130+ fun Australian slang words, phrases, expressions & insults

Esta Pinto


Esta Pinto

If you’ve ever heard an Australian speak, you may have thought to yourself, “what on Earth are they saying?!” For any non-Australian who hasn’t spent a considerable amount of time surrounded by Australians, understanding Aussie slang can be a challenge.

And for a good reason, because Aussies have a knack for turning everyday words into colorful expressions that can leave uninitiated scratching their heads in confusion.

If that’s you, this guide will help you crack the code to Australian slang so you can communicate like a local. We’ve gathered over 130 Aussie slang terms to get you started.

Couple with their dog holding an Australian flag on the beach.

A complete list of iconic Australian slang terms and phrases

If you’ve ever found yourself casually conversing with an Australian, you may have gotten slightly confused with words like “arvo,” “barbie,” “blue swimmer,” and “a brekkie.”

The good news is, there seems to be a universal rule: when in doubt, shorten it! That’s why instead of “good afternoon,” you’ll hear “arvo, mate,” and instead of “have a good day,” you’ll hear “g’day!”

To help you speak like a local, we’ve compiled a list of the most common terms in Aussie slang with their meaning and an example sentence.

Everyday Australian slang words

If you’re planning a trip to Australia or you’re interacting with Australians on a daily basis, you may find it challenging to understand what they’re saying half of the time.

To help you crack the code and navigate those daily conversations, here’s a list of everyday Australian slang words you may need.

Slang word/phraseMeaningExample sentence
ArvoAfternoonI'll see you this arvo.
Aussie saluteBrushing away fliesHe's doing the Aussie salute to keep the flies off.
BarbieBarbecueLet's have a barbie this weekend.
BathersSwimsuitDon't forget your bathers if we're going to the pool.
BikkieBiscuitWould you like a bikkie with your tea?
Bloody oathAbsolutely trueDid you hear about the new job? Bloody oath!
BludgerSomeone who is lazyI chucked a sickie because I’m a bludger.
BoganUnsophisticated personHe's a bit of a bogan, but he's alright.
BoggedStuck in mud or sandThe car got bogged in the sand at the beach.
BonzaExcellentThat's a bonza idea!
Bottle-oBottle shop (liquor store)I'll swing by the bottle-o on the way home.
BrahBrother/friend/mateHow’s it going, brah?
BrekkieBreakfastI'm hungry. Let's grab some brekkie.
Brekky runA trip to get breakfastI'm going on a brekky run. Do you want anything?
BundyBundaberg RumLet's have some Bundy and coke.
BungBroken or malfunctioningThe computer's bung again.
BushRural areaThey live out in the bush.
Cark itTo dieMy old car finally carked it.
Chock-a-blockCompletely fullThe parking lot was chock-a-block with cars.
ChockersFullThe cinema was chockers last night.
ChookChickenLet's roast a chook for dinner.
ChrissieChristmasWe're having a big lunch on Chrissie Day.
Chrissie pressieChristmas presentDid you get any good Chrissie pressies this year?
Chuck a sickieTake a day off pretending to be sickI don't feel like going to work today. I might chuck a sickie.
Chuck a U-eyMake a U-turnI missed the turn. I'll have to chuck a U-ey.
CobberMate or friendHe's my old cobber from school.
DagSilly personHe's a bit of a dag, but he's fun.
DaggyUnfashionable or eccentricI know my outfit is a bit daggy, but it's comfortable.
DaksTrousersI need to buy some new daks for work.
Dead horseTomato saucePass the dead horse, please.
DeadsetAbsolutely trueAre you deadset about going to the concert?
DeroShort for derelictI feel a bit dero today because I’m hungover.
DunnyToiletWhere's the dunny in this place?
Dunny budgieBlowflyThere's a dunny budgie buzzing around in here.
EskyPortable coolerGrab some drinks from the esky before we go.
Fair dinkumGenuineAre you fair dinkum about moving to the Outback?
Fairy flossCotton candyLet's get some fairy floss at the fair.
FeralWild or untamedThose feral kids are always causing trouble.
FlickTo dismiss or get rid ofI had to flick my old phone, it was broken.
FootyFootball (Australian Rules)Are you going to watch the footy this weekend?
Full as a googHaving, eaten too much, or very drunkHe was full as a goog after the party.
G'dayHelloG'day mate, how's it going?
GarboGarbage collectorThe garbo comes every Tuesday to pick up the trash.
Go walkaboutWander off, disappearHave you seen the cat? It's gone walkabout again.
Good onyaWell doneYou finished the project early? Good onya!
Goon bagCheap wine in a bagWe drank a whole goon bag last night.
GrogAlcoholLet's grab some grog for the party.
HoonReckless driver or troublemakerThose hoons were speeding down the street.
LooToiletI need to use the loo.
Macca'sMcDonald'sLet's grab some Macca's for dinner.
Maccas runA trip to McDonald'sAnyone up for a late-night Maccas run?
Mates ratesDiscount for friendsHe gave me mates rates on the repair job.
MiddyA type of beer glassI'll have a middy of beer, thanks.
MoolahMoneyThat car cost a lot of moolah.
PaddockField or meadowThe cows are out in the paddock.
PashA passionate kissThey had a pash behind the school.
PommyEnglish personHe's a Pommy, just moved here from England.
RatbagTroublemakerHe's a bit of a ratbag, always causing trouble.
ReckonThink or believeDo you reckon it'll rain tomorrow?
Ridgy-didgeGenuine/authenticHe's a ridgy-didge Aussie bloke.
Rip snorterExcellentThat was a rip snorter of a party!
RipperExcellentThat's a ripper of a catch!
RobboRobertI'm meeting Robbo for lunch.
Rock upArriveWhat time did you rock up to the party?
RooKangarooWatch out for roos on the road at night.
Roo barBull bar on a vehicleThe kangaroo hit the roo bar and bounced off.
RoughieLongshot in bettingI'm putting a bet on the roughie in the next race.
SangaSandwichI'll make myself a sanga for lunch.
SangerSandwichI'll grab a sanger for lunch.
ServoGas stationI need to fill up at the servo.
She'll be rightEverything will be okayI forgot to bring my umbrella, but she'll be right.
SheilaWomanShe's a good sheila, always fun to be around.
SickieA day off due to pretended illnessI'm taking a sickie tomorrow to go fishing.
SmokoSmoke breakI'll meet you outside for a smoko.
SnagSausageThrow another snag on the barbie.
SookA person who complains a lotStop being such a sook and get on with it.
Spit the dummyHave a tantrumHe spat the dummy when he lost the game.
SpunkAttractive personHe's a bit of a spunk, isn't he?
StrewthExpression of surprise or dismayStrewth, did you see the size of that spider?
StubbieShort, squat beer bottleI'll grab a six-pack of stubbies for the party.
Stubby holderInsulated holder for a beer can or bottleGrab a stubby holder to keep your beer cold.
SwagSleeping bag and bedding for campingWe rolled out our swags and slept under the stars.
ThongsFlip-flopsI'm wearing my thongs to the beach.
TinnyCan of beer / a small boatLet's crack open a tinny. / Let’s take the tinny out this arvo, it’s a cracker!
TogsSwimsuitDon't forget your togs if we're going to the beach.
Trackie daksTracksuit pantsI'm just going to lounge around in my trackie daks.
TradieTradespersonThe tradie fixed our plumbing yesterday.
UteUtility vehicleHe's got all his tools in the back of his ute.
Woop WoopRemote or faraway placeHe lives out in Woop Woop, miles from anywhere.
YabberTalk incessantlyHe can yabber on for hours about nothing.
YobboUncouth or unruly personThose yobbos were causing trouble at the pub.

Roo is another word for Kangaroo in Australian slang.

Funny & quirky Australian slang phrases and insults

Australian English has a lot in common with British English. First of all, the Australian accent can be easily confused for British to the untrained ear. Secondly, some common British slang words and phrases are also present in Australian lingo.

And thirdly - and funnily enough - both Australian and British slang often use somewhat unfiltered phrases to describe people or situations that can often be perceived as vulgar and offensive by non-Australian or non-British speakers.

Here are 40 Australian slang insults, that may simply be just a way of speaking. Be warned, they may make you laugh or feel offended.

Slang word/phraseMeaningExample sentence
All over the shopDisorganised, chaoticHis presentation was all over the shop, he couldn't focus.
As useful as an ashtray on a motorbikeCompletely uselessThat idea is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.
BonkersGoing beyond what is normal or conventional, very enthusiasticAfter hearing his plan, I thought he was bonkers.
Brassed offFed up, annoyedI'm brassed off with all this rain ruining my plans.
CactusBroken, not working properlyMy old computer is cactus, time for a new one.
Cheese and kissesOne’s wife or girlfriend, slang for rhyming with “missus”Is it boy's night only or shall we invite the cheese and kisses?
Chuck a wobblyTo throw a tantrumHe chucked a wobbly when he lost the game.
ChunderTo vomitYou look like you’re going to chunder after that rollercoaster ride!
Cocky as a roosterOverconfidentHe's as cocky as a rooster, thinks he knows everything.
Couldn't organise a piss-up in a breweryVery disorganisedHe couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, even if he tried.
DodgySuspicious, unreliableI don't trust that guy, he seems a bit dodgy.
Dog's breakfastA mess, chaotic situationThe party was a dog's breakfast, nothing went right.
Face like a dropped pieUnhappy or disappointedHe came back from the meeting with a face like a dropped pie.
Flat out like a lizard drinkingVery busyI've been flat out like a lizard drinking all day.
Flat out like a lizard drinking on a rockVery busyI've been flat out like a lizard drinking on a rock all day.
Fruit loopEccentric personHe's a bit of a fruit loop, always talking to himself.
Full as a googVery drunkHe was full as a goog after the party.
Full of beansEnergetic, livelyThe kids were full of beans after the party.
Go spareBecome very angryIf he finds out, he'll go spare.
Gone troppoBecome angrily irrationalLiving in isolation for so long, he's gone troppo.
Happy as LarryExtremely happyHe was happy as Larry when he won the lottery.
Hard yakkaHard workIt’s hard yakka raising children!
Hit the frog and toadTo begin a journey on the roadIt’s nearly dinnertime. Let’s hit the frog and toad!
KnackeredExhausted, very tiredAfter the long hike, I was absolutely knackered.
Mad as a cut snakeExtremely angryHe was mad as a cut snake when he found out.
Not the brightest crayon in the boxNot very smartLet's face it, he's not the brightest crayon in the box.
Not the full picnicNot very intelligent or rationalHe's not the full picnic if he thinks that'll work.
Not the full quidNot very intelligent or cluelessHe's not the full quid if he thinks that'll work.
Not the sharpest tool in the shedNot very smartLet's face it, he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Pull the other oneI don't believe you"I found a hundred-dollar bill on the ground." "Pull the other one."
Spit the dummyHave a tantrumHe spat the dummy when he lost the game.
Spitting chipsExtremely angry or frustratedHe was spitting chips after losing the game.
StickybeakNosy personStop being such a stickybeak and mind your own business.
Stink-eyeA disapproving or angry lookShe gave him the stink-eye when he arrived late.
Sucked inFooled or trickedHe thought he won, but he was sucked in.
Tin arseSomeone who is luckyHe's got a tin arse, always winning competitions.
Two sandwiches short of a picnicNot very smartHe's two sandwiches short of a picnic if he believes that.
Up a gumtreeIn trouble or difficultySince he lost his job, he's been up a gumtree.
Wombat's picnicA very unsuccessful event or outingThe camping trip turned into a wombat's picnic.
WonkyUnsteady or shakyThe table leg is wonky, it needs fixing.

Aussie slang for banknotes

The Australians love to create funny slang for everything - from the avocado they eat for breakfast (the avo for brekkie) to the dollar bills. For any non-Australian, creating slang words for banknotes based on their color is something pretty bizarre.

After all, who would think that in Australia, a lobster isn’t only the big red crab you eat in a fancy restaurant but also a $20 note? Here are some common Aussie slang terms for each banknote.

$5 notePink
  • Prawn
  • Pink lady
  • A fiver
$10 noteBlue
  • Blue swimmer
  • Bluey
  • A tenner
$20 noteRed
  • Lobster
  • A twenny
$50 noteYellow
  • Pineapple
  • A fitty
$100 noteGreen
  • Granny Smith
  • Jolly green giant
  • A hunji

Regional variations of Aussie slang

As in any other country, the slang varies from region to region. Although Australia’s regional variations aren’t as pronounced as the regional variants of British slang across the UK, there are still some words and expressions that vary depending on which part of Australia you’re in.

Man wearing an Akubra hat with his wife on their farm in Western Australia.

Australia is divided into 7 main regions:

  • Western Australia (Perth, Fremantle, Broome)
  • Northern Territory (Darwin, Alice Springs)
  • South Australia (Adelaide)
  • Queensland (Brisbane, Gold Coast)
  • New South Wales (Sydney, New Castle, Wollongong)
  • Victoria (Melbourne, Geelong)
  • Tasmania (Hobart)

In each region, the slang expressions change slightly. Here are some examples:

  • A swimsuit is “togs” in Queensland, “cossies” in New South Wales, and “bathers” in Victoria.
  • What’s called a “corner shop” in Victoria is called a “deli” in Western Australia and a “milkbar” in Queensland.
  • The afternoon in the eastern region (i.e., Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland) is “arvo,” but in South Australia, it’s “aftie.”

How to speak Australian slang

So, you’re keen to speak like a true Aussie. No worries, brah! First off, Aussie slang can be a bit like learning a new language (even if you’re a native English speaker), but don’t chuck a wobbly if you don’t get it right away.

The fastest way to learn is to listen to how locals use different slang words in conversation and try to suss out the meaning from context. For example, if someone mentions grabbing a “tinny” on a scorching hot day, you’ll know right away they aren’t talking about a can of tune but a cold beer.

Another trick to learning how to speak Aussie slang faster is to pick up on common usage patterns. For instance, Aussies love shortening words whenever they can. Brekkie for breakfast, barbie for barbecue, arvo for afternoon - you get the idea.

The most important thing, however, is to always be culturally sensitive and respectful when using Aussie slang. It’s all good to use it, but remember that some words might have different meanings or connotations in different contexts. So, make sure to ask if you don’t understand something or aren’t sure when to use a particular slang word. Better safe than sorry!

Famous personalities you didn’t know were Australian

You’ve surely heard that unmistakable Australian accent somewhere before. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of Crocodile Dundee, have chuckled along with Kath & Kim, or found yourself tapping your foot to Men at Work’s tunes, Aussie slang has found a way to sneak into your consciousness.

Here are some famous people you may not have known were Australian:

  1. Hugh Jackman - From Sydney, New South Wales. You may know him as Wolverine in the X-Men.
  2. Nicole Kidman - Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but raised in Sydney, Australia. We don’t need to tell you who she is!
  3. Chris Hemsworth - From Melbourne, Victoria. God bless Australian men!
  4. Margot Robbie - From Dalby, Queensland. You might have seen her portraying Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad or Barbie in Barbie.
  5. Rebel Wilson - From Sydney, New South Wales. You know her from comedies like Pitch Perfect, Isn’t It Romantic, and How to Be Single (great rom-coms!).

These iconic characters and personalities have made Aussie lingo as famous as Vegemite on toast, spreading it across popular films, TV shows, and programs.

Here’s Margot Robbie teaching you some Australian slang words:

Barbie's Margot Robbie Teaches You Australian Slang | Vanity Fair

And here’s Chris Hemsworth talking about using his natural Australian accent in Ghostbusters:

Chris Hemsworth on using his Aussie accent in Ghostbusters

Cheers, mate!

Although this article won’t make you speak like a true Aussie in the matter of however many minutes you spent reading it, it should give you a pretty good idea of Australian lingo and phrases. From arvo and barbie to brekkie and tinny, we’ve covered it all (we tried to)!

But remember, mastering Aussie slang isn’t just about sounding like a local. It’s also about mastering the laid-back, easygoing Aussie spirit. So, go ahead and have fun with it! After all, Aussie slang is full of funny and quirky expressions that are sure to put a smile on your face.

And if you’d like to explore other English slang, check out our article on British slang or the one on the differences between British English and American English

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