- Act: Pretending to be something you’re not.
- Aggro: Aggressive.
- Alf: Stupid person.
- Amber or Amber fluid: Beer.
- Apple Eater: Resident of Tasmania.
- Arvo: Afternoon.
- Aussie (pronounced “Ozzie”): Australian.
- Avagoyermug: Traditional rallying call, often heard at cricket matches (contraction of “Have a go, you mug!”)
- Award wage: Minimum pay rate.
- Back of beyond: Far away in the outback.
- Back of Bourke: The middle of nowhere.
- Bag: Lady who is not particularly pleasant.
- Bail out: Leave.
- Bail up: Hold up, rob, earbash.
- Banana Bender: Resident of Queensland.
- Barbie (Barbecue): Like a cook out. Many people get together for a ‘Barbie’ in the warmer months. They are usually BYO (Bring your own) meat and drinks.
- Barney: Fight or scuffle.
- Barrack: To cheer on a team at a sporting event.
- Bastard: General form of address which can mean practically anything from highest praise (“a good bastard”) to worst insult (“a rotten bastard”). When in doubt, don’t use it.
- Bathers: Swimming costume (Victoria and South Australia).
- Battler: Hard trier, struggler.
- Beaut, beauty, bewdie: Very good. Excellent.
- Belt up!: Shut up!
- Berko: Angry.
- Bible basher: Minister, or any proselytising Christian.
- Bickie: Dollar.
- Big mobs: Large amount, heaps.
- Bikies: Motorcyclists.
- Billabong: Water hole in a dry riverbed, or more correctly an ox-bow bend cut off in the dry season by receding waters.
- Billy: Used for making tea in, usually over a campfire. The best billies are the old ones, which make better tea.
- Bitumen: Surfaced road.
- Black Stump: Out towards the horizon. A long way away.
- Block: Block has a few meanings but the more Aussie one is your head.
- Bloke: Person, usually a male.
- Bloody: All-purpose intensifying adjective.
- Blowies: Blow flies.
- Bludge: Not doing anything or getting things from others.
- Bludger: Lazy person.
- Blue: A fight.
- Bluey: A swag; or the nickname of someone with red hair.
- Bonzer: Great, ripper.
- Boomer: Very large; a particularly large male kangaroo.
- Boomerang: Curved flat wooden instrument used by Aborigines for hunting. If your boomerang returns, it means you MISSED!
- Booze: Alcohol, usually beer.
- Booze bus: Police van used for random breath testing for alcohol.
- Bottle shop: Liquor shop.
- Buckley’s: No chance at all.
- Bug (Moreton Bay bug): Small crab.
- Bullamanka: Imaginary place even beyond back of Bourke, way beyond the black stump.
- Bull dust: Fine and sometimes deep dust on outback roads. And a polite version of bullshit.
- Bunyip: Mythical bush spirit, mainly associated with rivers, with an overtone of cuteness.
- Burl: Have a try, as in “give it a burl”.
- Bush: Somewhere in the country or away from the city. Go bush means go back to the land.
- Bushbash: Force one’s way through pathless bush.
- Bushranger: Outlaw, analogous to the outlaws of the American Wild West (some goodies, some baddies).
- Bush tucker: Native foods, usually in the outback.
- Butcher’s: To look. Rhyming slang from “butcher’s hook”.
- BYO: Bring Your Own (booze to a restaurant, meat to a barbecue, etc.)
- Caaarn!: Traditional rallying cry at football games (contraction of “Come on!”).
- Camp oven: Large, cast-iron pot with a lid, for cooking on an open fire.
- Captain Cook: To have a look.
- Cask: Wine box.
- Chiko roll: Australian junk food.
- Chook: Chicken.
- Chuck: Chuck has a few meanings. It can mean to throw or to put in.
- Chuck a U-ey: Make a U-turn.
- Chunder: Vomit, drive the porcelain bus, kerbside quiche, pavement pizza, liquid laugh, rainbow sneeze, technicolour yawn.
- Cleanskin: Unbranded cattle.
- Clobber: Clothes; to hit.
- Cobber: Mate (archaic).
- Cocky: Small-scale farmer.
- Come good: Turn out all right.
- Compo: Compensation, such as workers’ compensation.
- Conk: To hit someone (archaic).
- Cooee: Bush greeting.
- Coolabah: Type of box eucalyptus tree.
- Corroboree: Aboriginal meeting, with ceremonial dancing. Corroboreeis also a ballet by Australian composer John Antill (1904-1986).
- Counter meal, countery: Pub meal.
- Cow: Also means anything that is difficult.
- Cow cocky: Small-scale cattle farmer.
- Cozzie: Swimming costume (New South Wales).
- Crook: Ill, badly made, substandard.
- Crow Eater: Resident of South Australia.
- Cut lunch: Sandwiches.
- Dag, daggy: Dirty lump of wool at the back end of a sheep, also an affectionate or mildly abusive term for a socially inept person.
- Daks: Trousers.
- Damper: Bush loaf made from flour and water cooked in a camp oven.
- Dead horse: Tomato sauce.
- Deli: Delicatessen. Milk bar in South Australia and Western Australia.
- Dijeridu: Cylindrical musical instrument played usually by Aboriginal men.
- Dill: Idiot.
- Dillybag: Small bag to carry things.
- Dinkie die: The whole truth.
- Dinkum, fair dinkum: Genuine or honest.
- Divvy van: Police divisional van.
- Do your nana: Lose your rag, spit the dummy, lose your temper.
- Dob In: To tell (an authority) on someone.
- Donk: Car or boat engine.
- Don’t come the raw prawn: Don’t try to fool me.
- Down south: The rest of Australia, according to someone north of Brisbane, Queensland.
- Drive the porcelain bus: Vomit.
- Dry, the: Dry season in the north.
- Drongo: Worthless or stupid person.
- Duco: Car paint.
- Dunny: Outdoor lavatory.
- Dunny budgies: Blow flies.
- Earbash: Non-stop talk.
- Eastern states: The rest of Australia, according to someone in Western Australia.
- Enzedder: New Zealander.
- Esky: Large insulated box for keeping beer etc. cold, (short for Eskimo box).
- Evo: Evening.
- Fair crack of the whip!: Fair go!
- Fair dinkum: Genuine or honest.
- Fair go: Give some a chance or an opportunity to do something.
- Financial: To be flush with cash.
- FJ: Most revered Holden car.
- Flake: Shark meat, used in fish and chips.
- Flaming: All-purpose intensifying adjective.
- Flat out: As fast as possible.
- Floater: Meat pie floating in pea soup, viewed by Australians either as a great delicacy or as a great emetic.
- Flog: Sell; steal.
- Fossick: To hunt for gemstones.
- From arsehole to breakfast: All over the place.
- Furphy: A rumour or a false story.
- Galah: Noisy parrot, thus noisy idiot.
- Game: Brave.
- Gander: Have a look.
- Gaol: Australian and British variant spelling of “jail”.
- Garbo: Garbage collector.
- G’day: A greeting. It is the Aussie way of saying good day.
- Gibber or gibby: Aboriginal word for stony desert.
- Give it away: Give up.
- Going “troppo”: Going tropical; laid-back and fun-loving; insane.
- Good oil: Accurate information.
- Good possie: Advantageous position.
- Good on ya!: Well done!
- Grazier: Large-scale sheep or cattle farmer.
- Grizzle: To complain.
- Grog: General term for alcohol.
- Grouse: Very good, unreal.
- Gum Sucker: Resident of Victoria.
- Gumtree: Eucalyptus.
- Gutzer: Some plans don’t work out or to have an accident (to come a gutzer).
- Hire: To rent, as “to hire a car”.
- His nibs: The boss.
- Homestead: Residance of a station (ranch or farm) owner or manager.
- Hooley: Wild party.
- Hoon: Idiot, hooligan, yahoo.
- Hooly-Dooly: An expression of surprise.
- Hotel: Sometimes means only a pub.
- How are ya?: Standard greeting.
- HQ: Second most revered Holden car.
- Hump: To carry.
- Icy-pole: Frozen lolly water or ice cream on a stick.
- Identity: Celebrity.
- In full feather: In fine health.
- In yer boot!: An expression of disagreement (archaic).
- It’s a goer: Something that will definitely occur.
- Jack-in-the-box: Person who can’t sit still.
- Jackaroo or Jillaroo: Trainee on a cattle station (ranch or farm).
- Jingoes!: Exclamation of wonder.
- Jocks: Men’s or boys’ underpants.
- Joe Bloggs: The average citizen.
- Joey: Baby kangaroo, still in the pouch.
- Journo: Journalist.
- Jumbuck: Sheep.
- Jumped-up: Full of self-importance; arrogant.
- Kafuffle: Argument.
- Kanga or kangaroo: Shoe.
- Keen as mustard: Enthusiastic.
- Kelpie: Sheep dog or cattle dog.
- Kerb: Alternative Australian and British spelling of “curb”.
- Kerbside quiche: Vomit.
- Kick: To share or join in.
- Kick-in: to provide your share. The pot (kitty) is called the “kick”.
- Kip: Sleep or nap.
- Kiwi: New Zealander.
- Knackers: Testicles (also love spuds, nuts, nads).
- Knock: To criticise.
- Knocker: One who criticises.
- Kombi: Multi-purpose van-like vehicle, often modified so the back seats were folded down to get a mattress in the back.
- Koori: Aborigine (mostly south of the Murray River).
- Lair: Layabout, hooligan.
- Lairise: To behave in a vulgar, flamboyant manner.
- Lamb-brained: Stupid.
- Lamington: Sponge cake cut into squares, covered in chocolate and coconut.
- Larrikin: Ruffian or hoodlum.
- Lay-by: To put a deposit on an article so a shop will hold it.
- Licensed: Legally permitted to sell alcoholic drinks.
- Like a bandicoot on a burnt ridge: Lonely and vulnerable.
- Liquid laugh: Vomit.
- Lob: Arrive.
- Lollies: Candy or sweets.
- Lolly: Money.
- Loo: Lavatory or toilet.
- Lot: The whole thing.
- Lurk: Scheme (no negative connotation).
- Ma Stater: Resident of New South Wales.
- Mad: Crazy (seldom means anger).
- Mallee: Remote bushland of Victoria.
- Manchester: Household linen.
- Mate: This usually means a friend but it can be used to talk about or to anyone – even a total stranger.
- Matey with: Familiar or friendly with.
- Matilda: The belongings of a swagman, wrapped in a blanket or bedroll.
- Middy: 285 ml beer glass (New South Wales).
- Milk bar: Corner general store.
- Milko: Milkman.
- Mob: Group of person or things (not necessarily unruly).
- Mozzie: Mosquito.
- Mug: Either a fool or your face.
- Naff: Ridiculous, useless.
- Nana: Banana.
- Nark: Spoilsport.
- Narked: Annoyed.
- Neddies: Horses.
- Never-never: Desert region far away in the outback.
- Nick: To steal.
- Nick out: Go somewhere for short period of time.
- Nit: Fool or idiot.
- No hoper: Hopeless case.
- No shortage of oscar: To be flush with money.
- No worries!: Everything will be fine!
- Noise off: Speak loudly.
- North Island: Mainland Australia, according to someone in Tasmania.
- Northern summer: Summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Nulla-nulla: Wooden club used by Aborigines.
- Num-nums: Tasty food.
- Ocker: Uncultivated or boorish Australian.
- Off-sider: Assistant or partner.
- Oil: Information.
- On a good lurk: To have a good job.
- OS: Overseas.
- Outback: The bush, or uncivilised uninhabited region.
- Oy!: An ocker’s call; hey!
- Owyergoin: How are you going? Often used with “G’day” and “Mate”.
- OYO: On your own (flat or apartment).
- Oz: Australia, as in Oz-tralia.
- Packed out: Filled to capacity.
- Packet: Large some of money, an envelope.
- Paddock: Field or meadow.
- Pally: On friendly terms with.
- Paper yabber: Letter.
- Parcel: Package.
- Pastoralist: Large-scale grazier.
- Pavement pizza: Vomit.
- Pavlova: Traditional Australian meringue and cream dessert, names after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.
- Pearler: Excellent.
- Perve: To gaze with lust, purview.
- Pester: Annoy or bother someone.
- Petrol: Gasoline.
- Piffle: Nonsense.
- Pinch: To arrest.
- Pineapple, rough end of: Stick, sharp end of; misfortune.
- Piss: Alcohol, usually beer.
- Piss turn, piss up: Boozy party.
- Piss weak: No good, gutless.
- Pissed: Drunk.
- Pissed off: Annoyed.
- Pivot on: Consider.
- Plant the foot (to the floorboards): Drive fast.
- Plonk: Cheap wine (contemptuous contraction of “vin blanc”).
- Poddy dodger: Cattle rustler. Poddy calves are milk-fed but not by a cow.
- Poker machine, pokies: Slot machine or fruit machine but with playing card pips. Found in clubs mainly in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
- Pom or Pommy: English person.
- Poofter: Homosexual.
- Possie: Position.
- Postie: Postman.
- Pot: 285 ml glass of beer (Victoria and Queensland).
- Prang: Accident or crash.
- Proprietary (Pty.): Company (Co.).
- Pub: Any hotel. A favourite meeting place of many Australians.
- Push: Group or gang of people, such as shearers.
- Putt-putt: Any small vehicle.
- Q: Thank you (mumbled).
- QANTAS: Acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service.
- Quack: Doctor, especially if not very good.
- Quick smart: In a hurry.
- Quids: A lot of money.
- Rainbow sneeze: Vomit.
- Rapt: Delighted, enraptured.
- Ratbag: Someone who does not behave properly.
- Raw Prawn: A lie or a con job.
- Razoo: Fictitious coin, as “I haven’t a brass razoo”.
- Reckon!: You bet! Absolutely!
- Rego: Registration, as in car rego.
- Ridgy-didge: Original, genuine.
- Ringer: Fast sheep shearer.
- Ripper: Good.
- Road train: Multi-trailered semi truck. Legal only in Northern Territory.
- Roo: Kangaroo.
- Roo bar: Metal rod on front of vehicles to protect against kangaroo strikes.
- Root: Have sexual intercourse.
- Rooted: Tired.
- Ropable: Very ill-tempered or angry.
- RS: Lousy (rat shit).
- Rubbish: To tease, as in “to rubbish”.
- Rug up: Dress for warmth.
- Sack: To dismiss from a job.
- Salvo: Member of the Salvation Army.
- Sandgroper: Resident of Western Australia; sand-burrowing desert insect.
- Scallops: Fried potato cakes (Queensland and New South Wales), shellfish (elsewhere).
- Scheme: System or method (no negative connotation).
- School: Group of drinkers, each of whom buys a round.
- Schooner: Large beer glass (New South Wales, South Australia).
- Screamer: Noisy drunk.
- Scrub: Can be the same as the bush or it can mean areas in the country without many trees.
- Sea wasp: Deadly box jellyfish.
- Sealed road: Surfaced road.
- See you in the soup: See you around.
- Semitrailer: Articulated truck.
- Septic: Disparaging term for an American (“septic tank” rhymes with “Yank”).
- Session: Lengthy period of heavy drinking.
- Sheila: Female or woman.
- Shellacking: Complete defeat.
- She’ll be right!: Everything will be fine!
- Shivoo: Rowdy party (archaic).
- Shonky: Unreliable.
- Shoot Through: To leave or disappear in a hurry.
- Shout: Pay for someone else, particularly a round of drinks.
- Shove off!: Go away!
- Shirty: To get upset or angry.
- Sickie: Day off work ill, or malingering.
- Silk shirt on a pig: Something wasted.
- Sink the boot: Go in hard.
- Skint: Broke.
- Skite: To boast.
- Slab: 24 cans (tinnies) of beer, shrink-wrapped as a unit.
- Slog: Hard work.
- Smoko: Smoke or tea break.
- Snag: Sausage.
- Sport: More general way to refer to someone rather than a mate.
- Spunky: Good-looking, attractive as in “what a spunk”.
- Square off: Apologise and make reparations.
- Square up: Prepare to fight (as in boxing).
- Squatter: Large landowner who originally occupied land as a tenant of the government.
- Squattocracy: Australian “old money” folk, who made their fortunes by being first on the scene and grabbing the land.
- Station: Large farm or ranch.
- Sticky beak: Nosy person.
- Stinger: Deadly box jellyfish.
- Strewth!: It’s the truth! An exclamation, often of surprise.
- Strides: Daks, trousers.
- Strine: Australian slang (“Australian” spoken in strine).
- Stubby: 375 ml bottle of beer.
- Sunbake: Sunbathe.
- Surfy: Surfing fanatic.
- Swag: Canvas-covered bedroll used in the outback.
- Swagman: Vagabond, rural tramp.
- Swimmers: Swimming costume (Queensland, Victoria).
- Take away food: Take-out food.
- Tall poppies: Achievers, often a disparaging term.
- Tariff: Rate.
- Taswegian: Resident of Tasmania (patterned after “Norwegian”).
- Tea: evening meal.
- Technicolour yawn: Vomit.
- Tee up: Organise or arrange.
- Telly: The television.
- Thingo: Thing, whatchamacallit, whomajigger, hooza meebob, doo velacki, thingamajig.
- This arvo: This afternoon.
- Thongs: Rubber sandals, flip-flops
- Tinny: Can of beer. Also a small aluminium fishing dinghy (Northern Territory).
- Togs: Swimming costume (Queensland, Victoria).
- Too right!: Absolutely!
- Top End: Northern part of the Northern Territory.
- Top Ender: Resident of the Northern Territory.
- Trucky: Truck driver.
- True blue: Dinkum.
- Tucker: Food. Australian schools call their canteens a “tuckshop”.
- Twit: Fool or idiot.
- Two-pot screamer: Someone who can’t hold his liquor.
- Two-up: Traditional Australian heads/tails gambling game, played with 2 coins.
- Tyre: Australian and British spelling of “tire”.
- Underdaks: Underwear.
- Uni: University.
- Up a gumtree: In a quandary.
- Up north: New South Wales and Queensland, according to someone in Victoria.
- Ute: Utility truck or vehicle.
- Vee-dub: Volkswagon car.
- Vegemite: Popular vegetable extract used as sandwich spread.
- Velvet: Highly profitable or advantageous.
- Waffle: Nonsense.
- Wag: To skip school or work.
- Walkabout: Lengthy walk away from it all.
- Wallaby track, on the: To wander from place to place in search of work (archaic).
- Waltz Matilda: To carry a swag.
- Weatherboard: Wooden house.
- Wet, the: Rainy season in northern Australia.
- West Island: Australia, to a New Zealander.
- Wharfie: Dockworker.
- Whinge: Complain and carry on unnecessarily.
- Whomajigger: Term for person or thing whose actual name one can’t remember.
- Willy-nilly: Small dust twister. Also, without thought.
- Wobbly: Disturbing, unpredictable behaviour, as in “throw a wobbly”.
- Woomera: Stick used by Aborigines to throw spears.
- Wowser: Spoilsport or puritan.
- XXXX: Fourex, a favorite brand of Queensland beer.
- Yabbie: Small freshwater crayfish.
- Yahoo: Noisy and unruly person.
- Yahooing: Boisterous behaviour.
- Yakka, yakker: Hard work, an Aboriginal term
- Yank: American.
- Yankee shout: A round of drinks in which everyone pays his own. Yank tank: An American car.
- Yobbo: Uncouth, aggressive person.
- Yonks: Ages, a long time.
- Youse: Plural of you (by the grammatically challenged).
- Zebra crossing: Broad-striped pedestrian roadway crossing.
- Zed: Australian and British pronunciation of “Z”.
- Zeds: Pertaining to sleep (zzz).