Aussie (Australian) Slang

April 24, 2019

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.

What it’s like speaking to Australians sometimes. Source: Buzzfeed


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

“Up for a Maccas run?” roughly translates to “Do you want to go to MacDonald’s to pick up food?”. Source: Gold104.3

Abbreviated words

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

Can’t head to the beach without your thongs! Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

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!


Who’s shouting the next round?

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)

Everyday expressions

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

Anyone up for a chockie bikkie? Source: gold1043.

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.”