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:

  1. Arvo – Afternoon
  2. Barbie – Barbecue
  3. Boot – Car trunk
  4. Bottle-o – Liquor Store
  5. Brekkie – Breakfast
  6. Bugger – oh damn, shoots
  7. Capsicum – Bell pepper
  8. Chips – Hot chips, french fries
  9. Chook – Chicken
  10. Coriander – Cilantro
  11. Footy – Football (actually rugby)
  12. G’day – Good day
  13. Joggers – sneakers
  14. Jumper – a jacket or sweater
  15. Lemonade – Sprite or 7-up
  16. Mate – a friend, associate or sometimes a stranger…
  17. Maths – Mathematics, math
  18. 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.
  19. Mozzie – Mosquito
  20. Pokies – Slot Machines
  21. Prawn – Prawns and shrimp – all classified under the same word.
  22. Pressie – Present
  23. Servo – Gas station
  24. Swimmers – Swim Suit
  25. Thongs – slippers (as we call them in Hawaii), or flip flops
  26. Tomato Sauce – Ketchup (but the flavours not quite the same)
  27. Trolley – Shopping cart
  28. Ute – a truck
  29. 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.

 Australian slang you need to know

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.