Experiencing another culture is one of the best things about studying overseas. If you’ve decided to go to school or university in Australia you’ll notice the locals have a very unique way of speaking. Even though English is the official language, there’s a lot of Aussie lingo that can sometimes be confusing for international students and other visitors.
Here we’ve translated some common words and phrases you’ll hear in Australia to make your time in Oz a little bit easier!
Arvo = Afternoon
Have a good arvo.
Avo = Avocado
I really like avo on toast.
Barbie = Barbecue
Are you going over to Dave’s for a barbie?
Bloke = Male person
I like Justin. He’s a good bloke.
Bottle-O = Bottle shop/liquor store
I’m heading to the bottle-o for some beer.
Brekky = Breakfast
Do you want eggs for brekky?
Bucks = Dollars
Person 1: How much do I owe you for dinner?
Person 2: Thirty bucks.
Buggered = a) Tired (a person) OR b) broken (an object)
a) I’ve been studying all night. I’m buggered.
b) I can’t ride my bike to uni, the chain’s buggered.
Chockers = Very full
I ate way too much; I’m chockers.
Chrissie = Christmas
Are you going home over the Chrissie break?
Coldie = A beer
I’m going to the pub for a coldie.
Crikey = An expression of surprise/shock
Crikey, that’s a big spider!
Devo = Devastated
I missed out on tickets to see Beyoncé. I’m so devo.
Dip = Swim
I’m going for a dip in the pool.
Dodgy = a) Not right OR b) Suspicious
a) This chicken smells dodgy.
b) I don’t trust him. He’s dodgy.
Esky = Cooler box/ice box
Put the drinks in the esky to get cold.
Flat out = Really busy
I haven’t had time to clean the house, I’ve been flat out.
Footy = Football (generally AFL or rugby league)
Do you want to watch the footy?
Going off = a) Something is very good OR b) A person getting very angry
a) The concert was going off.
b) Amy was going off at the person who crashed into her car.
Good onya = a) Good work OR b) You’re an idiot
a) Person 1: I got a job!
Person 2: Good onya, mate!
b) Person 1: I reckon I look like Chris Hemsworth.
Person 2: Yeah, good onya!
How ya going? = How are you?
Hi Amanda, how ya going?
Jumper = Sweater
It’s cold today, don’t forget your jumper.
Lollies = Sweets, candy
Jelly Beans are my favourite lollies.
Macca’s = McDonald’s restaurants
I’m going to grab some lunch at Macca’s.
Mozzie = Mosquito
I’ve been bitten by a mozzie!
No worries = Not a problem
Person 1: Sorry, I won’t be able to come over tomorrow.
Person 2: No worries.
Petrol = Fuel/gasoline
My car is running out of petrol.
Pull your head in = Behave yourself
You’re being an idiot, pull your head in.
Pressie = Present
I need to buy mum a pressie for her birthday.
Reckon = a) An opinion about something OR b) To agree
a) I reckon Sydney is better than Melbourne.
b) Person 1: This burger is so good.
Person 2: I reckon!
Rip off = Very expensive
$10 for an ice cream! That’s a rip off!
Sanga = Sandwich
Person 1: What do you want for lunch?
Person 2: A salad sanga, please.
Servo = Service station
I’m heading to the servo to buy a drink.
She’ll be right = Everything will be all right
Person 1: There’s no way I’m going to pass this exam.
Person 2: Nah, she’ll be right, mate.
Slip, Slop, Slap = Sun protection
Slip on a shirt, slop (apply) sunscreen and slap on a hat (put a hat on your head).
Smash = a) Eat/drink something really quickly OR b) Hit/tackle someone very harda
) I could smash a meat pie I’m so hungry.
b) (Watching a football game) Smash him!
Snag = Sausage
It’s very Australian to have a snag on bread with onions.
Spag bog/spag bol = Spaghetti bolognese
We’re having spag bog for dinner.
Spew/chunder = Vomit
He was so sick he spewed all over the bathroom.
Stoked = Excited
I’m so stoked for the weekend.
Sunnies = Sunglasses
I left my sunnies on the bus.
Sweet as = Awesome
Person 1: I can give you a lift to uni if you want.
Person 2: Sweet as.
Ta = Thank you
Person 1: Here’s your drink.
Person 2: Ta.
That’s tops = That’s awesome
Person 1: I scored two goals at the game today.
Person 2: That’s tops.
Thongs = Flip flops
Thongs are the best shoes to wear to the beach.
Togs = Swimsuit
Person 1: Are you going to Sam’s place for a swim?
Person 2: Yep.
Person 1: Don’t forget your togs.
Tomato sauce = Ketchup
I always put tomato sauce on top of a meat pie.
Totes = Totally
I’m totes going shopping on Saturday.
Uni = University
What subjects are you studying at uni?
Up yourself/up ‘emselves = Snobby
You’re so up yourself.
Woop Woop = A place that’s very far away or outside of your local area
I’m not paying for a taxi to Tim’s place, he lives out Woop Woop.