Aussie Idioms/Slangs

Glossary of Australian Slang, Idioms & Aussie Lingo


  • Acca Dacca - rock band 'AC DC'
  • ace – excellent
  • ambo - Paramedic, Ambulance Officer
  • ‘ang on – wait a moment
  • arvo – afternoon
  • Aussie - person from Australia (pronounced: Ozzey)
  • ‘avago – have a go (usually ‘ya mug’ – you fool – is added); try harder
  • bangaroo - marathon sex
  • barbie – barbecue or BBQ
  • barra - a barramundi fish
  • bewdy or bewdy bottler – good; the best
  • Beyond the Black Stump – far from the city; the outback
  • bickie - biscut or cookie
  • bingle – minor car accident
  • bludger – layabout, one who wants something for nothing, person who does not work or works very little
  • bluey – a swag or blanket roll
  • bombed out – unsuccessful; also drunk
  • bonza - excellent
  • boys in blue - Police
  • Brisbanites - people from Brisbane
  • buckleys - no chance
  • budgy smugglers - swimming atire, also referred to as 'togs'
  • burl - 'give it a burl' give it a go; attempt something
  • by crickey – an expression of surprise
  • cactus – useless, broken
  • cark it – to die
  • cashed up – having plenty of ready money
  • cheesed (off) – bored; fed up
  • chewy – chewing gum
  • chook – domestic fowl
  • chook raffle – a lottery in which the prize is a chicken; usually held in a ‘pub’ (hotel)
  • chuck a wobbly – go berserk
  • cobber – friend
  • cocky – know all; also a small farmer
  • combo - combination
  • come a cropper – to fall heavily
  • cot case – a drunk or exhausted person only fit for bed
  • cracking - excellent / get cracking - start something
  • Darwin stubby - 2 litre bottle of beer
  • deadhead – a stupid person
  • deadly - excellent ("The Deadlys" is an award program to recognise the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to their community and to Australian society)
  • dead marine – an empty beer bottle (also: dead soldier)
  • dead set – certain; assured; used as an exclamation meaning ‘really!’
  • dead set against it – uncooperative
  • dinky-di – genuine
  • do your lolly (mellon; nana; loaf) – to get very angry
  • dob in – to betray or report someone to the authorities; also to nominate someone for an umpleasent task
  • don’t get off your bike – calm down
  • drongo – stupid person
  • dry as a drovers dog – extremely thirsty
  • dunny – an outside toilet
  • esky – a portable icebox (brand name)
  • fair crack of the whip – ease up (also: fair suck of the surf)
  • fair dinkum – honest; genuine
  • fair enough – alright; acceptable
  • fair go – a chance; also an appeal for fairness
  • flake (out) – to collapse; to fall asleap
  • flat out like a lizard drinking – lying prone; also rushed; extremely busy
  • flush – having plenty of money
  • fossick – to search for something
  • freak out – to have an extreme reaction (good or bad) to something
  • full as a goog (tick; boot) – drunk; full of food after a big meal
  • game as Ned Kelly – very brave (Ned Kelly was a daring bushranger [robber] in 1878)
  • garbage – an exclamation meaning ‘what rubbish, I don’t believe you!’
  • garbo - garbage collector
  • g’donya – good for you; well done; can also be sarcastic; or mean ‘I don’t believe you’
  • go off like a bucket of prawns in the sun – to create commotion
  • good one – an explanation of approval; or comment that someone is stretching the truth
  • goodo – yes, alright
  • goon - wine sold inside a bag and cardboard box
  • gutful – more than enough (I’ve had a gutful of this – I’ve had enough)
  • have tickets on yourself – to be conceited
  • hit the deck – to duck; to put your head down
  • hit the tin – put money in the kitty; to contribute to a collection of cash
  • hoon – a stupid or uncultivated person; also a fast or wreckless driver
  • hooroo – goodbye
  • jackaroo - male working with cattle or horses
  • joolaroo - female working as a jackaroo
  • kero - kerosene
  • kick in – to help out with money
  • knock – to criticise, find fault
  • knocker – a person who makes derogatory remarks
  • larrikin – mischievous, wild or carefree person
  • lations - family relatives or 'relations'
  • like a hornet in a bottle – furious
  • like a possum up a gum tree – moving fast
  • like a rat up a drainpipe – moving even faster
  • lingo – language
  • loaded – extremely wealthy; also very drunk
  • local rag - local newspaper
  • longkneck - 750ml bottle of beer (also: tallie)
  • mackas - McDonalds
  • main drag - main road or street through a town
  • mate – good or best friend; also used to greet someone as in ‘G’day mate’
  • matilda – a blanket roll carried by a swagman
  • Melbournians - people from Melbourne
  • metho - methylated spirits
  • mexicans - people from the state south of yours
  • milko - milk home delivery person
  • m’oath – my oath; on my oath. bloody oath - i agree
  • mug – fool
  • mulga – rough country (actually: a type of tree)
  • muso - musician
  • no-hopper – incompetent person; social misfit
  • nosh up – a good meal
  • nick – to steal
  • nicked – to be caught; (I got nicked – I got caught) go away; (get nicked)
  • nick off – to go away; expression meaning ‘lose yourself!’
  • nifty – stylish; clever; shrewd to the point of dishonesty
  • ocker – the archetypal uncultivated Australian male
  • outback – the inland country far away from large cities
  • pint of beer - 570ml
  • prang – minor car accident
  • prawn - shrimp
  • pot of beer - 285ml (a 'one pot screamer' is someone who gets drunk off very little alcohol). Also known as a 'middy' or 'half pint'
  • rack off – to go away
  • ranga - person with red hair (Julia Gillard Australian Prime Minister - pictured right)
  • rego - vehicle registration
  • righto - alright
  • ring-in – a substitute
  • rissole - a type of meatball flattened out; or fat meat patty. (also: 'given the rissole' sacked or fired from employment.
  • road train - a truck with many sections attached (some road trains are over a kilometre long)
  • rort – a con
  • sangers – sandwiches
  • schooner of beer - 425ml
  • ’scuse me - excuse me
  • servo - a petrol station or gas station
  • she’ll be apples, she’s sweet – it’ll be fine
  • shoot through - to go somewhere else (or he shot through)
  • shonky – poor quality
  • shotgun - the front passenger seat of a vehicle
  • shout – to buy drinks for everyone
  • shrapnel - coins of a low denomination
  • sickie – a day taken off work, but not necessarily because of illness
  • skip – Australian-born (from Skippy the kangaroo [a TV show])
  • skite – a bragger
  • slack - work left over by a lazy person. To 'pull up the slack' is to do the work left over by others.
  • a slash - to take 'a slash' or 'have a slash' - to urinate
  • smoko – a break from work (originally a cigarette)
  • snags – sausages
  • speedo - vehicle speedomoter
  • stinker – an objectionable person
  • stone the crows – exclamation of astonishment
  • stubby - a bottle of beer (330ml) or stubbie / a brand of shorts
  • stubby cooler - used to keep your hand warm and a beer cold
  • swag – a blanket roll of light bedding
  • swagman – a man who travels around the country on foot and takes odd jobs usually in the outback
  • Sydneyites - people from Sydney
  • ratbag – a rogue; an eccentric person
  • rubbish – to criticice; to mock
  • servo - petrol station
  • ta - thank you
  • tall poppy (/syndrome) - a cultural tendancy to cutt people down to size - criticise people who excell or achieve significantly / or publicly above others.
  • ta-ta – goodbye
  • Taswegins - people from Tasmania
  • the ditch - water between Australia and New Zealand
  • tinnie – a can of beer; a small aluminum boat
  • too right – an exclamation meaning ‘I agree’
  • top drop – a good beer or wine
  • true blue – genuine
  • twit – a fool
  • ute – open backed pick-up truck
  • veg out – relax
  • wag – to play truant
  • wheelie – a noisy skidding turn while driving
  • whinge – to complain
  • whopper – something surprisingly big
  • woop woop - out in the middle of no where
  • wowser – a killjoy; a prudish teetotaler
  • write-off – a total loss
  • wuss – spoilsport; afraid to have a go
  • yakka – hard or heavy work
  • yank - American
  • yobbo – a loud or stupid uncultivated person
  • yonks ago (or yonks and yonks ago) - a long time ago
  • zonked (out) – tired out; exhausted

Australian English Idioms

Beyond the black stump

An Australian idiom idicating that even if you go as far as you can, the black stump is still a little further.

Blood is worth bottling

If an Australian says to you "Your blood is worth bottling", he/she is complimenting or praising you for doing something or being someone very special.

Cut down the tall poppies

If people cut down the tall poppies, they criticise people who stand out from the crowd.

Dog-whistle politics

When political parties have policies that will appeal to racists while not being overtly racist, they are indulging in dog-whistle politics.

Dry as a wooden god

Very dry area or very thirsty: That desert is as dry as a wooden god.

Flash as a rat with a gold tooth

Someone who's as flash as a rat with a gold tooth tries hard to impress people by their appearance or bahaviour.

Flat out like a lizard drinking

An Australian idiom meaning extremely busy, which is a word play which humorously mixes two meanings of the term flat out.

Like a shag on a rock

If someone feels like a shag on a rock, they are lonely or isolated. A shag is an Australian bird that often perches alone on a rock.

Mad as a cut snake

One who is mad as a cut snake has lost all sense of reason, is crazy, out of control.

On the knocker

If you do something on the knocker, you do it immediately or promptly.

On the wallaby track

In Australian English, if you're on the wallaby track, you are unemployed.

See which way the cat jumps

If you see which way the cat jumps, you postpone making a decision or acting until you have seen how things are developing.

She'll be apples

A very popular old Australian saying meaning everything will be all right, often used when there is some doubt.

Stone the crows

Stone the crows is used to convey shock or surprise similarly to "Oh my God". "Stone the flamin' crows" is a more emphatic form of the expression.

Talk the legs off an iron pot

Somebody who is excessively talkative or is especially convincing is said to talk the legs off an iron pot. ('Talk the legs off an iron chair' is also used)

Up a gum tree

If you're up a gum tree, you're in trouble or a big mess.

Australian Spoonerisms

no wucking furries (or: no wuccas) - no worries cunny funt - a funny person