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Do you want to learn REAL local Australian slang phrases? Good onya. Here are the Aussie slang terms you’ll hear daily, what they mean and how to use them. I’m bloody stoked to share this blog, mate. Keep reading to find out what I just said… and more. Piece of piss!
Do you want to understand Australian slang phrases for your trip to Australia? Here is everything you need!
Growing up in Sydney Australia, I didn’t realise how strange the Aussie accent is. It wasn’t until I travelled overseas that I understood how difficult to understand it can be for tourists and visitors. Here are the most common, ‘everyday’ Australian Slang Phrases for you – by an Aussie English teacher who has travelled the world.
Note: Australians often abbreviate words. I’ve included how the words and phrases sound (where relevant).
Australian Slang Phrases and Terms
Arvo (Afternoon): Noun. Very common, and used in most contexts.
Example: “See you this arvo?”
Sounds Like: “Seeyathasarvo?”
Translation: “Will I see you this afternoon?
Bloke (Man): Noun. Very common, but can also refer to an overtly ‘macho’ or traditional man; a “blokey bloke”.
Example: “The hotel owner is a top bloke (good man).”
Example: “He’s a bit of a blokey bloke who likes footy (football) and beer”.
Bloody (Very): Adjective. Common, but informal. Best for friends/casual situations.
Example: “It’s bloody (very) good wine!”
Phrases: “Do you like Football Team X” “Bloody oath! (Yes!)”
Translation: A strong “Yes” or “I agree”; usually in response to a question.
Buggered (Exhausted): Adjective. Common, but informal. Confusingly, it can also mean “broken” or “in trouble”.
Example: “I’m bloody buggered (tired) today.”
Example: “Your backpack is buggered (broken), mate.”
Example: “I overstayed my visa. I’m buggered (in trouble).”
Coppers/Cops (Police Officers): Noun. Very common, although you may also hear “Pigs/Bobbies/Boys in Blue”.
Example: “Look out for coppers at the RBT.”
Translation: “Be aware of police nearby stopping drivers for Random [alcohol/drug] Breath Testing (RBT)”.
Phrases: “Cop Shop” (Police Station).
Flat Out (Really Busy): Adjective. Very common, although you may also hear “flat chat”. Also means “very fast”.
Example: “Sorry, I’m flat out/flat chat (so busy)”.
Example: “He was driving flat out (very fast) down the highway”.
Iffy/Dodgy/Dodge (Suspicious/Low Quality): Adjective. Very common, and are often used interchangeably.
Example: “There is something a bit iffy/dodgy (suspicious) about that guy. I don’t trust him.”
Example: “I bought a dress online and it was really dodgy (low quality)”.
Mozzie (Mosquito): Noun. Very common, especially in summer. Also, “Midgie” is used to describe sand flies.
Example: “There are heaps of mozzies and midgies in the bush, you’ll need mozzie spray (insect repellant)”.
No Dramas/No Worries (Yes/No problem/OK): Common expressions that are used in a variety of ways, but are usually just an informal way of saying “Yes”. You may also hear “No Wuckin’ Forries” (No f**kin’ worries).
Example: “Can I stay another night in the dorm?” “Yeah, no dramas/no worries.”
Onya (On You): Another example of Australian abbreviation. Very common. Used in various ways. Informal.
Example: “Good on ya (on you), mate!”
Sounds Like: “Goodonyamate!”
Translation: “Very well done, my friend!”
Example: “Onya bike!”
Translation: “[Get] on your bike” means someone wants you to go away.
Reckon (Think/Feel/Believe): Verb. One of the most common Aussie expressions. Informal.
Example: “I reckon you’ll be right.”
Translation: “I think that you will be OK.”
Example: “I reckon Team X will win the football game”
Translation: “I feel/believe/hope that team X will win the football game.”
Servo (Service Station/Convenience Store): Noun. Common, used by everyone. The ‘Servo’ is the place where you fill your car with petrol/gas and/or buy snacks. There is also usually a convenience store/shop to buy basic food items and things that you need while travelling in a car.
Example: “Where is the Servo? (Service Station)”
Sounds Like: “Wheresthaservo?”
Stoked (Happy, Pleased): Adjective. Common, informal expression to describe positive feelings in various ways.
Example: “I’m so stoked!”
Translation: “I’m so happy/pleased/excited!”
Stuffed (Tired/In Trouble/Problem): Adjective. Common, informal expression to describe negative states. Interchangeable with “buggered”. Used in various ways.
Example: “I’m bloody stuffed (tired) today.”
Example: “Your backpack is stuffed (has a problem), mate.”
Example: “I overstayed my visa. I’m stuffed (in trouble).”
U-eee (U-Turn while driving): Verb. Common everyday expression meaning to turn the car around.
Example: “Do a U-eee (U-turn) at the next (traffic) lights and go back.”
Sounds Like: “Do-a-ueee at the next…”
Woop Woop (In the middle of nowhere): Noun. Common, but often regional, meaning a long way from the city.
Example: “(The town’s) It’s out woop woop”
Translation: “(The town) It is out in the middle of the countryside.”
Yous(e) – (Plural of You): Pronoun. A very informal way to greet or describe a group of people, like “y’all” in the USA.
Example: “(You are all) Youse are grouse (great).”
Australian Slang With P*ss
Australians are particularly fond of swearing and there are multiple phrases with the word ‘piss’ that can be particularly complicated, as they mean quite different things. Note, these are very informal and often rude.
- Get On The Piss – To drink alcohol.
- Piece of Piss (Sounds like “Pisa-piss“) – Easy. “It’s a piece of piss, mate.” Informal.
- Piss – Alcohol, often very cheap beer or wine. Informal.
- Piss – Urinate. Informal. Rude.
- Piss About/Piss Around – To procrastinate, have fun, be lazy, or avoid work. “Don’t piss around.” Informal.
- Piss Funny – Very funny. Informal.
- Piss Off – To leave. “I pissed off (left) the party early.” Informal.
- Piss Off – Tell someone to go away, rudely. “Why won’t you piss off?” Informal. Rude.
- Piss Poor – Not very good. “The party was piss poor.” Informal.
- Piss Up – A party with lots of alcohol. “We are going to have a piss up tonight. Wanna come?” Informal.
- Take The Piss – Mock, laugh at or make fun of. “He was taking the piss out of (laughing at) me.” Informal.
Australian Slang Insults
Australians have a very egalitarian way of expressing themselves, meaning that they often prefer to insult others in a playful and fun way, rather than giving each other straightforward compliments. It might be a bit difficult to understand immediately, but if you listen, you may hear that the person ‘insulting’ you is just trying to be nice!
Or, they might be “taking the piss” (laughing at you). It’s all about tone. If you’re not sure, ask. If you’re not sure, don’t insult an Aussie; especially if they are “on the piss” (Drinking alcohol).
Bogan/Yob/Yobbo (Working Class): Informal insult. Often used by middle and upper-class people to insult the working class. In the last few years, more working-class people have embraced the term, but be aware.
Example: “He’s a nice guy, but a bit of a Bogan/Yobbo.”
Bludger (Lazy): Informal insult, meaning a lazy person.
Example: “He’s such a bludger (lazy man).”
Sounds Like: “Heesuchabludga.”
Up Yourself (Stuck Up/Arrogant): Common insult, meaning that you are overly confident or arrogant. Again, Australians are very egalitarian, meaning – in general – they don’t appreciate overt displays of confidence. They often prefer people who are humble and modest, so you might hear someone insult your confidence this way.
Example: “Stop being so up yourself (arrogant).”
Wanker (Idiot/Creep/Arrogant Person): Common, and much-loved, Australian insult. While it is rude, it is used to insult people from all walks of life, especially the upper classes. It comes from the verb “wank” (masturbate).
Example: “He is such a wanker. He always tries to insult my work.”
Whinge/Whinger/Sook (Complaint or person who complains a lot): A common insult. Australians LOVE a good whinge (complaint), but they often pretend that they don’t. Informal.
Example: “Honestly, that guy is such a whinger. He’s always talking about politics.”
Sounds like: “Honestly, that guy is suchawinja…”
Finally, a note: Australians LOVE to mess/fool around with tourists and tell them things that aren’t true! I’m not sure why, but Australians love it. So, they might be insulting you and pretending not to. Or, the other way around. It’s designed to see how gullible or naive you are. The best way to deal with this is just to laugh. Drop bears!
So, there are the real bloody local Australian slang phrases for tourists and visitors. You’ll hear these words, phrases and expressions every day. Compliments, insults or slang for new Aussie friends and colleagues, or to understand your tour guide, hostel owner, this guide has given you all the words that you need ‘Down Under’!
Just don’t be a wanker who pisses about out woop woop!