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Aussie Slang Guide 101

Put another prawn on the barbie

By Nicola Christoforos
"What the heck did he just say?" This might be your first thought when having a conversation with an Australian. Strine, the term for Aussie slang, can be described as "making words as short as possible" — just get an Aussie to say "water" and you'll understand what we mean. But rest assured our certified Aussie Slang 101 guide will have you speaking Strine like a true blue Aussie dinki di in no time.

 

Arvo:

Short for afternoon. You’d usually expect to hear it in the context of “We’ll see you in the arvo,” or “Catch you in the arvo.” 

Barbie:

Sure, most Australian children still play with their Barbie dolls. But this term has nothing to do with it: It actually refers to a traditional Aussie barbeque. Each home is fitted with one, and you’re basically not a true Australian if you don’t own a barbie of your own.

Beaut:

If something is a “beaut,” it’s either fantastic or beautiful. 

Bloody:

This rather uncomely expression is mostly used as an exclamation of surprise. It’s proper translation is “very,” and can be used in happy sentences like “This Aussie Slang Guide is bloody awesome!” or less happy ones such as “Bloody hell” or (our favorite) “You’re a bloody idiot.” Be cautious with this one.  

Bloke:

Every male is a bloke. Your guy friend’s a bloke, your boy cousin’s a bloke, but your dad, well he’s a really good bloke. 

Bottle-O:


This is your typical liquor store. We guarantee you’ll need a bottle-o at least once.   

Bodgy:

If something is bodgy, it’s poor quality. We tried our best not to bring you a bodgy Aussie Slang Guide.

Buckley’s:

This unique Australian slang term means you have no chance. So, you either have buckley’s understanding Aussie slang, or buckley’s of ever wanting to come home once you’ve mastered it.

Chockers:

When something is chockers, it means it’s full. This may refer to a bar, restaurant or café that’s “chockers.”

Crikey:

This is an exclamation of surprise. 

Dingo’s breakfast:

No, this isn’t a meal on the menu. In fact, it means no breakfast. Let’s just hope you don’t stay at a hotel that offers a dingo’s breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day after all.

Dinki Di:

Even a city slicker can’t master the Dinki Di: the authentic language of the Australian Bush. And trust us, you’re better off just sticking to basics.

Dinkum/ Fair dinkum:

When something is dinkum, it means it’s real or genuine. If it’s fair dinkum, then you’ve got yourself a real something. 

G’day:

This great Australian term is probably the most universally known. Make sure your first hello in Australia is actually a G’day! 

Going off:

When something is going off, you’ll want to be there. This means the place, venue, show, game, etc. is really awesome, and you’ll want to be a part of it. 

Heaps:

This term refers to a lot of something. Like, you’re going to love Australia heaps. Or, you’ll be crying heaps when you leave.

Lollie:


If you’re looking for candy (you with the sweet tooth, you), then you’d be looking for a lollie. 

Macca’s:

In every other country, it’s McDonald’s. In Australia, it’s Macca’s. And we’re loving it.

Mate:

Friend. Most Aussie’s spend time with their mates at the pub or footy ground (rugby).

No wozza:

In the Lion King, hakuna matata means “no worries.” In Australia, no wozza means hakuna matata. 

Prawns:


The national name for shrimp. As in “put another prawn on the barbie.”

Rack off:

We really hope no one tells you this. It basically means to get lost or go away. 

Ripper:

Now this one has two definitions: It can either mean something really great (like “You’ll have a ripper of a time in Oz!”) or a fart. Use with extreme caution.

She’ll be right:

Everything will be all right. 

Sheila:

If you’re a woman, then you are a Sheila. Except for your mum (she’s an impatient Sheila). 

Sickie:

This is your typical sick day. You may want to take a few sickies to extend your stay Down Under.

Strewth:

This is another exclamation of surprise. This is usually said at the beginning of a sentence to emphasise its importance, like “Strewth! How beautiful is this place!” 

Stoked:

If you are stoked, then you are excited. And we bet any Aussie will be stoked if you use the word “stoked” in a sentence.

Tellie:

If you want a tellie, then you want a television. 

Thongs:


Now, in any other country a thong is something you wouldn’t show off in public. (Unless that’s your thing. Totally no judgement here.) But Down Under, thongs refer to flip-flops, and make sure to ask for them as thongs and not thong. Otherwise they might just give you one single flip-flop. And that’s also something you wouldn’t show off in public.

Tucker:

Tucker will, and always will, refer to food. 

Waddayareckon:

A lazy way of saying “What do you reckon?” So, waddayareckon about our Strine guide? Was it helpful?


By Nicola Christoforos

Nicola loves Disney, peanut butter and skyping with her family back in Oz. She has been seen eating Vegemite and actually enjoying it.