Beginners Guide To Australian Slang

Being an Aussie myself and knowing my way around the 'lingo' those traveling to Australia for the first time may very well be confused or totally baffled by the way in which we communicate with each other.

Much like putting a phrase book together for visitors heading to Thailand or Indonesia, I thought readers may appreciate a condensed language reference for those planning a visit to 'the land down under'.

Some of the phrases and terms may be familiar to you, while others you may be exposed to for the very first time. A word of warning though for those easily offended, it may be prudent to skip over this article - for the rest you, why not grab a coffee (or a ice cold beer) sit back and enjoy!



  • G'day or Gidday - A warm welcome used at anytime to say hello.
  • Ta - Thanks alot.
  • Hooroo or Ooroo - Goodbye or see you later, often used without the 'H'.
  • Mate - Friend, everyone's a mate in Australia. This word can be used at any point in a sentence, and may also be used to emphasize a point at anytime during the conversation.


  • Freshie - Fresh Water Crocodile
  • Saltie - Salt Water Crocodile
  • Roo - Kangaroo
  • Bities - Any and all insects that bite.


  • Chook - Chicken.
  • Mozzie - Mosquito.
  • Cocky - A cockatoo (bird).
  • Cockie - A cockroach.
  • Dunny budgie - Blow fly.
  • Muddy - Mud crab.
  • Sky Rat - Seagull.
  • Tip Rat - Ibis bird which raids trash bins at picnic areas.



  • Rack off - To tell someone to get lost.
  • Yobbo - A rude or uncouth person.
  • Beauty - Terrific, great, really good.
  • Squiz - To take a look as something.
  • Bogan - A lazy unkempt person with little education or class.
  • No Worries - All is good, no problem, everything is just fine.
  • Sprung - Caught doing something no-one else was supposed to see.
  • Spit the dummy - When someone throws a tantrum, or gets really upset.
  • Tingle - I'll give you a telephone call (tingle) this arvo (afternoon).
  • Pozzie - A position. 'I'm leaving early to get a good pozzie at the park'.

Bogan-Australia Memorable bogan from 90's TV 'Poida' (Peter)

  • Dipstick - Idiot.
  • Bonza - Terrific.
  • Stuffed - Really tired.
  • Wanker - A total moron or idiot.
  • Crook - Sick, feeling unwell.
  • Butchers hook - To look at something.
  • Technicolor yawn - To throw up, vomit.
  • Shoot through - To leave quickly, or escape.
  • Galah - A fool, or someone who acts foolishly.
  • A few sandwiches short of a picnic - Someone who's mentally disturbed.
  • Chucked - Thrown/threw. eg. Wendy chucked a sickie from work today, to go out with friends.
  • Useless as tits on a bull - Something or someone who's hopeless and of no use.


  • Bingle - Car accident.
  • Hard yakka - To work hard.
  • Smoko - Designated work break including morning break, lunch, afternoon break.
  • Bush Doof - A dance party or rave party held in the bush or a rural area.
  • Pash-rash- A skin irritation caused after kissing a man with beard stubble.


  • Trakies - Track suit.
  • Trakie daks - Track suit pants.
  • Daks- Trousers, pants.
  • Underdaks - Underpants.
  • Prezzie - Present or gift.
  • Grog - Alcohol.
  • Sanga - Sandwich.
  • Sambo- Sandwich.
  • Jug - Electric Kettle.
  • Strides - Trousers, pants.
  • Durry - Cigarette.
  • Exxy - Something which costs a lot of money, expensive.
  • Shark biscuit - A body boarder or swimmer at the beach.
  • Tinnie- A small aluminium boat, or a can of beer.
  • Trough lollie - The solid disinfectant used in men's urinals.
  • Doovalacky - a name for something you can't remember the name of, sometimes interchanged with 'thingamajig' or 'thingamabob'
  • Roadie - One last alcoholic drink before heading home, or one to take on the drive.



  • Drongo - Idiot, stupid person.
  • Reffo- Refugee
  • Grouse - Really great, excellent.
  • Bloke - A man.
  • Shiela - A woman.
  • Hornbag - A really good looking person.
  • Spunk Rat - A really attractive person.
  • Bodgy - A product or person of poor quality.
  • Mad as a cut snake - Crazy person.
  • Cark it - To die, or a product that no longer operates, (carked it).
  • Spewin' - Mad, angry or disappointed, eg. I'm spewin' we lost the game.
  • Stroppy - Someone who is getting angry.
  • Wanker - Idiot.
  • Wobbly - Someone who's lost control. eg. 'Dave chucked a wobbly when he found out he lost his keys.'
  • Sickie - To fake an illness to get a day off work, or avoid a responsibility.
  • Up the duff- Planned or unplanned pregnancy.
  • Suss - Someone or something that appears suspect, or to pre-study something.
  • Dipstick - Loser or idiot.
  • Ankle Biter - Small child.
  • Blow In - A stranger or visitor.
  • Bludger- A lazy person who does nothing all day.
  • Cobber - Mate, friend.
  • Oldies - Parents.
  • You'se - The plural of 'you'.
  • Derro - A derelict or drunken street person.
  • Rellies - The relatives of the family, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, cousins.
  • Dag - Someone or something (daggy) thats really uncool.
  • Drongo - An idiot.


  • Liquid Laugh - Vomit.
  • Flat out like a lizard drinking - A person who's really busy.
  • Ridgy-didge - The genuine, original article.
  • Rip snorter - A really good party.
  • Mad as a cut snake - A very angry or crazy person.
  • Root rat - A person always looking for an opportunity to have sex.
  • Spit the dummy - When someone throws a tantrum.
  • As dry as a dead dingo's donger - Really, really, thirsty.
  • Drink with the flies - To drink alone.
  • Devvo - To be devastated over an event or action.
  • Strewth - Surprise.
  • Crikey - Surprise.
  • Bonza - Ripper, really good.
  • Boofhead - An idiot.
  • Poo Tickets - Toilet paper.
  • Hit the frog and toad - It's time to leave and hit the road.
  • As wet as a shag on a rock - A 'shag' is a bird that rests on rocks to dry itself off for hours, someone who's wringing wet.
  • My mouth is like the bottom of a cocky's cage - I'm really thirsty.
  • Burl - To give something a try. e.g. I'll give it a burl, and see if I can do it.'


  • Snag - Sausage.
  • Snag Bag - Sausage Roll.
  • Dog's Eye - Meat pie.
  • Brekky - Breakfast.
  • Bush Oyster - Nasal mucus or phlegm.
  • A couple of biscuits short of the pack - A person who is not quite right in the head or suffering mental issues.
  • Snot-brick - A sweet slice with custard in it, such as a vanilla slice.
  • Bickie - Biscuit or cookie.
  • Chockie bickie - A chocolate biscuit or cookie
  • Bush Tucker - Indigenous outback food.
  • Spag bol - Spaghetti Bolognese.
  • Tucker - Food.
  • Sanger - Sandwich.
  • Festy - Rotten or food that has become spoiled.
  • Full as a goog - As full as an egg - can't eat anymore.
  • Fair suck of the sauce bottle - Be reasonable, steady on.
  • Plonk - wine or fortified wine of poor quality.
  • Carry on like a pork chop - To make a fuss or rant about something.


  • Arvo - The afternoon.
  • Sarvo - This afternoon.
  • Dunny - Toilet.
  • Servo - Gas or petrol station.
  • Gone walkabout - Someone who's wandered off to an unknown location/destination.
  • Uewy - Make a u-turn when driving. e.g 'You better chuck a Uewy here, cause you just missed the turn off'.

Do you have any slang words where you live? Send me an email with your list of favorites.

Sandra Hawkins

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