Aussie Slang Explained

by Sally L. Watkins Wednesday February 26th 2020

Aussie Slang Explained-aussie-slang-explained

It's Official, you're in University, you're in Australia. Time to work out what the *!@* everyone is saying.

A large proportion of international students speak English as a second language, if you find Australians speaking oddly, don't worry!

It can take a while to get the hang of the Australian way of speaking - we can it Aussie lingo, but in truth, there is a pattern to it.

To reduce the confusion, we have put together the most common slang you will come across.

Uni means university.

Bludger equals a lazy person, like those people in group assignments who don't help at all!

Up yourself means you think you are better than everyone else.

Okay, you will need to pay attention here because this is where it starts to get tricky:

Nah Yeah = yes

Yeah Nah = no

Yeah Nah yeah = yes.


Although mate refers typically to a friend, you may notice it used in a passive-aggressive tone, when someone is upset with another person, for example, you may feel ripped off, and you are letting the person know. Don't rip me off, mate!

Rack off means Go away!

Reckon means Do you think?

Arvo means afternoon and

Avo means avocado. Try not to confuse them!

Brekky is the meal you skip because you're running late to class in the morning.

Snag means sausage,

Barbie means barbeque,

Sanga means sandwich,

Pav means Pavlova.

In Australia, what is McDonald's informally known as? Well, Maccas, of course!

Thongs are flip-flops – not undies but rubber sandals that you wear to the beach!

Sunnies are sunglasses.

Cozzies - swimming costumes.

Not to be confused with mozzies (mosquitos)!

Budgie smugglers. Mens swimmers, the type the athletes wear but now commonly worn underneath board shorts. Whats a Budgie you ask? Well, its a small Australian bird, a Budgerigar. So let your imagination run wild as to why Budgie smugglers are named so!

Still talking budgies,

My bloody budgie carked it last night! Carked it means to die.

Galah. In this case, no, not the name of an Australian bird but what you call a Silly Person.

Ambo means Ambulance,

Bingle - a minor car accident,

Av a go - meaning 'To try something',

Bodgie - not well made or done,

Servo - a service station, a place to buy fuel.

Cranky - In a bad mood

Crikey - An exclamation of surprise.

Defo equals definitely, while Devo means devastated (usually because of something that's not a big deal).

What are 'mate's rates'? A special discount for family and friends.

What does it mean to be 'knackered'? Tired.

Scull - Prime Minister Bob Hawke was in the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds in 1954.

Scull means to consume a beverage rapidly. Good one Bob!

And Chrissie is 25 December, a day for sunnies, barbies and rellies (family members or relatives).

Last but not least is the term.

In short, as you can see, we don't like wasting our time with long words! Australians want to shorten everything they say or add a 'o' to the end of words or BOTH!

Take an Aussie slang quiz, check it out:

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