Understanding Aussie Slang

Australian Slang
Our favourite Aussie term, budgie smugglers!

I remember the first time somebody asked me, “how ya goin’?” I thought to myself (with my nose turned up and pinky finger in the air); that’s not very good English. Now, seeing as I was in Darwin, Australia, I probably did myself a favour by not donning my English teacher’s hat, explaining the grammatical implications of what was said, and ending up with my head in “the dunny.” As it goes, most slang and colloquialisms aren’t necessarily in line with the Queen’s English, which probably explains why it is so much gosh darn fun to learn slang and idiom from other countries. God knows, Canadians have their own unusual and quirky sayings. (Fighting… so very… hard… not to… say… … … but I must… EH!)

Arienne and I had a blast learning Australian slang and we thought we’d share some of the words with you. As can be expected, some terms are a little more ‘rural’ than others, but we were rather impressed with some of the creativity involved, while also amused at some of the round-about ways these terms were created. And so without further ado, here’s our decoded list of Aussie slang.

  • Budgie Smugglers = Speedos for men (My favourite… saying that is)
  • Thongs = Flip Flops (Imagine the shock for Arienne and I when we were asked if we were bringing our thongs to the beach.)
  • Brekkie = Breakfast
  • Sunnies = Sunglasses
  • Mackers = McDonalds (This one is catchy)
  • Mossies = Mosquitoes (you’ll constantly hear “don’t forget to put on mossie spray!”)
  • The dunny = the toilet
  • Eskie = cooler
  • The boot = the trunk of a car
  • Flat White = Latte with no foam (a very common espresso drink in Australia)
  • Mucked = Messed up
  • Stacked = fell off your bike or skateboard (ie: “He totally just stacked that!”)
  • Doona = Duvet or Cover
  • Skoll = to chug
  • Crock = you’re sick
  • Gastro = Stomachache
  • Piles = Hemorrhoids (I didn’t have them, I swear!)
  • Dom = Condom
  • “How ya goin’?” = How’re you doing?
  • “I reckon” = I think (used a lot in Australia)
  • “It’s feral!” = It’s gross!
  • “Hit the frog and toad” = to go driving
  • “Come a gutza” = to fall over, crash

 

Did we miss a totally Aussie bit of Slang? Know the origin of some of these terms and sayings? Make a comment. We’d love to hear from you!


  • Rod Shepherd

    here in Australia (Darwin in my case) a Flat White is mostly water, whereas a latte is all milk. a flat white is definitely not the same as a latte for me.

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  • Toadfish

    G’day how ya goin’…I notice your spelling is a bit crook on a few of those words there. This must be because you find the Aussie accent hard to understand. It’s feral, not farrel and doona not duna. Also Skull is spelled Skoll but pronounced as skull. Glad you had a you beaut time down under. cheers

    • http://www.seeyousoon.ca Arienne

      Hey Toadfish. Thanks for pointing out the spelling mistakes! I’m sure you can understand how getting the proper spelling of slang words can be difficult. But now I know and have made the corrections :) Cheers!

  • Edel

    I can relate with the THONGS thingy :) When I first met Aussie Greg (now my husband). he asked me if I can go with him to get some pair of thongs! He even asked me if i do have a rubber (which I thought was condom, but realized he was looking for a rubber eraser). It was a turn-off then..til I knew what he really meant…lol..One day on my visit in Oz, in a crowded bookstore, I told him I badly need 4 ticklers. To my dismay, people around us gave me a naughty kind of look…I was referring to a small notepad…I did’nt know it was a clitoris vibrator thing for them. Darn! My partner visa was just granted last week and I cant wait to learn more of their unique slang :) Cheers!

    • http://www.seeyousoon.ca Arienne

      Ah haha. I love that! It’s amazing all the different meanings people give to the same words. Thanks for sharing!

  • Chris

    Frog and toad is cockney rhyming slang, meaning road (toad – road). So obviously that one’s origins are from London (England). Piles isn’t slang it’s just the common name for hemorrhoids since god knows when in Britain! Boot for trunk is also British. Saying reckon for think though… Doesn’t everyone use that???

    • http://www.seeyousoon.ca Arienne

      I guess it makes perfect sense then that a lot of Aussie slang is taken from British slang as well, but with Canada also being part of the Commonwealth, we don’t seem to use those terms at all, especially reckon. I’ve only ever heard reckon used by Brits and Aussies :)

  • James

    I remember when i got my head shoved in the dunny

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  • http://www.thetravolution.com/ Cristina

    Haha! Love this post! I laughed out loud when I first heard about Thongs. I was like “you’re changing those in public??” Another one that took me FOREVER to figure out was “jumper”. 

    • Chris

      Yet ironically in Canada you wear jumpers a lot!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the useful list. I grew up calling flip-flops “thongs” until about middle school when I realized what the other meaning was… 😉