A Guide to Aussie Slang
"G'day mate. Fancy a tinnie?"
If you have ever been to Australia, or know anything about it, you will know that like all other countries we have our own unique way of communicating. Our land is so vast, we could live thousands of kilometres away from a friend, yet we all speak the same language and in very similar accents. Australians, or Aussies as I will say from now on, (pronounced "Ozzy" not "Ossie") have a strong habit of shortening everything we say. Or putting an "O" on the end of a name/word. An example:
- "Oi Damo...we're goin to the bottle-O to get some grog for the barbie. Ya wana come with?" translates to: "Hey Damien. We're going to the liquor store to buy some alcohol for the barbeque. Would you like to come?"
Here are some examples of some great words we use in everyday life, some more than others:
- Sheila - Woman.
- Bloke - Man.
- Ankle-Biter - Small child.
- Dag - Refers to either if someone is acting like a dork or is dressed quite shabby. It is mostly used as a term of endearment though between friends eg. "You're such a dag but that's why I love you".
- "Snaggers" - Barbeque sausages.
- "Barbie" - Barbeque.
- "Drongo" - A person showing a lack of intelligence eg. "You didn't put your handbrake up, you drongo!"
- "Bogan" - An Aussie of the flannelette shirt wearing variety, possibly smoking Winnie Blues with a VB in hand. Terrible stereo-typing, I know.
- "Yobbo" - Quite like the bogan but more outwardly vocal in their Aussie-ness, often draping the flag around them on Australia Day and basically being a bit of a nuisance.
- "Norks" - Breasts.
- "Budgie Smugglers" - Speedos swimwear for men. Don't make me explain the reason please ;)
- "Thongs" - Flip-Flop footwear. Most Aussies are conscious of the different meaning of this word in other countries. Otherwise this can happen: Person 1: "Would you like to come inside" Person 2: "Sure, hang on a sec, I'll just take off my thongs". Person 1: "Uhh...What?!!".
- "Arvo" - Afternoon.
- "Blue" - Argument/fight eg. "She just had a blue with her best mate".
- "Daks" - Trousers/pants/underwear.
- "Servo" - Petrol/Gas station.
- "Floaties" - A swimming aid for young children to wear around their arms.
There are also many sayings that are distinctly our own. I will do my best at translating the best ones for you...I'll start with my subtitle:
- "G'day mate. Fancy a tinnie?" - "Good day to you, friend. Could I tempt you with a beer?"
- "Fair go!" - "Give me a chance!"
- "Fair dinkum" - This basically means "Genuine". Someone can say they are "dinkum" when they are genuinely telling the truth about something eg. "The fish was this big...Dinkum!!" A "Dinky Di Aussie" is someone who is pretty fair dinkum on how Aussie they are!
- "Bob's your Uncle" - Basically means if you follow certain instructions the result will be what you are after eg. "If you want to go to the shops turn right at the end of the road here, then a left, then right again and Bob's your Uncle" meaning you are now at the shops.
- "Woop Woop" - A place that is very far to travel and out in the middle of nowhere eg. "I'd love to go see their new place but it's out near Woop Woop".
- "She'll be right" or "She'll be apples" - Refers normally to a situation and trying to put someone at ease about that situation. For example, if you are worried you forgot to turn the iron off at home the response could be "Nah, she'll be right. I'm sure you turned it off".
- "You little beauty!" - An excited remark when something really good has just happened. Normally said by people jumping up and down while saying it!
- "Where's the dunny?" - "Where's the toilet?".
- "Up the duff" - To say someone is "up the duff" is to say they are pregnant.
- "Can I bum a durry?" - "Can I have one of your cigarettes?"
- "Flat out like a lizard drinking" - To be, or have been very busy and hard at work.
- "Hard yakka" - Hard work eg. "Building that retaining wall was bloody hard yakka".
And my personal favourite:
- "No worries" - This is basically the attitude us Aussies generally pride ourselves on. It represents a relaxed, friendly attitude and mateship. It is commonly heard after someone has been thanked for doing a deed eg. Person 1: "Thanks for baby-sitting my kids" Person 2: "Yeah, no worries". Also after receiving instructions eg. Person 1: "Please get to the church by 10am." Person 2: "Absolutely. No worries".
We are very proud of our own unique styles and although we are not all your stereo-typical looking Aussies, most of us would say many of these words and phrases in our everyday life. This was just touching on our language Down Under. I guess you'll have to come for a visit sometime and learn some more - I hope I helped you get started! Hoo Roo (GoodBye) and take it easy!!