What’s up with Aussie slang?
Arvo, bikkie, Maccas, chook… holy dooley, we have no idea what you just said!
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For those of you preparing for your first days in Australia, we thought you might want to practice your Aussie lingo skills. In the past, we’ve provided you with common Aussie terms to ensure you’re up to speed on regular, everyday Aussie language. For instance, when someone asks you, “How are you going?”, they want to know how you’re doing, not whether you’re taking the bus or your car to campus!
But then there’s this whole other, more complex level of Aussie lingo you should know about, too. You’re going to hear a lot—and we mean a lot—of abbreviations for pretty much everything. Be prepared.
Here are some more slang words to help you settle in your new surroundings:
- Arvo : afternoon
- Bikkie : biscuit (also “it cost big bikkies” meaning it was expensive)
- Bingle : car accident
- Bizzo : business (“Mind your own bizzo!”)
- Bloody : very
- Bludger : lazy person, layabout, somebody who always relies on other people to do things or lend him things
- Bogan : person who takes little pride in his appearance, spends his days slacking and drinking beer
- Bottle shop : liquor shop
- Bundy : short for Bundaberg, Queensland, and the brand of rum that’s made there
- Cactus : dead, not functioning (“This bloody washing machine is cactus.”)
- Chockablock : full up (The parking lot was chockablock.”)
- Chokkie : chocolate
- Chook : a chicken/hen (It’s common for people in suburbs to keep hens in their backyards.)
- Chuck a sickie : take the day off sick from work when you’re perfectly healthy
- Coathanger : Sydney Harbour bridge
- Dodgy : questionable, iffy (“That car looks dodgy.”)
- Esky : large insulated food/drink container for picnics, barbecues etc.
- Fairy floss : cotton candy
- Garbo : municipal garbage collector (Aussies also add “ologist” to the end of other jobs to make them sound professional.)
- Going off : used for a night spot or party that is a lot of fun (“The place was really going off!”)
- Good onya : good for you, well done
- Heaps : lots; “I’ve got heaps of time!” (You will hear this one heaps. Trust us.)
- Holy dooley! : an exclamation of surprise, like “Good heavens!” “My goodness!” “Good grief!” or similar
- Ice block : Popsicle
- Lollies : sweets, candy
- Maccas (pron. “mackers”) : McDonald’s (You will also hear this one heaps.)
- Mate : buddy, friend
- No drama : same as no worries
- No worries! : expression of forgiveness or reassurance (No problem; forget about it; I can do it; Yes, I’ll do it)
- Pash : a long passionate kiss; making out
- Prezzy : present, gift
- Reckon : for sure
- Rack off : push off! get lost! get out of here!
- Rock up : to turn up, to arrive “We rocked up at their house at 8 p.m.”
- Sanger : a sandwich
- She’ll be right : it’ll turn out okay
- Shout : turn to buy—a round of drinks usually (“It’s your shout!”)
- Show pony : someone who tries hard, by his dress or behaviour, to impress those around him
- Smoko : smoke or coffee break
- Stuffed, I feel : I’m tired
- Sunnies : sunglasses
- Tea : supper
- Thongs : cheap rubber backless sandals (Flip-flops to us)
- Togs : swim suit
- Tucker : food
- Turps : turpentine, alcoholic drink
- Turps, hit the : go on a drinking binge
- Ugg boots : Australian sheepskin boots worn by surfers since at least the 1960s to keep warm while out of the water. Also worn by airmen during WW1 and WW2 because of the need to maintain warmth in non-pressurized planes at high altitudes. Not meant to be in the snow!
- Ugh : ugly; hence Ugg boots
- Uni : university
- Ute : utility vehicle, pickup truck
- Whinge : complain (pronounced winj)
- Wobbly : excitable behaviour (“I complained about the food and the waiter threw a wobbly.”)
- Wonky: crooked, off-centre, not functioning correctly
- Woop Woop : invented name for any small unimportant town (“He lives in Woop Woop.”)
- XXXX : pronounced Four X, brand of beer made in Queensland
- Yabber : talk (a lot)
- Yewy : u-turn in traffic (“Chuck a yewy at the next traffic lights.”)