by Helena Hedegaard Holmgren
Australian English is more than just an accent, and the Aussie vernacular can easily leave both English speakers and foreigners perplexed. Australian English is similar to British English, but many common words differ from American English—and there are many unique Aussie idiosyncrasies, slang terms, and expressions.
The term for Aussie slang and pronunciation is strine, and it is often characterized by making words as short as possible; the story goes it developed by speaking through clenched teeth to avoid blowies (blow flies) from getting into the mouth. So if you plan to visit the world’s smallest continent, this list of some of the most commonly used slang expressions is for you.
1. Arvo: afternoon
2. Barbie: barbeque
3. Bogan: redneck, an uncultured person. According to the Australian show Bogan Hunters, a real bogan sports a flanno (flannel shirt), a mullet, missing teeth, homemade tattoos (preferably of the Australian Flag or the Southern Cross), and has an excess of Australia paraphernalia. This "species of local wildlife" can be found by following their easily distinguishable tracks from burnouts or the smell of marijuana.
4. Bottle-O: bottle shop, liquor store
5. Chockers: very full
6. Esky: cooler, insulated food and drink container
7. Fair Dinkum: true, real, genuine
8. Grommet: young surfer
9. Mozzie: mosquito
10. Pash: a long passionate kiss. A pash rash is red irritated skin as the result of a heavy make-out session with someone with a beard.
11. Ripper: really great
12. Roo: kangaroo. A baby roo, still in the pouch, is known as a Joey
13. Root: sexual intercourse. This one can get really get foreigners in trouble. There are numerous stories about Americans coming to Australia telling people how they love to "root for their team." If you come to Australia, you would want to use the word "barrack" instead. On the same note, a "wombat" is someone who eats roots and leaves.
14. Servo: gas station. In Australia, a gas station is called a petrol station. If you ask for gas, don’t be surprised if someone farts.
15. She’ll be right: everything will be all right
16. Sickie: sick day. If you take a day off work when you are not actually sick it’s called chucking a sickie.
17. Slab: 24-pack of beer
18. Sook: to sulk. If someone calls you a sook, it is because they think you are whinging
19. Stubbie holder: koozie or cooler. A stubbie holder is a polystyrene insulated holder for a stubbie, which is a 375ml bottle of beer.
20. Sweet as: sweet, awesome. Aussies will often put ‘as’ at the end of adjectives to give it emphasis. Other examples include lazy as, lovely as, fast as and common as.
21. Ta: thank you
22. Togs: swim suit
23. Tradie: a tradesman. Most of the tradies have nicknames too, including brickie (bricklayer), truckie (truckdriver), sparky (electrician), garbo (garbage collector) and chippie (carpenter).
24. Ute: Utility vehicle, pickup truck
25. Whinge: whine
Good onya, mate! Understanding the Aussies should be easy as now.
Additional Sources: Urban Attitude; All Down Under - Slang Dictionary; Australian Words - Meanings and Origins; Australian Dictionary; Koala Net; Australian Explorer; Up from Australia; YouTube, 2; McDonalds.