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Australian Slang II

Updated on July 2, 2011

When i was younger and living in London as a backpacker, English people often used to comment that Australian people had a tendency to shorten a lot of their words or add an o the the end of them. So if you were going to a petrol station in Australia you would say 'i am going to the servo'. Servo being the shortened version of service station. Playing a game of football was always shortened to lets play a game of 'footy'. Another part of Aussie slang that you should not get offended by is the term 'bastard'. Bastard if often used as a term of endearment. You could call a friend who has just won a prize a 'lucky bastard' or some one who is loud at a party a ' noisy bastard'. One should never feel offended if called a '____ bastard'.

Aussie rhyming slang is also very confusing for international travellers. It has its origins from cockney speak or flash talk that the convict brought out from England and Ireland when Australia was first colonised. The convicts used to talk in this rhyming slang so the authorities could not pick up what they were talking about. So if someone in Australia asks if you want a 'dogs eye' with some 'dead horse', don't be alarmed. All they are asking if you would like a meat pie with tomato sauce.

A List Of Common Rhyming Slang

 Have a 'Captain Cook' - to have a look at something

Frog and Toad - Road

Reg Grundies - Undies (underwear)

Dogs eye - Meat Pie

Dead Horse - Tomato Sauce

Currant Bun - Herald Sun (Melbourne Newspaper)

Johnny Horner- Corner

Snakes Hiss - Piss

Cheese and Kisses - Missus

Barry Crocker - Shocker

Rubbity Dub- Pub

Horses Hoof - Poof (Homosexual)

Oxford Scholar - One Dollar

Steak and Kidney - Sydney

Joe Blake - Snake

So when you step off the plane in Australia , take a deep breath and listen to what people are saying because what you think they are saying may not be exactly what they are meaning. If anyone has any of there own to add please feel free. Please share your own experience of the colorful Australian language. Now i am off for a pigs ear (beer) becasue i am dry as a dead dingos donger.


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    • mizjo profile image

      mizjo 5 years ago from New York City, NY

      How about getting some prezzies for Chrissy?

      I do miss the casual way of life in West Australia (I've heard it called 'Australia's California' - maybe because of the gold strikes?). There was no difference made between people of different economic strata. They went to the same parties, drank at the same bar, spoke the same language. Yep, ate dog's eye with dead horse.

    • profile image

      Milli Thornton 5 years ago

      I lived in Australia for 25 years and one of the things I miss is the ways names are shortened or converted into a slang all their own. Bazza (Barry), Shazza (Sharon), Gazza (Gary) for first names and for surnames, Flemmo for Fleming, Thommo for Thompson, etc.

      I really enjoyed the way your Hub reminded me of so many once-familiar terms. I laughed about "dead horse" for mahdi sauce. Reminds me of the way my ex-father-in-law would always refer to corned beef as "corned horse."

      Having lived Down Under, I could swear there's actually an "r" in the word banana. . . .

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Very nice. An Australian once told me of a term for a "lay-about" or couch potato but I have half-himers. God bless!