Living in AustraliaAussie Slang: The Complete Guide (100+ Words & Examples)

Aussie Slang: The Complete Guide (100+ Words & Examples)

If you’re not quite familiar with the spoken language in Oz (short for Australia), it’s important to learn some Aussie slang words and phrases to get by. If you’re wondering how Australian vs American words compare or want to memorise some words, we have listed below some of the most common or characteristic words that Australians use.

Greetings & Expressions

You have probably heard of the popular Australian greeting ‘G’day, mate’, but there are plenty of other greetings and expressions that Australians use on the daily:

Australian SlangMeaningExample/Context
ArvoafternoonI’ll meet with him this arvo.
Beauty!short for ‘beautiful’, often used to say ‘something is great’ or as an exclamation of joyAh, you beauty! What a fine goal!
Beg yours?short for ‘I beg your pardon’used when you want someone to repeat something
Bloody oathmost certainly, you bet, of courseBloody oath I’ll be having a drink.
Bonzerexcellent, first-rateIt was a bonzer party.
Buckley’s Chancevery slim chance, no chance at all She’s got a Buckley’s chance of making it to the final.
Cheersthank you/celebratory/hello/goodbyeCheers mate! (while receiving something/entering or leaving a place)
Crikeyused to express surprise/amazement/wonderCrikey! Has it been that long since I’ve seen you?
DeadsetI’m serious/without a doubtI’m deadset about quitting smoking.
Defoshort for ‘definitely’Allan should defo compete for the title.
Gnarlydifficult, dangerous, challengingThat was a gnarly wave!
Good on yawell done, good jobGood on ya for leaving him.
G’day mateshort for good day mate, used to say hellothis is one of the most common Australian greetings
Half your luckused to express envy over someone’s good fortuneIf only I had half your luck, I’d make it.
How ya goin’?combination of “How are you?” and “Where are you going?”Hey mate! How ya goin’?
No worriesdon’t worry about it/it’s alrightNo worries, you’ll pay me back later.
Reckonguess, think, imagineI reckon the train should arrive in a bit. 

Behaviour & Feelings

When you’re at social events or situations, you will ‘devo’ want to know these Australian slang words for behaviour & feelings:

Australian SlangMeaningExample/Context
Aussie salutemoving one’s hand and arms to brush flies away from the facederived specifically from the need to brush away Australian bush flies
Bailto cancel plans, leave, back out of somethingI’m going to have to bail on you for tomorrow.
BuggeredexhaustedI was up all night. I’m buggered.
Cark itto die/break down/failThe old neighbour carked it last week.
Crankyin a bad mood, angryI don’t get why he was being so cranky today.
Crookill, sickDavid said he is feeling a bit crook.
Devoshort for ‘devastated’, disappointed, upsetMum is devo you didn’t come home for the holidays.
PisseddrunkThey got pissed at the birthday party.
Stokedhappy, enthusiasticI’m stoked for the concert.
StuffedtiredThey were stuffed after taking care of the baby.
True Bluegenuine/ loyal/quintessentially AustralianShe’s a true blue Aussie.
Up oneselfarrogant, vain, self-absorbedHe’s so up himself just because he earns more.
Warm fuzziesfeelings of comfort and happinessBeing back home filled me with warm fuzzies.


Whether you enjoy playing ‘footy’ or ‘sunbaking’, Australia is a land of opportunities when it comes to social and outdoor activities. Here are some slang words for activities that you will want to know:

Australian SlangMeaningExample/Context
Av a goto make an attempt, tryCome on, av a go at it!
Chuck a ueyto make a U-turnpronounced chuck a ‘you E’
Footyfootballalso known as Australian football or Australian rules football
Pashpassionate kissShe saw them pashing behind the pub.
Sunbaketo sunbathe, especially to tanAll I want is to sunbake and sip cocktails.
Chuck a sickieto take a sick day from work when you’re not sickAustralians love chucking sickies.
Tee-upto organise something, make arrangementsMolly will tee-up everything, you just relax.
Veg outto relax in a mindless mannerAll I want to do this weekend is veg out in front of the TV.


Whether you’re in Australia for work or as an international student, you will meet a lot of people along the way. Want to know how to call or describe them? These are some commonly-used slang expressions for people:

Australian SlangMeaningExample/Context
Ankle biteryoung childused especially when a child is annoying or behaving poorly 
Banana bendera native or inhabitant of Queenslandjoking name derived from the notion that Queenslander spent time putting bends into bananas
Bludgera lazy person, a person who avoids workShe’s doing all the chores while the husband sits there like a bludger.
Boganan unsophisticated, uncouth personthe Australian equivalent of the American ‘redneck’
Brucea mana generic name for ‘man’
Cobberfriend, companion, mateG’day cobber!
Copperpoliceman/womanthe original word for policeman/woman, used in Britain, primary meaning being ‘someone who captures’
Crow eatera person from South Australiafrom the belief that early South Australian settlers ate the breast meat of crows due to red meat shortage
Dag/daggysomeone eccentric in an entertaining way/unfashionable person, nerdoften used as an affectionate insult
Drongoa fool, unintelligent personWhat are you doing?! You drongo!
Grommetyoung/inexperienced surferI’d go to that beach, but there are too many grommets.
Hoonhooligan/reckless & dangerous driverLewis Hamilton was charged over the hoon driving incident.
Larrikina mischievous and rowdy but good-hearted person  That larrikin played a prank on me.
Rellie / Relloa relative (family member)My rello is visiting next week.
Shark biscuita bodyboard/someone who is new to surfingHe’s something of a shark biscuit, I don’t know if he can handle those waves.
Sheilaa girl or young womanoriginally used to refer to an Irish woman and derived from the name Síle
Sparkiean electricianderived from ‘someone who works with sparks’
Youseplural of ‘you’similar to the American ‘you guys’ or ‘y’all’


When you’re on the road, you will want to know the Australian slang for gas station or the wilderness. For example, the Australian slang for gas station is “servo,” which is short of service station. You’ll find these and some interesting nicknames for Australian cities below:

Australian SlangMeaningExample/Context
Beyond the Black Stumpextremely remote, uncivilised,  and isolated areas, the outbackTurn back! This place seems beyond the Black Stump.
Billabongoxbow lake; an isolated body of water left behind after a river changes coursesWe camped along the billabong and looked for fish.
Boozera bar or pubThey spent most late afternoons in boozers.
BrisvegasBrisbaneblend of Brisbane + Las Vegas, ironically coined after the city’s lack of nightlife
Bushthe backwoods or hinterland areas outside of urban regionsAva spend a couple of weeks in the bush.
Bush capitalCanberraname derived due to the city being surrounded by forests, nature preserves, and farmland
City of churchesAdelaidename derived due to some of the city’s oldest buildings being churches
Dunnytoiletoriginally an outside toilet, dunny is now used for any toilet
Emerald CitySydneyname derived from a 1987 play comparing Sydney to the “The Emerald City of Oz”
OzAustraliaphonetic abbreviation of ‘Aus’ or ‘Aussie’
Servoservice or gas stationWe need to stop at that servo.
Silver CityBroken Hillname derived due to the city being situated on one of the world’s richest silver deposits
SmellbourneMelbournename derived from a time when households emptied sewage in open drains, causing the city to smell

Animals & Insects

As the land of millions of kangaroos and other wildlife animals, it is no surprise that Australians have multiple slang words for them.

Australian Slang MeaningExample/Context
Barraa barramundi fishWe caught a barra, actually.
Bitiesbiting insects such as mosquitoes and midgiesThere are too many bities out here.
Boomeran adult male kangarooI saw a scary boomer from the window of my rental house.
Brumbya wild horseYou can find many brumbies in the Australian Alps.
Chooka chickenHe had a couple of chooks at his farm.
Dunny Budgiea blowflynamed after its tendency to be around outside toilets
Joeya baby animal, especially a kangarooThe pouch is essential for joey gestation.
KelpieAustralian medium-sized sheepdogAustralian Kelpies are great family pets that are capable of relentless work.
Mozzie spraymosquito sprayMozzie bites can be dangerous, don’t forget your mozzie spray.
Rooshort for kangarooRoos are a national symbol for Australia.
Saltieshort for saltwater crocodileSalties are the largest living crocodilians on earth.
Tiddlera small fishWe had no luck. All we caught were some tiddlers.

Food & Drinks

Australian cuisine and drinking culture are an integral part of Australian culture and customs, so next time you’re going out to a restaurant or pub, it might help to check out the following words:

Australian SlangMeaningExample/Context
A Cold Onea beerCrack open a cold one and enjoy the party.
Avoshort for avocadoI had an avo sandwich for lunch.
Bottle-Oa bottle shop (a store that sells alcohol)We’ll meet you at the bottle-o before the party.
BrekkybreakfastLet’s get some brekky first, I don’t want to get hungry.
Bush tucker (bush food)food or ingredient that is native to AustraliaLemon Myrtle leaves and kangaroo meat are two popular bush tucker.
Cab Savshort for Cabernet SauvignonLet’s grab a Cab Sav and drink it at home with a nice meal.
Choccy Biccychocolate biscuitclipping the word and adding a ‘y’ is a popular form of slang formation in Australia
Cuppaa cup of teaI’m thirsty. Let’s have a cuppa.
Barbieshort for barbequeI’m firing up the barbie tonight. Bring your own drinks.
Frothya serving of beerAll I need is a nice cold frothy and my mates.
Gooncheap wine in a box or bag packagingderived from ‘flagon’— a large container for drinks
MaccasMcDonald’sWe’re too lazy to cook so we’re bringing some Maccas.
Slaba carton of beersLeo brought a slab so we’re getting pissed tonight!
SnagsausageSnags are on the barbie; grab one and I’ll get you a frothy.

Clothing & Accessories

If you want to avoid an embarrassing incident by thinking thongs are underwear in Australia, these are some Aussie slang words for clothing to keep in mind:

Australian SlangMeaningExample/Context
Brollyan umbrellaAustralians use brollies to protect themselves from the sun.
Budgie smugglerstight-fitting men’s swimming trunksBudgie smugglers are back in fashion.
Clobberclothing, clothesalso used to denote belongings
Cozzieswimming costumePut on your cozzie, we’re going to the beach.
Dakstrousersalso used as a verb — to dak someone is to pull their trousers as a prank
Flannie / flannoa button-down flannelette shirt with collarsHe bought a couple of new flannies to wear in school.
Red grundies/ grundiesmen’s underwearrhyming slang for undies from entrepreneur’s Reg Grundy’s name
Jocksmen’s briefsmost likely from ‘jockstrap’ or  the brand ‘Jockey’
Runnerssneakers, trainersDid you check the runners’ section at the store?
SunniessunglassesShe wore sunnies to avoid eye contact.
Thongsflip-flopsalso called ‘double pluggers’, thongs are essential when you’re on Australia’s sandy beaches

Typical Australian Phrases & Idioms

Last but not least, we’ll part ways with some quintessential Australian idioms that you might find humorous or interesting:

Australian PhrasesMeaning
A few sandwiches short of a picnica humorous way to indicate that someone is crazy or unintelligent
As crook as Rookwoodidiom for feeling sick and unwell
Bullock short of a deckused to describe someone who is not very bright
Dog’s breakfastused to describe an unappealing mixture or a messy, disorderly situation
Full as a centipede’s sock drawerto be very full (after eating)
To have kangaroos loose in the top paddockto act or think in an eccentric, crazy manner
To feel like a shag on a rockto feel completely alone or abandoned
One for the roadto have one last drink before leaving
Put a sock in itused to tell someone to stop talking or be quiet
To be a flat chatto be extremely busy
What’s the John Dory?used to ask what’s going on or to request gossip
Shoot through like a Bondi tramto leave, especially to avoid something/someone

Now that you’re a pro at talking like Aussies, grab your sunnies, win a boxing match with a roo, and finish your day with a cold one. Or, you know, talk to people.

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