Bushy's BLOG

Now living and experiencing Brisbane, Australia

Aussie Slang

Your culture shock starts the moment you step off the plane. The Australians ‘chew’ their English, well that’s the impression I got as a South African accustomed to mostly pure Queen’s English. Maybe I was thinking “Crocodile Dundee“?

On this page, I’m hopefully going to introduce you to some Aussie slang / lingo / language. Purists of the Queen’s English might claim that these are abominations, distortions – but rather think of them as defining the culture, the way of life, what it means to be Australian.

So let’s get started ;-)

Mate” – Friend. Everybody down under is your “mate“. Every properly formulated Aussie sentence contains at least one “mate“.

Sheila” – Girl, babe, chick, woman. When they get together it’s a “hen party“.

Knock-committor;-) That’s what a Sheila’s calls a hammer!! Be afraid, very afraid !!!

Yeah” – Most likely a “yes”, but maybe used as a general filler as in “yeah, yeah” or “Yeah, Mate“. Woman in particular manage an entire mobile conversation filled with “yeah – (pause) – yeah…”.

No worries” – A substitute phrase for “okay”. First encounters made me damm worried!!!

Yip” – Now when it comes to pronunciation it could be said as though it was actually spelt “Yup“. Either way it means “yes”.

Doll Bludger” – This is someone (men & women) who receives weekly unemployment benefits from the government but are too lazy to work or even look for work.

Bunny boiler” – A really stunning girl. Down under there’s lots of them ;-)

Whilst on the subject of girls ;-)

Slag” or “Mole” – Old Australian term for a woman that is sexually very free. Nowadays you’d probably say “hooker” or “whore“.

Ditzy” – The epitome of the dumb blonde!!! someone who is time consuming, 99% preoccupied with themselves and drives everyone else around them slowly mad…BUT it is never their fault…the world and everyone in it conspires against them! I was blessed to receive this gospel straight from another almost blond sheila!

walkabout” – What you do when take a walk somewhere.

Cheers” – I’d always thought of this as a “toast” or “good bye“, however downunder it is closer to a “thank you“. So when something is handed, respond with “cheers“.

dunnie” – Yet another name for a “toilet“, “loo” or “bog“. Sometimes those who are particularly proud of their achievements in this department say “thunderbox“.

off crook” – taking a “sickie”, that is a day off because you claim you’re not feeling well or need a manicure / pedicure / hair do. This is also the day you send the boss the “I’m not well” email.

short shift” – This is what happens when you get dumped before going on your first date.

chook” – Chicken, yeah – the real feathered ones that lay the eggs!

chokkers” – Packed, like a bus filled to capacity – people standing. As an example, take the Translink Route 227 ;-(

kudos” – compliment, flattering remark.

WAG” – Wives and Girlfriends. This term is usually used in news paper articles when referring to sportsmen and their better half ;-)

bleeder” – Bloodhound dog.

brown nosing” – Overt praise usually directed towards your boss (in an attempt to gain favor or preferential treatment)

ac” – This has nothing to do with power but rather an “air conditioner” eg. “Yeah mate, I got ac at home“. Energex and government regularly run adverts asking people to set their air conditioners at 24 degrees.

CS Cowboy” – An alcoholic blend of Butterscotch schnapps and Cream Liqueur. As a South African, drink has the texture of Marula Cream and a taste something like Sambuca crossed with Shnapps.

postie” – The bloke who drives the motorcycle delivering the post.

chippy” – A carpenter. Women seem to love chippies, maybe because they work with hands on stuff which isn’t really dirty and greasy?

garbo” – The bloke driving the garbage / rubbish truck. All the trucks here in Australia have metal arms that jump out and grab the bins, then give ‘em a good old shake before putting them back on the payment.

Wowser” – Someone who doesn’t smoke or drink – a spoil sport – disruptive person.

soek” – Softy, really sensitive. Usually directed towards at a bloke that’s a real wimp. There are a couple soeks taking part in MasterChef.

budgie smugglers” – The Aussie name for a speedo – male swimsuit that blokes wear at the beach. Tony Abbott – the opposition leader has been interviewed many times about his budgie smuggler fixation. I wonder what his three daughters think about it?

whipper snipper” – That garden tool that spins the nylon gut to trim the edges of the lawn. South Africans call this a “weed eater”.

The same thing but with a spinning metal blade is called a “brush cutter“.

UGO” – Unidentified garden object. This could be anything from a pretty flower to the mold destroying your driveway.

like Teflon” – When used to describe someone, it means nothing sticks to them i.e. they are not guilty, it is never their problem or fault. They’re always innocent.

in the burg” – Another way of saying “suburb”.

in the pen…” – Discrete way of saying “in jail…” !!!

Whirly Bird” – Because of the heat here in Queensland, lots of houses have a semi-circular sheet metal extractor fan attached to the roof. Supposedly this helps take the bite out of the 35+ daily temperatures!

Yowie” – A seriously big bloke – a monster, something like Big Foot in the USA.

Pronunciation is also different compared to the Queen’s English for some words – it’s not just the accent!

Debut” – Sounds like “day boo

Here” – Closer to “ear“, the “h” kinda disappeared!! Loosing the “h” is what also happens in Spanish – “hablar

Toyota” – Say “toy” followed by “yota“.

WAGS” – Refers to sport blokes Wifes And GirlfriendS. If you are a bloke and  play sport well and you just happen to be reasonably good, you tend to attract some seriously stunning Bunny boilers

For more information on Aussie Slang, checkout a slang dictionary here or here