THE AUSTRALIAN SLANG YOU NEED TO KNOW
When I first moved to Australia, I was a bit of a fish out of water. There were so many everyday words and phrases that I had NO idea what they meant. Here is my list of Australian slang that you need to know when visiting or moving to Australia.
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Australian Slang You Need to Know
Commonly used Australian slang words that I have encountered in everyday living that you need to know:
- Arvo – Afternoon
- Barbie – Barbecue
- Boot – Car trunk
- Bottle-o – Liquor Store
- Brekkie – Breakfast
- Bugger – oh damn, shoots
- Capsicum – Bell pepper
- Chips – Hot chips, french fries
- Chook – Chicken
- Coriander – Cilantro
- Footy – Football (actually rugby)
- G’day – Good day
- Joggers – sneakers
- Jumper – a jacket or sweater
- Lemonade – Sprite or 7-up
- Mate – a friend, associate or sometimes a stranger…
- Maths – Mathematics, math
- Midi & Schooner – Must know when ordering your beer! A midi is roughly half-pint and a schooner is a bit less than your standard pint size. These are the two common sizes when ordering a beer.
- Mozzie – Mosquito
- Pokies – Slot Machines
- Prawn – Prawns and shrimp – all classified under the same word.
- Pressie – Present
- Servo – Gas station
- Swimmers – Swim Suit
- Thongs – slippers (as we call them in Hawaii), or flip flops
- Tomato Sauce – Ketchup (but the flavours not quite the same)
- Trolley – Shopping cart
- Ute – a truck
- Whinge – to complain
You’ll notice there are some patterns with some of these words. Basically many words have been abbreviated and oftentimes an “ie/y” added to the end of the word.
There are also a lot of Australian phrases you will find on the web, but honestly I’ve hardly ever heard them used in real life. Perhaps they were heavily used 20 years ago, but not anymore. My list above are the common Australian slang/words that I have encountered in a regional town in Australia.
Also, don’t miss my post on things that I have learned when moving to a new country here.
What are some of the unusual/unexpected vocabulary that you have come across when visiting a new place?
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Don’t forget Macca’s (McDonald’s)! First time I heard that I was confused. And not really slang, but a “flat white” is really popular there, while it is relatively unknown in Hawaii, although starting to appear on menus these days.
I did forget, thanks! Living here for a few years, some things almost seem normal now…