Glossary Page - What's this page about?
I didn't realise how much Aussie slang we use every time we open our mouths until we spent 12 months living in Canada. We needed to provide a translation each time we spoke. The puzzled look that came over a person's face when we started talking to them was a dead giveaway. I think things have improved a lot in the last 10 years as more Aussie films are being shown overseas but just in case there are some readers from OS, I decided to put together a glossary here for you. Each time I type something a bit 'Aussie' I will try to remember to put the translation here. I find there are MANY people on holiday in Australia from overseas so this may be a useful tool for them. If you have any slang words you would like to see added to this Glossary please email me .
Thanks Jen for the amusing additions to the glossary marked with ** . They came from the results for an Ozwords Competition where entrants were asked to take an Australian word, alter it by only one letter, and supply a new and witty definition. You clearly need to be an Aussie to understand!
Ankle biter: a child usually under 8 years old
Arvo: the afternoon, after lunch
Aussie: a person who resides in Australia or can be used to describe something considered Australian
(off the) beaten track: not the usual path followed by people, unusual destination
** billabonk**: to make passionate love beside a waterhole
Billy: a metal tin/can that has a wire handle (usually home made) that can be placed in a fire to boil water for tea or coffee
Biscuits: Americans call them cookies but in Australia we call them biscuits and bikkies for short
Bloke: an Australian male
Bloody: an adjective thrown into a sentence to stress something eg bloody hot is VERY hot.
** bludgie**: a partner who doesn't work but is kept as a pet
Blue: depends on the context: have a blue with someone is to have a fight or argument with them, make a blue is to make a mistake, a person with red hair is typically called 'Blue' or 'Bluey' but so is a cattle dog. Then of course we have Virgin Blue airlines whic of course is painted red!
Blow in the Bag: have a police breathaliser test to check your blood alcohol level (must be under 0.5 to drive)
Bundy: short for Bundaberg, a town on the central coast of Queensland, famous for producing 'Bundy' Rum and more recently the Bundy Bear who is the symbol of Bundaberg Rum.
**bushwanker**: a pretentious drongo who reckons he's above average when it comes to handling himself in the scrub.
Bogged: If you are driving a 4WD then your car is probably stuck in the sand or mud. You can also be bogged down in work which means you are very busy.
BYO: bring your own - wine that is, restaurants where you can bring pre-purchased bottles of wine and they will open them for you and provide glasses and wine coolers (at a small charge eg $2 per person)
caravan: a trailer (if you are from USA or Canada), type of accomodation that you pull behind the car, often just called a van.
camper trailer: a type of caravan that 'pops up' from half way as opposed to a 'popup' van that just 'pops up' the top quarter and not to be confused with the tent trailer which is a trailer base with tent sections that fold out from the trailer - see the caravan page for more details
(the) centre: a trip through the center of Australia usually includes Alice Springs
chook: chicken, a cooked chook is a BBQ chicken
cooee: something you shout out in the bush to get someone's attention, 'not within cooee of here' means not in hearing distance ie a long way away
**crackie daks**: 'hipster' tracksuit pants.
crook: feeling sick
daks: pants, trousers, jeans
damper: simple bread mixture with no preservatives, usually cooked over the fire
(a) dead giveaway: something that was really obvious = it was a dead giveaway
** dodgeridoo**: a fake indigenous artefact
dodgy: something that is a bit dodgy is a bit suspect, you are not sure it is good, suitable or what you would like, depending on the context it could be stolen, uncomfortable, likely to break
dummy spit: 'spit the dummy', 'have a dummy spit' means thrown a tantrum, get very upset about something
(the) dump: the rubbish tip, you cart anything you want to get rid of to the dump usually in your trailer
Ekka: the Brisbane Exhibition or Show held each year in August
Esky: the thing you carry your drinks, in along with ice, to keep them cool, in some countries it is called a coolbox or a chillibin
fair dinkum: true, real, genuine
fair go: to give someone a fair go is to give them another chance, to be lenient
** fair drinkum**: good quality Aussie wine.
** flatypus**: a cat which has been run over by a vehicle.
footy: football, could be rugby union, rugby league or Australian Rules - not soccer
give it a burl: give it a go, try something new
hoon: someone who drives their car recklessly
in a pinch: almost, possible but not recommended, maybe
in the same boat: in the same situation as another person
joey: a baby kangaroo that is usually still able to fit in the mother's pouch
jumper: long sleeve warm top eg tracksuit top, cardigan, sweater
knock off: to stop doing something, usually to finish work for the day
lemonade: a softdrink, in some countries it is called 7UP or Sprite, good to put a dash in your beer which is then called a shandy
lollies: sweets, candy, chocolates
maccas: short for McDonalds, go get maccas means go buy hamburgers
** mateshit**: all your flatmate's belongings lying strewn around the floor.
mob: group of people or a family
muddie: a mud crab
nibblies: snack foods to have with a wine or beer = dips, cheeses, crackers, nuts
no worries: that's okay, no problems, everything is alright
NT: Northern Territory which is located in central northern Australia
outback: central parts of Australia, more remote inland areas of Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory
out of the blue: something happens that is totally unexpected = it comes out of the blue
OS: overseas, anywhere but Australia and New Zealand = we are going OS next holiday
pikelets: similar to pancakes only sweeter and thicker consistency when making them, round shape but only 10cm across
(bring a) plate: bring a meal to share with others at a party, usually enough to feed about 5
port: if you are in Queensland then it is probably a suitcase but of course it could just be something alcoholic to drink after coffee
pot: a glass of beer, 285ml ( 10 fl oz for those that haven't converted to metric yet)
QLD: 2nd largest State in Australia, known for the Great Barrier Reef, its wonderful beaches and islands, tropical rainforests, plus much more
rellies: the relatives, the family
road train: a truck that could have 3 or 4 trailers attached
rubbish: can mean trash or stuff you throw away, OR to rubbish something is to criticise, OR to say something is rubbish means that you don't believe or agree with what was said
self raising flour: plain flour with baking powder already added
**shagman**: an unemployed male roaming the Australian bush in search of sexual activity.
shandy: a glass of beer that has a dash of lemonade in it
**shornbag**: a particularly attractive naked sheep.
shout: if it is your shout then it is your turn to buy a drink for everyone in the 'shout' (group)
snag: sausage, usually cooked on the BBQ
steer clear of: avoid, keep away from, don't do it
(a) stones throw: a place that is very close to something = it is just a stones throw away
takeaway: fast food eg McDonalds. In America it is 'takeout' but in Australia it is called 'takeaway' food
**technicolour lawn**: the front yard after a rave party.
thongs: no not underwear - I am talking footwear here, very cheap and made of rubber or some synthetic rubber type material
tinnie: two meanings depending on the situation: ONE is a small boat with an outboard motor usually made of aluminium probably once ‘tin’ OR a can of beer which used to come in a tin many years ago but now comes in aluminium cans
togs: swimwear, something to waer in the pool or in the surf (ocean)
tomato sauce: Americans call it ketchup but heh it is sauce made out of tomatos so who is crazy there?
trackies: tracksuit pants and top, trackie daks are just the pants
trailer: NOT a caravan, an open rectangular 'box' on wheels that you tow behind your car usually to take rubbish to the dump or cart other gear around
ute: car with open tray at the back (with sides) ie utility, pickup
van: a trailer (if you are from USA or Canada), type of accomodation that you pull behind the car, full name is caravan.
vegemite: an Australian favourite spread for toast or crackers with a salty savoury taste
WA: Western Australia which is Australia's largest state taking up about one third of the west side of Australia.
whinge: whine and complain about something
XXXX: fourex is a popular brand of Queensland beer
yabby: small crayfish found in freshwater OR a small prawn-like saltwater creature with one large pincer (good as bait for fishing). You catch them with a yabbie pump by sucking them up out of their holes along with the very wet sand and pumping them out onto the sand - watch that pincer when you go to pick them up!
**yabble**: the unintelligible language of Australian freshwater crustaceans.
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This page last updated on 02-Oct-2012
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