Some Common Australian Words
G'day and welcome to good ol' aussie.
In Australia, we commonly shorten our words. While we all understand what each other are saying, it is difficult for other English speaking visitors, let along those who speak little English, to understand what we are on about.
The Australian tradition of shortened words is known as slanguage - we have made a national language out of using slang!
For your education and entertainment, here's a few common slanguage words you may come across….particularly in the Outback.
Aussie: Australian (I'm an Aussie.)
ay: a verbal question mark that many Aussies attach to the end of a sentence. Can also be used as truth (It's hot ay!).
barbie: a barbecue
beauty: (pronounced bue-dee) great, okay, fantastic.
billabong: waterhole in a dry riverbed
billy: a container for boiling tea
bloke: a man
blowey: a blow fly
bluey: a red-haired person. Also a "swag" and a blue cattle dog.
bush: the country. Aussies love to "go bush" (get out of the city).
crikey: an exclamation like "My gosh". Steve Irwin used this one all the time.
crook: broken or sick, as in "I'm crook. I think I have the flu."
Digger: Australian soldier. Usually used to describe an Aussie soldier from World War I.
Dinki-di: true, genuine. Usually used to say that something is real good, it's dinki-di.
Dinkum: as above - true, genuine. Usually used in a question to check if something is true - "Is it dinkum?"
Doona: a quilted bed cover with a down filling, a comforter.
drongo:a foolish person, slow witted, an idiot.
Dummy: a baby pacifier. To spit the dummy is to throw a tantrum, get angry about, or refuse to do something.
Dunny: an outside toilet over a can. Many Aussies call their inside toilet a dunny too.
fair dinkum: really, honestly, genuine.
garbo: garbage man
g'day or gidday: Aussie greeting no matter what time of day it is.
gone troppo: moved north in hot tropical Australia, or, become crazy because of the heat. Also used to explain a person who is doing things out of the usual, "They've gone troppo."
jumper: a sweater to keep you warm.
Kiwi: a person from New Zealand.
knackered: completely exhausted, very tired or worn out (if something is broken it "is knackered").
lollies: candy, sweets
larrikin: A funny person, usually a young boy. Can also describe a boy who is doing naughty things.
mate: a buddy, a friend, a person you first meet (G'day mate).
matey: Usually more than a mate or said to children (come here matey).
no worries: It's alright, everything is okay, not to worry.
ocker: distinctively Australian. Can't get more Australian than something that is ocker. It also describes an Aussie workman ("He's a real ocker.").
outback: isolated parts of Australia. Even more isolated than the bush.
Pom or Pommie: what we call the English. Came from an early saying that meant Passage of Means - the English who came freely to Australia rather than as convicts.
ratbag: A rascal or a rogue. Can also be used to describe people who do things that we don't agree with.
ripper: Great, terrific, fantastic (Ripper mate!)
sheila: A woman (a bloke and a Sheila)
she'll be apples: It will be all right.
skite: Boast, brag (That bloke's a real skite).
smoko: A short break from work to have a smoke and "boil the billy".
snags: Sausages. Aussies love to throw a snag on the Barbie.
sook: A shy, timid person or a person that cries all the time.
station: An outback farm or ranch (sheep or cattle station).
stickybeak: A busybody
swag: a portable bed or sleeping bag ("Grab the swag and let's go camping").
true blue: Genuine. (for a full understanding see the memorial song to Steve Irwin: Hey True Blue).
tucker: Food ("Want some tucker?").
walkabout: A period of wandering or disappearing ("He's gone walkabout"). A traditional Aboriginal practice. They used to go walkabout for many reasons.
wowser: A party pooper