: A person with apparent disregard for convention; a maverick.
  • Origin: The term originally referred to a young hoodlum or hooligan, and its precise origin is unknown, but it has been in Australian usage since the late 19th century.
  • Example: “Dave’s a bit of a larrikin but we all love him.”


  • Meaning: Sweets or candy.
  • Origin: Derived from “lollipop” but generalized to refer to any kind of sweet.
  • Example: “Could you grab a bag of lollies from the shop?”

Liquid laugh

  • Meaning: Vomit.
  • Origin: A humorous, slightly euphemistic term.
  • Example: “He had too much to drink and ended up having a liquid laugh outside.”


  • Meaning: Illness, often a cold or flu.
  • Origin: Possibly from British radio comedy “The Goon Show” where “the dreaded lurgy” was a fictional disease.
  • Example: “I can’t come into work today, I’ve caught the lurgy.”


  • Meaning: A scheme or stratagem.
  • Origin: From English meaning a clandestine or stealthy action.
  • Example: “He’s always got some lurk to make a quick buck.”

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  • Meaning: McDonald’s, the fast-food chain.
  • Origin: Abbreviation and Australianization of “McDonald’s.”
  • Example: “Let’s grab a quick bite from Maccas.”

Mad as a cut snake

  • Meaning: Very angry or crazy.
  • Origin: Refers to the unpredictable movement of a snake that’s been cut or injured.
  • Example: “Stay away from him when he’s mad; he’s mad as a cut snake.”


  • Meaning: Mosquito.
  • Origin: Shortened form of the word “mosquito.”
  • Example: “The mozzies are bad tonight.”


  • Meaning: Mud crab, a type of crab found in Australia’s estuaries.
  • Origin: Short for “mud crab.”
  • Example: “I caught a huge muddy yesterday.”


  • Meaning: Friend.
  • Origin: From Middle English, used in various English-speaking countries but very prevalent in Australia.
  • Example: “G’day mate, how’ve you been?”

Mate’s rates

  • Meaning: A discounted price given to friends.
  • Origin: Combination of “mate” (friend) and “rates” (price).
  • Example: “Don’t worry about the price, I’ll give you mate’s rates.”


  • Meaning: Money.
  • Origin: Slang term of uncertain origin, possibly from Romani or Yiddish.
  • Example: “I can’t go out tonight, short on moolah.”

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No worries

  • Meaning: It’s okay; no problem.
  • Origin: A laid-back expression reflecting Australia’s easy-going culture.
  • Example: “I forgot to bring the drinks.” “No worries, we have some here.”

Not the full quid

  • Meaning: Not very intelligent or a bit crazy.
  • Origin: A “quid” is slang for one pound or a dollar, suggesting not being of full value.
  • Example: “I think he’s not the full quid, to be honest.”

Nut out

  • Meaning: To figure something out; work out the details.
  • Origin: Refers to the action of breaking a nut to get to its core or essence.
  • Example: “Let’s sit down and nut out the details of this project.”


  • Meaning: Nude or naked.
  • Origin: A playful abbreviation of “nude.”
  • Example: “He ran into the ocean in the nuddy!”


  • Meaning: Irritated or in a bad mood.
  • Origin: Possibly derived from “nark,” meaning a police informer, but used in this context to mean annoyed.
  • Example: “Why are you so narky this morning?”

Nick off

  • Meaning: To leave or go away.
  • Origin: Similar to the British slang “nick” meaning to steal, but in the Aussie context, it’s more about departing.
  • Example: “Can you nick off? I’m trying to work.”

No drama

  • Meaning: No problem or don’t worry about it.
  • Origin: Derived from the word “drama” meaning a fuss.
  • Example: “I forgot my wallet.” “No drama, I’ll cover for you.”

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  • Meaning: An uncultivated Australian, often used humorously to describe someone with a heavy Australian accent.
  • Origin: Uncertain, but possibly from “ocker” as rhyming slang for “knocker,” meaning a person.
  • Example: “He’s a true-blue ocker, that one.”

Off one’s rocker

  • Meaning: Crazy or mad.
  • Origin: Refers to the idea of being off-balance, like a rocking chair that’s tilted too far.
  • Example: “She must be off her rocker to attempt that stunt.”

On the blower

  • Meaning: On the phone.
  • Origin: “Blower” is old British slang for telephone.
  • Example: “I was on the blower for ages sorting that out.”


  • Meaning: Remote, sparsely populated areas.
  • Origin: Refers to land “out the back” of major cities and towns.
  • Example: “We’re going on a trip to the Outback next week.”


  • Meaning: Short for “good on you,” a term of approval or congratulation.
  • Origin: It’s a contraction of the Australian way of saying “Good on you!”
  • Example: “You finished the marathon? Onya, mate!”


  • Meaning: Slang for Australia.
  • Origin: A shortened and playful way to say “Australia.”
  • Example: “Welcome to Oz, mate!”


  • Meaning: Assistant or helper.
  • Origin: Originally a term for a person who stood beside a drover, now more widely used.
  • Example: “My offsider will help with the heavy lifting.”


  • Meaning: Parents.
  • Origin: A colloquial term referring to older people, particularly one’s parents.
  • Example: “I’m spending the weekend with the oldies.”

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  • Meaning: A passionate kiss.
  • Origin: Shortened form of “passionate.”
  • Example: “She gave him a long pash goodbye.”


  • Meaning: Short for pavlova, a meringue-based dessert.
  • Origin: Named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, though the dessert’s exact origin (New Zealand or Australia) is debated.
  • Example: “We’re having pav for dessert.”


  • Meaning: Someone who doesn’t participate or backs out from plans.
  • Origin: Derives from the early 20th-century Australian slang “to pike out,” meaning to withdraw or back out from doing something.
  • Example: “He’s such a piker. He never comes out with us.”


  • Meaning: Short for “present” or “gift.”
  • Origin: A fun, colloquial shortening of the word “present.”
  • Example: “I’ve got a little prezzy for you.”

Pull your head in

  • Meaning: A way to tell someone to mind their own business or stop being nosy.
  • Origin: Possibly linked to the idea of retracting one’s head like a turtle.
  • Example: “Oi, pull your head in!”


  • Meaning: Shrimps.
  • Origin: Australians refer to what Americans call shrimp as prawns.
  • Example: “Throw another prawn on the barbie.”

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  • Meaning: Money, usually a specific amount in dollars.
  • Origin: Derived from the British use of “quid” to mean “pound sterling.”
  • Example: “How many quid did that set you back?”

Quiet one

  • Meaning: Intending to have a calm, perhaps alcohol-free evening, but it rarely turns out that way.
  • Origin: Typically used when discussing plans for an evening out.
  • Example: “Let’s have a quiet one tonight, alright?”


  • Meaning: A small marsupial found on Rottnest Island in Western Australia.
  • Origin: Derived from a Nyungar word, an Aboriginal language.
  • Example: “Have you ever taken a selfie with a quokka?”

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  • Meaning: Extremely pleased or excited.
  • Origin: Derived from the English term meaning “completely fascinated.”
  • Example: “He was rapt with his new bike.”


  • Meaning: Fantastic or excellent.
  • Origin: A general exclamation of approval.
  • Example: “That party was a ripper!”


  • Meaning: Short for kangaroo.
  • Origin: Abbreviation of the animal’s name.
  • Example: “Watch out for the roos when you’re driving in the outback.”

Rock up

  • Meaning: To arrive or turn up somewhere.
  • Origin: Informal way to say “arrive” or “show up.”
  • Example: “She just rocked up to the party uninvited.”


  • Meaning: Vulgar slang for sexual intercourse. Be careful with this one!
  • Origin: Its origin is unclear but it has been used in Australian slang for decades.
  • Example: “They were rooting in the back of the car.”


  • Meaning: Nonsense or something of poor quality.
  • Origin: Derived from British English where it means “waste material.”
  • Example: “What you’re saying is absolute rubbish.”


  • Meaning: Genuine, original, or good.
  • Origin: Origin is unclear but has been a part of Australian slang since at least the 1950s.
  • Example: “This is a ridgy-didge Aussie barbie.”

Rack off

  • Meaning: Go away or get lost.
  • Origin: Unknown, but has been used as Aussie slang for years.
  • Example: “Rack off, mate! You’re not welcome here.”

Ring in

  • Meaning: A person or thing brought into a group to substitute for another.
  • Origin: Comes from the context of bringing someone “into the ring” as a replacement.
  • Example: “He was a ring in for the missing player.”

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  • Meaning: A sandwich.
  • Origin: A colloquial abbreviation.
  • Example: “Can you make me a sanger for lunch?”


  • Meaning: A large beer glass.
  • Origin: Derived from an old British measure of liquid volume.
  • Example: “I’ll have a schooner of your best ale.”


  • Meaning: A woman.
  • Origin: Possibly derived from the Irish girls’ name Síle (pronounced Sheila). It’s been a popular slang term since at least the 1940s.
  • Example: “Did you see the sheila I was talking to?”


  • Meaning: A sausage.
  • Origin: Unknown, but it’s widely accepted Australian slang.
  • Example: “Chuck another snag on the barbie!”


  • Meaning: A nosy person.
  • Origin: The term likely derives from the image of someone poking their “beak” (nose) into other people’s affairs.
  • Example: “She’s always been a bit of a stickybeak.”


  • Meaning: To advertise or promote, especially in a showy or aggressive manner.
  • Origin: The term likely has Yiddish origins from “shpruken” meaning to speak.
  • Example: “He’s spruiking his new book everywhere.”


  • Meaning: A good looking person; can also mean courage or determination.
  • Origin: British in origin, referring to spirit or mettle. The appearance-related meaning is more unique to Australian slang.
  • Example: “He’s a real spunk.”


  • Meaning: A quick look or glance.
  • Origin: Unknown, but it’s an informal Aussie term.
  • Example: “Give me a squiz at what you’re reading.”


  • Meaning: A colloquial way of saying Australia.
  • Origin: A playful abbreviation, dropping the “Aus” in “Australia.”
  • Example: “Straya Day is coming up!”


  • Meaning: A small, squat bottle of beer.
  • Origin: Refers to the shape of the bottle, which is shorter and “stubbier” than other bottles.
  • Example: “Pass me a stubby from the esky.”

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  • Meaning: A can of beer

or a small aluminum boat.

  • Origin: “Tin” is a reference to the can’s material, or the look of the aluminum boat.
  • Example: “Grab a tinnie from the cooler.” or “We took the tinnie out on the river.”


  • Meaning: Flip-flops or a type of sandal, not to be confused with the underwear.
  • Origin: Uncertain, but the term has been used to describe this footwear in Australia for decades.
  • Example: “Just slip on your thongs and let’s go to the beach.”

True blue

  • Meaning: Genuine, authentically Australian.
  • Origin: The term “true blue” originally meant someone who was loyal to the British crown, but in Australia, it’s evolved to describe something authentically Australian.
  • Example: “She’s true blue, through and through.”


  • Meaning: Food.
  • Origin: Possibly from the old English term “tuck,” meaning food.
  • Example: “What’s for tucker tonight?”


  • Meaning: A traditional Australian gambling game played on Anzac Day.
  • Origin: The game was played extensively by Australian soldiers during World War I.
  • Example: “We played two-up at the pub after the dawn service.”


  • Meaning: Swimsuit or swimming costume.
  • Origin: Possibly a shortening of “toga.”
  • Example: “Put your togs on; we’re going to the beach.”

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Ugg boots

  • Meaning: Soft sheepskin boots, often worn casually or around the house.
  • Origin: The term “ugg” is believed to have been derived from “ugly”, referring to its chunky appearance, though the exact origins are debated.
  • Example: “It’s freezing outside; I’m just going to wear my ugg boots.”

Up yourself

  • Meaning: Being full of oneself or arrogant.
  • Origin: An informal Australian saying. The term “up” might imply an inflated sense of self.
  • Example: “Don’t be so up yourself; everyone contributed to the project’s success.”

Up the Duff

  • Meaning: Pregnant.
  • Origin: The origin is uncertain, but it’s been a part of Aussie slang since at least the 1940s.
  • Example: “Did you hear? She’s up the duff.”


  • Meaning: A pickup truck.
  • Origin: Short for “utility vehicle.”
  • Example: “He loaded up the ute with tools for the job.”


  • Meaning: University.
  • Origin: A simple abbreviation of the word “university.”
  • Example: “He’s off to uni next year to study law.”

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Veg out

  • Meaning: Relaxing or chilling, often doing nothing in particular.
  • Origin: Likely short for “vegetate”, implying the stillness of a vegetable.
  • Example: “I just want to veg out in front of the TV tonight.”


  • Meaning: Short for vegetarian.
  • Origin: An abbreviation of the word “vegetarian.”
  • Example: “She’s a vego, so make sure to prepare some vegetarian dishes.”


  • Meaning: Victoria Bitter, a popular Australian beer.
  • Origin: Named after the state of Victoria where it originated.
  • Example: “Grab me a cold VB from the esky.”


  • Meaning: A thick, dark brown spread made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives. A staple in many Australian homes.
  • Origin: Vegemite was developed in Australia in the 1920s as an alternative to Marmite.
  • Example: “Spread some Vegemite on toast for a classic Aussie snack.”


  • Meaning: Refers to St Vincent de Paul’s charity shops.
  • Origin: Short for “St. Vincent’s”, these shops are common in many Australian towns.
  • Example: “I found this awesome vintage jacket at Vinnies.”


  • Meaning: Here it is or there you go.
  • Origin: Borrowed from French, but Aussies use it often in daily language.
  • Example: “I put some elbow grease into cleaning this, and voila! Looks brand new.”

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  • Meaning: To complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way.
  • Origin: While the word has Old English origins, Australians have really embraced the term to describe someone who constantly complains.
  • Example: “Quit your whinging and get on with it.”

Woop Woop

  • Meaning: Referring to a remote, far away place.
  • Origin: The term is onomatopoeic, possibly resembling the sound of a bird or the distant sound of a siren. It paints the picture of a place that’s ‘way out there’.
  • Example: “He lives out in woop woop, miles away from the nearest town.”


  • Meaning: A native Australian marsupial or someone who is slow and lazy.
  • Origin: Derived from the native language of the Darug, the indigenous people of the Sydney area.
  • Example: “He’s as slow as a wombat today.”


  • Meaning: A weak or timid person.
  • Origin: Perhaps a blend of “wimp” and “puss.”
  • Example: “Come on, don’t be a wuss.”

Whip Around

  • Meaning: A quick collection of money, often for a specific purpose or cause.
  • Origin: The idea is to quickly “whip” or move around a group to gather funds.
  • Example: “Let’s have a whip around to buy a gift for her birthday.”

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XXXX (Four X)

  • Meaning: A popular brand of beer brewed in Queensland.
  • Origin: The XXXX brand was first introduced in 1924. The exact origin of the name is debated, but one theory is that the X’s represent the quality of the beer.
  • Example: “Grab a couple of cold XXXX from the fridge.”

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  • Meaning: Hard work, especially of a physical nature.
  • Origin: Derived from ‘yaga’ which means work in the Yagara indigenous language.
  • Example: “He’s been doing hard yakka in the yard all morning.”


  • Meaning: An uncultured or rowdy person.
  • Origin: Originated in the 20th century, possibly a variant of “yob”, from “boy” spelled backwards.
  • Example: “Don’t act like a yobbo at the party.”


  • Meaning: A long time.
  • Origin: The exact origin is uncertain, but it might be derived from “donkey’s years,” which is another slang term meaning a long time.
  • Example: “I haven’t seen him in yonks!”


  • Meaning: A freshwater Australian crayfish.
  • Origin: Derived from the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal language word “yabij.”
  • Example: “We caught a few yabbies in the creek yesterday.”


  • Meaning: A U-turn in a vehicle. Often phrased as “chuck a yewy.”
  • Origin: It’s a playful phonetic shortening of the term “U-turn.”
  • Example: “You missed the turn! Chuck a yewy up ahead.”

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  • Meaning: Zinc cream, a thick white sunscreen worn on the face, often associated with cricket players and lifeguards.
  • Origin: Refers to the zinc oxide used in the sunscreen, offering strong protection against UV rays.
  • Example: “Put on some zinc before you head out to field.”

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That’s it for our list of Australian slang! Thanks for continuing to expand your vocabulary with us.  Did we miss something? Let us know down below in the comments ⤵.

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