150+ Australian slang words: nobody likes a bogan

There are some downright weird Australian slang words. Bogan, bludger, ocker – what on earth do they mean? Read on for an introduction to Australian phrases. It’ll make sense soon – you’ll be right, mate!

A row of brightly colour beach boxes on a beach in Australia. The first box is painted with the Australian flag. Read through an introduction to Australian slang words.
Here’s an introduction to some Australian slang words. If you’re travelling to Oz, you’ll need it.

Why is avocado shortened to avo?

What is a bogan and why doesn’t anyone like them?

And is goon of fortune truly the greatest drinking game known to man?

Of all the English-speaking countries, Australian slang words are probably the most interesting. For the uninitiated though, our local slang can seem really confusing.

Linguistically, the origins of many of these slang words and phrases are British. Others sprung forth from our many Indigenous languages, or our extremely varied culture.

And admittedly, some were coined out of sheer laziness, which is why so many Australian slang words are just the shorted version of many ‘normal’ words.

The funny thing about Australia is that our slang isn’t just used by ‘bogans’ (read on to find out more) – it’s part of the lexicon of all Australians, no matter what their class or level of education.

As an Australian local, I use many of these words and phrases in my day-to-day life. Drop these into conversation with an Aussie and they’ll definitely know what you mean.

A person stands in front of a pair of giant brown boots.
Bogans would wear these Ugg boots to keep warm in winter. I’m wearing a pair as I type this. Make of that what you will.

A guide to Australian slang words

This Australian slang dictionary will have you speaking the local lingo in no time at all!

Slang in ‘Straya (Australia) is traditionally known as ‘Strine.

I’ve tried to limit this list to words I’ve heard others use recently and I’ve eliminated almost all the racial slang, because there’s no place for it anywhere.

Also, some of these Australian slang words and phrases are only used in certain states – which makes sense. We are a continent after all.

Agro

To be aggravated, or a bit grumpy.

Arvo

Short for afternoon.

B&S Ball

This Australian slang phrase is not as common as it once was. Basically stands for a ‘Bastards & Spinsters Ball’ and they used to be a way for young singles to meet in country towns. Everyone turns up in their vehicles, there’s a raging party and they sleep/pass out in their swags, alone or if the night has worked out well, with company.

Bail

To leave, or not turn up in the first place. “The dinner was boring, so Steven decided to bail.”

Barbie

Barbecue. You would have probably heard this used in the popular slang phrase of ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie!’. Except they’re not called shrimp here, they’re prawns.

Bathers

Swimsuit – but only in some parts of the country.

Biccie

A biscuit (or cookie), commonly used in the phrase “tea and biccies”, a hangover of Australia’s colonial days.

Bizzo

Business, ie “None of your bizzo”. You can also substitute for “None of your beeswax”.

Blackfulla/Blackfella/Blakfella

A form of terminology used by Australia’s Indigenous population. So, don’t freak out if you hear someone of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent refer to themselves as such in conversation. Also, don’t use it if you’re not First Nations yourself, ie a ‘Whitefulla’. If you want to get across proper terminology in Aboriginal Australia, read this post.

Bloke

A man – he was a dinky di, true blu, Aussie bloke (this sentence will make sense once you finish reading this list).

Bloody

Not a swear word, “bloody” is generally used for extra emphasis. I.e. Lisa was having a bloody good time at Sam’s party.

Bludger

A good-for-nothing layabout.

Bogan

A bogan is a stereotypical Australian, with a potty mouth, bad dress sense and a fondness for alcoholic beverages. Also known as an “Aussie Bogan” although I don’t know why – they are, after all endemic to Australia.

Bogan slang

A sub-branch of Australian slang. Usually consists of the most crudely shortened words and mate’s names. For example, shortening someone with the last name of “Fitzgerald” to “Fitzy” or “Robert” to “Robbo”. And so on.

Boofhead

A silly-billy. This is the nickname my family have traditionally applied to our dogs.

Bonza

Great, fantastic, awesome.

Booze bus

A bus the police operated, used to stop cars and breath-test people, to catch them if they’re drink driving.

Bottle-o

A bottle shop or off-licence.

Brekky

The first (and most important) meal of the day.

Buckleys

To have little or no chance of achieving something. “She had buckleys of getting to work on time.” That may or may not be me, most days.

Budgie smuglers

Tight gripping swimmers (speedos), ‘popularised’ (not really) by former PM Tony Abbott.

Buggered

Really, really tired. Not the other meaning.

Bush

The Australian bush, but is also used to refer to anywhere rural, ie to go ‘out bush’.

Cabbie

Cab-driver

Carton

A case of beer.

Cashed-up Bogan

A bogan with money. Due to Australia’s mining boom, many blue collared workers have made a ton of money in recent decades, leading to the invention of this term.

Chewy

Chewing gum.

Chips

Chips can refer to either hot chips (fries) or crisps. It’s all about the context.

Chock-a-block

Full or really busy.

Convo

A conversation.

Cooee

To be in close proximate to something, like “Tom lived within cooee of the local fish and chip shop.”

Cozzie

A swimming costume. Also may be known as ‘swimmers’, or ‘bathers’, although the latter I find to be a throwback from Britain. Australia is a continent after all, so the slang can differ depending on where you are.

Chook

Chicken. “What’s for dinner tonight, love? Not bloody chook again!”

Chrissie

Christmas.

Crikey!

An exclamation of surprise, popularised by the Crocodile Hunter (RIP)

Coppers

Policeman.

Crock

An injustice. “Those weren’t the best burgers in Perth! That place is such a crock.”

Crook

To be ill. “Alex was feeling crook.”

Cuppa

A cup of tea

A cup of tea (cuppa if using Australian slang words) with mountains in the far distance.
Grabbing a cuppa in the Hunter Valley.
The C-word

This word can be an insult in Australia, but also a slang word – between friends, it’s fine to use.

Dag

An eccentric or sloppy person.

Daks

Trousers.

Deadset

For extra emphasis, to be 100% sure. “Alex is deadset the hottest dude I’ve ever seen.”

Defo

Definitely. An Australian slang word used more in text than spoken word.

Dero

Short for derelict. Can be applied to any noun – person, place or item.

Devo

To be devastated.

Dinky-di

Genuine. There’s a lot of different Australian slang words for this, as you’ll see! It’s like we have an honesty complex or something…

Dog

A dirty act. If Jimmy kissed Riley’s girlfriend it would be considered a “dog move”. Australian slang words can be… not the nicest sometimes?

Dole bludger

Not at all a nice nickname for someone on welfare.

Dunny

Some very funny Australian slang. Traditionally an outdoor toilet.

Durry

Cigarette, which also gets called a ‘ciggy’ or a ‘dart’.

Exxy

Expensive.

Facey

Facebook, everyone’s fave social media site.

Fair call

Uttered when one is in agreement with another, when a reasonable statement is uttered. “The sky is blue and what would you know anyway, because you are colour-blind.” “Okay. Fair call.”

Fair dinkum

Another way of saying ‘too right?’. It’s one of the most well-known Australian slang phrases.

Fang it

To speed with enthusiasm, particularly around corners.

Far Out

An expression of exclamation, often used instead of the other F-word…

Feed

A meal. “Fancy a feed?”

Feral

Someone who is a bit of a dirty hippy.

First Peoples

Australia’s Indigenous population.

Flanno

A flannelette shirt, a uniform of choice in Australia.

Flog

Someone who is considered to be arrogant – I’ve never heard anyone call someone or themselves a flog in NSW, but hear it ALL THE TIME in Victoria.

Franger

A condom.

Footy

Football. Can be used to describe both Rugby League and Aussie Rules, but never soccer.

G’day

One of the best known Aussie slang words, although it’s not used so much by younger generations. Put simply, it means ‘hello’ and is short for ‘good day’.

Gnarly

Awesome, popular among surfers.

Going off

Busy or ramping up.

Good on ya

An Australian slang phrase which means ‘good work’! Often accompanied by ‘mate’ or a friendly slap on the back.

Goon

Boxed wine, popular amongst the student crowd. This has led to the popular backyard game of “goon of fortune”, where the bag is removed from the box and pinned to the clothes line. It is then spun around and whoever it lands on has to have a drink, pouring it straight from the clothesline into their mouth.

Once empty, a goon bag can be inflated to form a makeshift pillow.

Grog

Alco-mo-hol.

Grouse

Cool, excellent. “That dinner you made was grouse, Louise.”

G-string

What’s called a ‘thong’ elsewhere. Thongs are slang for something completely different in Australia… see below.

Gutless

Cowardly.

Sunrise behind the Sydney Opera House. Discover the best Australian slang words.
Sydney Harbour at sunrise is a bit of an all right.
Hard Yakka

Hard work. “Walking up this hill is hard yakka.”

Heaps

Used for positive emphasis. “That concert was heaps good.”

Hectic

Crazy. “Last night’s episode of Married At First Sight was hetic, aye?”

Hills hoist

A clothing line that folds in on itself, not unlike an umbrella. Perfect for pegging up your goonbag.

Hole

Anywhere that is rather rundown and/or derelict. “Sunnydale is such a hole.”

Hooroo

A farewell.

Hottie

A hot water bottle.

Iffy

Not trustworthy or seems a bit ‘off’. ‘You could eat that two week chook, but it smells a bit iffy to me.’

Keen

To be ready, eager to do a particular thing. “Would you like to go to the movies?” “Yeah. I’m keen.”

Journo

A journalist.

Lappy

Laptop

Larrikin

A dying breed of Australian, who is easy-going and fun-loving, whilst being a bit cheeky.

Legless

Very drunk. ‘Aw mate you were a bit legless last night!’

Lippie/lippy

Lipstick. “I’m just popping some lippie on darl, before we head down to RSL for tea!”

Lollies

Sweets, candy.

Longneck

A 750ml bottle of beer.

Maccas

MacDonalds. “I’m gonna go for a late night maccas run. Does anyone want a cheeseburger?”

Manchester

Linen and sheets. Apparently this term came about from boxes of the stuff being shipped over from England with “Manchester” being written on them. That was taken to mean what the items were, rather than the city they had come from!

Mate

This is how every Australian will constantly refer to you, friend or no.

Midi

A 285ml glass of beer, also known as a “pot” in some states.

Mole

A derogatory term often used by women to describe other women, so definitely an Aussie slang insult. “Sheena kissed Kylie’s boyfriend.” “Ugh. She’s such a mole.”

Mongrel

A bad tempered person.

Moolah

Money, cold hard cash.

Mozzie

A mosquito.

A statue of a large mosquito.
The big mozzie in Hexham, NSW.
No dramas

A response to someone asking a request of someone else. “Will, would you be able to get a side of garlic bread with that pizza order?” “Sure – no dramas.”

No worries!

This Australian slang phrase is pretty much our national catchphrase. Used in place of “all right” and “fine”.

Nuddy

To be naked. “He ran around the backyard in the nuddy, after playing goon of fortune.”

Ocker

A rough, uncultivated Australian. The stereotypical Aussie accent is considered to be “ocker”. Yet, people from the cities don’t tend to speak that way. Once again, we’re a continent and people do have different accents, depending on where you hail from, a point I find myself arguing ALL THE TIME.

The Outback

The desert. It’s a beautiful place and well worth visiting.

Op Shop

A charity store and where I personally buy most of my clothing.

Olds, Oldies

One’s parents or folks.

Old mate

Used in lieu of a person’s name. Particularly handy if you’ve forgotten the name of whoever you’re referring to at the time. “I saw Shelley kissing old mate the other day. You know. The guy with the hair.”

Oz

Straya, mate!

Pash

To kiss, with tongue. 

Perve

To gaze upon one, with somewhat dirty intentions.

Piece of piss

Easy!

Piss off

Depart. Quickly.

Pissed

Drunk. There’s a lot of Australian slang words for this state of being!

Pokies

Slot machines. Gambling is sadly massive in Australia, particularly in New South Wales and dare I say actively encouraged by government.

Pom, pommie, pommies

The English.

Pot

Similar to a midi – 285ml in size and the standard size of a drink in the state of Victoria (make sure you ask for a pint instead, if you want a bigger drink).

Prezzie

A present.

A glass of champagne, held in a hand, with Uluru in the distance. If you're using Australian slang words, it would be a glass of champers.
Cheers to the outback. What a grouse view!
Rage

To party. “He raged at the blue light disco all night long.”

Rapt

To be excited about something. “She was rapt as she had always wanted to go on a Backstreet Boys’ cruise.”

Ratbag

A scallywag.

Reckon

To state an agreement with someone, you’d simply answer “I reckon you’re right.”

Rego

Car registration.

Relos

One’s relatives.

Ripper

To indicate that something is good, ie “You little ripper!”

Rock up

To arrive. “Mollie rocked up to Brad’s party, half an hour late.”

Roo

Kangaroo

Rooted

To be exhausted, I guess to the same point as what you’d be if you’d engaged in vigorous sex, as root means that too. Although that’s not my intended meaning when I get home, collapse on the couch and announce that I’m rooted – I can assure you of that!

Ropeable

To be quite angry, to see red.

Rort

To be cheated, a dishonest practice. “That was a bit of a rort.”

Runners

Exercise shoes – also can be called ‘joggers’.

Sanga

A sandwich.

Snag

A sausage.

Schooner

A glass of beer at 425ml (yes, we have many different drink measurements here!)

Servo

A service station or centre.

Large limestone stacks protrude from the ocean, known as 'The 12 Apostles'. Read up about Australian slang words and how to use them correctly.
Rocking up at Victoria’s famous rocks, the Twelve Apostles.
Sickie

To chuck a sickie is to stay home from work. You may or may not be actually sick.

Sheepshagger

Someone from New Zealand.

Shithouse

Of poor quality. “That chicken was shithouse. I will never dine at Red Rooster again.”

Shoot through

To leave, sometimes used to mean the person in question has disappeared with their tail between their legs.

Shout

To treat someone. “It was his shout for drinks.”

Sick

Used as a replacement for ‘cool’.

Slab

A case or carton of beer.

Slippery-dip

A simple playground slide.

Slag

Someone who’s a bit gross or a bit too flirtatious – often a derogatory word applied to women. “Shirley hit on Pete.” “Oh yeah, she’s a bit of a slag, isn’t she?”

Smoko

Traditionally a cigarette break. You can now say you’re doing for a smoko if you’re taking around a 10-15 minute break from work.

Sook

Someone who’s being a bit whingy or is seeking attention, ie my dog.

Spewing

To be angry about something. “She was spewing because she’d left her phone at work.”

Spunk

Not what you think it means – rather, it’s someone you find attractive. “Mary thought Jarred was super spunky.”

Stiffy

Erection.

Stoked

Happy. Interestingly, this is one of the few Australian slang words that has been popularised in the USA, as I’ve heard many American friends use it.

Straya

The country of “Australia”.

Strine

Our “official” name for Australian slang!

Strewth

An exclamation of surprise.

Stubby

Beer

Stubby holder

Beer holder, designed to allow the drinker to grasp onto their cold can without their hands freezing in the process.

Stuffed

To be pooped. “He’d been drinking at the beach all day and he was stuffed.”

Sunnies

Sunglasses.

A one person tent you can roll up. Ideal for camping.
People swimming in an ocean pool, while waves crash over the rocks. Learn Australian slang words and how to use them correctly.
The Bogey Hole in Newy (Newcastle).
Ta

Thanks! I find this one fine to use in person but it can sound a bit passive-aggressive via text.

Tea

Dinner. “What are we having for tea tonight?”

Tinny

Confusingly, this can refer to a can of beer or an old, usually metal boat. So you could be drinking a tinny on a tinny! (Don’t try this at home, folks).

Trackie-daks

Tracksuit or sweat pants.

Tradie

Someone who works in a trade – electricians, plumbers, builders, etc.

Thongs

Australia’s national footwear – everyone else knows them as “flip flops”. So when Australians are talking about their thongs, it’s not what you may initially think.

Too Easy

A response when someone says thank you to you, similar to ‘no problem’. “Thanks for my pint of beer.” “Too easy, mate.”

Top End

The far north of the country – the Northern Territory.

Toot sweet

This Australian slang phrase I believe is adapted from the French – ‘tout de suite’. It’s of a similar meaning – to get something done quickly.

True blue

Genuine.

Tucker

Food, commonly used to refer to ‘bush tucker’.

Turps

Alcohol. “To get on the turps” is to drink.

Two-up

A game commonly played on ANZAC Day (25 April), because how better to commemorate our fallen shoulders than getting pissed and gambling at the local pub? Sigh.

U-ie

To manoeuvre one’s car into a u-turn is to “chuck a u-ie.”

Unit

A flat or apartment.

Up yourself

To think the world of yourself. Traditionally, Australians hate people with an over-inflated sense of self-worth.

Ute

A pickup truck.

Vego

A vegetarian.

Woop woop

Anywhere far away from where a conversation (or convo) is taking place. “Ah yeah, TJ lives out woop woop, doesn’t he?”

Yeah, nah

Simply, no. We’re an indecisive bunch.

You beauty!

That’s excellent!

Youse

The pluralised version of ‘you’, embedded in the local vernacular.

Do you have anymore Australian slang words to add to this list?

Pin me baby one more time

What is a bogan? A deadset dole bludger in trackie-daks and thongs? Have no idea what that sentence means? Fair call. Read on if you want a thorough understanding of #Australian slang.

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28 Comments

  1. Love these posts! Most of the words I don’t commonly use, but I am forever saying “no worries” and I just can’t stop that habit. I do get a few strange looks when travelling! “Thongs” is another one that got me some weird looks. I would not have even considered that “slippery dip” would not be understood!

    1. I say “no worries” like a woman possessed, so I feel your pain. And neither! A slippery dip is a slippery dip… duh!

      1. We’ve never heard of a slippery dip… Sounds more like what we call going “commando”.. In South Africa that means going for a dip in the altogether…which means going for a swim naked or “kaalgat”

  2. Haha, some really good ones here! ‘no worries’ is so pervasive, I don’t even notice that anymore. I thought of a few others as well but now, of course, I can’t for the life of me think of them…

      1. There’s a fair bit of ‘fair dinkum’ usage in our household. 😀 I will put some more thought into this when I have a moment to breathe as it’s one of my favourite things to talk about (I’m an ESL teacher and my academic background is in linguistics). 😀

        1. I was having a discussion about “fair dinkum” with someone and I’m starting to think it’s become a QLD thing – I’ve not heard anyone in NSW or VIC say it for donkeys. I’d love to have the input of a pro, that’s for sure!

          1. Well, neither my husband nor I are Queenslanders, in fact, he’s a born and bred Melburnian. We only moved up here three years ago and he’s been ‘fair dinkuming’ ever since I’ve known him (and that’s been a fair few years). I’ve got a few VIC friends who use it too. Just my two cents… 😉

          2. Haha, I guess it’s just not something my friends or family seem to say! Maybe it’s just NSW then – who knows!

  3. When I was just in Australia I could never understand what people meant by ‘avro’. Now I know! Definitely an essential read for anyone who is planning on going to Australia soon.

  4. Ahhh this takes me back home ?. Dero is my favourite, I love to whip that one out to confuse the Brits. I also like Avo (avocado). Great post, thank you!

    1. It’s like having your own language… which sort of sounds like gibberish. Total street cred on your behalf, I reckon!

  5. Gosh I love this!!! It’s so true, especially what you say about “slippery dip”. I got the strangest looks at the park when I said this in New Zealand… It’s funny because I’ve never really known it as anything else. Thanks for the chuckle!

    1. I know! I find it weird that the Kiwis don’t call it the same thing (but then… jandals… what, how?). We definitely use way more slang than any of us would ever realise!

  6. These are great! Super educational post! I know about 1/2 of them from Aussie YouTubers I follow & knowing Australians in real life, but a bunch are new to my American English vocabulary! I’d be so lost if you used a bunch of them in a sentence.

  7. Signing in from Tassie. Everyone is wearing their Tassie Tuxedos. (Black Puffer Jackets) A lot of snow about. Loved your photos of the big mosquito. Would be another way to choose destination routes. Go via all the ‘big things’

    1. Oh, Tassie Tuxedo, I love it! There’s a bit of that going on in Melbs too. And yes so true. I have definitely driven a distance simply to see a Big Thing in the past, haha.

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