Australians love to use informal phrases, also known as “slang”, but for people like us traveling around the country, it can be quite complicated to understand a single word. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you get the hang of it, mate!

Save it for later!

No worries as an Australian slang

Useful and popular slang terms

First of all, I’d like to point out that Australian slang is based on shortening every word, but it’s also fun, creative and an integral part of the Australian identity!

1. No worries

Used constantly in every situation, it’s literally impossible not to hear these two words at least 100 times a day. You can translate them as “no problem”, “don’t worry about that” or “you’re welcome”, depending on the situation.

2. Straya

Easy, it’s “Australia”. When I said they like to shorten words, this is a perfect example. It’s also the way you’ll probably hear the full word, as locals tend to speak fast without really articulating.

3. G’day

Typically the way to say “Hello”.

4. Mate

Used to refer to a “friend”. As Australians are known to be very friendly, you will often hear this word. I must confess that I had trouble pronouncing it correctly for a while. My advice is to emphasize the vowels:
Mate > M-AY-T or MIGHT (for sound).

5. Barbie

“Barbecuing”. You absolutely have to know this, because barbecue is considered an institution in Australia. I mean it! It’s all about bonding and sharing over a meal and, personally, I love it!

6. Mozzies

A less funny word for our dear little bloodsuckers, the “mosquitoes”.

7. Ta

“Thank you” for short. I first heard it when I was working in a cafe and was confused, so much so that I had to ask my colleagues what it meant.

8. Kiwi

No, it’s not the fruit, but slang for “a person from New Zealand”.

9. Bush

Beware, this word has different meanings depending on which part of the world you live in. In Australia, it refers to the “Outback”, the country’s undeveloped wilderness.

10. Loo

Another term for the “toilet”. You may also hear “dunny”, which is exactly the same thing, but like the old version of the word.

11. Thongs

Not the underwear, but the “flip-flops” you wear on your feet. In fact, I’ve heard the slang “flip-flops” more often than “thongs”.

12. Joey

Cute “baby kangaroos” are called that! It can also apply to young children.

13. Arvo

Australian slang for “afternoon”.

14. Brekkie

Cute way of call the morning meal: “breakfast”.

15. Footpath

The “sidewalk here”, which makes perfect sense to me.

16. Woolies

In Australia, there is a well-known supermarket chain called “Woolworths”, hence the abbreviation.

17. Sheila

An ancient term for “a girl” or “woman”. It’s not really used anymore, but you can still see the inscription on some toilet doors in the Outback.

18. Bloke

Informal way of calling a “man”, “guy”.

19. Bottle-o

Name given to “liquor stores” in Australia.

20. BYO

This stands for “Bring Your Own” drink, usually alcohol. You may see restaurants marked BYO. Beware, however, of corkage fees (use of glass, wait staff service, etc.).

21. Macca’s

“McDonald’s” nickname in Australia. Did you know that every country has a different nickname for McDonald’s? For example, it’s called Makudo in Japan.

22. Snag

A “sausage”. A pretty important word if you love a good hot dog or are getting ready for a barbie party.

23. Sunnies

With the word “sun” in it, you may have guessed that these are “sunglasses”.

24. Avo

Do you like “avo” toast? If so, this one will serve you well at your next brunch. You’ve probably already guessed it: it’s “avocado”.

25. Cuppa

If someone asks you if you’d like a cuppa, it means a “cup of tea or coffee”.

26. Heaps

Used to say “many” or “a lot”.

27. Reckon

When we give our opinion, we often hear the words: “I reckon…”. Translates as “I think”, “I suppose”.

28. Defo

Shortened version of “definitely”.

29. Cracker

Used to describe something “very good” or “great”.

30. Slip, Slop, Slap

The most confusing if you’re a foreigner and know nothing about old TV commercials. Originally a health campaign in the ’80s, it’s still famous today for teaching skin cancer prevention. The meaning: Slip for Sliping on a shirt, Slop for Slopping on sunscreen and Slap for Slaping on a hat.
Here’s the video campaign if you’re curious:

And that’s it for the Australian version of the slang series!

What about you? Have you heard any other words or expressions on your travels?
Or do you have any weird and funny slang words from your own country? If so, don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section!

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9 Comments

  1. So interesting to learn about all the different terminologies! It’s funny, because the first one ‘no worries’, I say all the time but I am definitely not Australian.

    1. Hello, Tracy! You’re right, a lot of people (not only Australians use it) nowadays. I guess it gained popularity overseas too! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  2. I find this list super helpful. Since I listen to a lot of Australian cricket commentators, I knew the meaning of quite a few of them. Learned some more!

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