So, you’ve just arrived in Straya (Australia), and you’re ready to work and study! The people seem friendly, but sometimes you can’t quite understand what they are saying. Are they even speaking English??
Actually, they may be using Australian slang. Below are some words that you might hear at work in restaurants and bars, while eavesdropping on public transport, or while you’re trying to make friends with native speakers.
Bottle-o — Shop that sells beer and wine
BYO — you can bring your own alcohol
Chuck/take a sickie – pretend you’re sick and take a day off work
No worries! — It’s not a problem! You’re welcome!
Pot — a 285ml glass of beer in Victoria and Queensland. In New South Wales, Western Australia and the ACT, this is a “middy”, in Tasmania a “ten”, and in the NT a “handle”. See this guide for more details about beer sizes.
Show you the ropes — show you how things work. E.g. “Mary will take care of you and show you the ropes.”
Smoko — Short break from work/school to smoke a cigarette.
Ta — thank you
Takeaway — takeout; taking food home instead of eating at the restaurant
Arvo — Afternoon
Avo — Avocado
Bikkie — Biscuit/cookie
Brekkie — Breakfast
Chockers — full or cramped
Chockie — Chocolate
Ciggie — Cigarette. E.g. “I think I’m going to take a ciggie break, I’m feeling a bit stressed out.”
Exy — Expensive
Footy — Australian football, not American or European/South American football!
Maccas — McDonalds. E.g. “I’m going on a Maccas run, want anything?”
Rellies — Relatives
Sunnies — Sunglasses
Veggies — vegetables
Other slang words
Bail — to cancel plans to meet someone
Barrack — support a football team
Bloke — guy
Bogan — Redneck. Someone from a low socio-economic class
Bonzer — excellent
Buggered — tired, exhausted
Chips — fries or potato crisps
Deadset — true, honestly. E.g. “I’m deadest keen on seeing the new Robert Downey, Jr movie.”
Dodgy — suspicious, untrustworthy
Don’t knock it ‘til you try it — don’t criticise something you haven’t tried
Esky — a box that you can put drinks and food to keep them cold outside
Heaps — a lot. E.g. thanks heaps!
I reckon — I think
-ish — approximately. E.g. “I’ll meet you at 7ish.”
Jumper — sweater
Mate — friend
Mobile — cell phone
Mucking around — playing games, not being serious
Rip off – to cheat someone out of money, e.g. “You paid $10,000 for a used car? I reckon you got ripped off, mate!”
Runners — trainers, sneakers
Shout — to buy the next round of drinks for the people/person you’re with
Slab — pack of 24 cans of beer
Thongs — flip-flops
Whinge — complain
Yous — you (plural)
Can’t be buggered — I cannot be bothered to do something. E.g. “I need to do my homework, but honestly, can’t be buggered.”
Good on ya — good for you (often in a sarcastic way)
Have a good one! — enjoy the rest of your day
How’s it goin’? — How are you?
Nah yeah — yes
She’ll/You’ll be right — it’s going to be okay
Skoin/Scarn on? — what’s happening?
Up for — ready/willing to do something. E.g. “I asked him to go rock-climbing, but I don’t think he’s up for it.”
Yeah nah — no
Now try this on for size:
I chucked a sickie yesterday arvo, because I just couldn’t be buggered leaving the house. I was mucking around on my mobile, when one of my mates messaged me, asking if I was up for a Maccas run. I told him to get takeaway and get me some nuggies, and he said he’d be round in 20ish. When he got to my place, he was whinging that the chips had gone cold, but I just got the chockie ice cream out of the freezer and dipped one in – absolutely bonzer! My mate looked grossed out, but I said, “Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you try it.”