Understanding Australian Slang

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

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