Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

The Traveler’s Guide to Australian Slang

Australia may speak English, but it speaks an English all its own. And I’m not just talking about the sweet accent! If you visit Australia, you’ll certainly pick up some Australian slang as well! You’ll be surprised by how much slang you won’t recognize as a foreigner in the country. Some phrases are easy to guess, but others will leave you pretty much clueless. Check out these Aussie slang phrases before you go, and you’ll be ready to sound like a local. Well, almost. Your accent might need some work.

 

Ace
“Ace!” is used instead of the American “cool!” or “nice!” This one is pretty easy to pick up, and it gives your speech a nice Aussie flavor in a casual way.
Ace

 

Aerial Ping-pong

This refers to Australian-rules football. I guess they just got tired of having their sport compared to American football and the more universal fútbol that’s actually played with your foot.
Aerial Ping Pong

 

Apples, She’ll Be
This is the Australian version of “Hakuna Matata.” It means, “It’s going to be just fine.”
Apples, She’ll Be

 

Back of Bourke

If you’ve traveled from out of the country to visit Australia, you’ve definitely come out the back of the back of Bourke. This slang phrase means that someone has traveled really, really far. It originates with an actual town in Australia named Bourke, which (described in American slang) is in the boondocks.
Back Of Bourke

 

Barbie

When someone says that they are going to throw something on the barbie, don’t fear for the wellbeing of a fashion doll. Instead, break about the steak knives! In Australia, “barbie” is slang for “barbeque,”
Barbie

 

Big Smoke

A big city is called “big smoke” in Australia. Don’t worry, there’s no fire nearby, at least we hope not! You’ll likely hear this if you’re headed to any metropolitan areas during your trip to Australia.
Big Smoke

 

Booze Bus

A booze bus is not fun. It is not a party bus, and it does not take you to booze or give you booze. This is one bus that you do not want to be on! “Booze bus” is the term used to describe cop cars that catch drunk drivers.
Booze Bus

 

Bushie

Someone who lives in the bush. Note that this is different than someone who lives in a bush.
Bushie

 

Captain Cook

The man who discovered Australia for the Europeans. This also means “look,” as in “To have a Captain Cook.” I guess Captain Cook had a Captain Cook at Australia when he first landed. I wonder if Captain Cook had to cook while having a Captain Cook at a captain’s cap in Australia?
Captain Cook

 

Coathanger. You’d never guess what this means. It refers to Sydney Harbor Bridge. Why? I have no idea.
Coathanger

 

Cockie

This can refer to a farmer, a cockatoo, or a cockroach. A “cockroach,” however, is a person from New South Whales.
Cockie

 

Dog’s Eye

You might find this on the dinner menu. Don’t skip dinner, though—a dog’s eye is actually a meat pie! I suppose they could come up with a better name, but hey, the name doesn’t make it any less tasty.
Dog’s Eye

 

Earbashing

This isn’t as violent as it sounds. “Earbashing” is constant nagging.
Earbashing

 

Fairy Floss

You’ll very likely find some fairy floss at an amusement park, if you go to one during your trip to Australia. Fairy floss is cotton candy. It’s a much more magical name, don’t you think? And it sounds much more delicious.
Fairy Floss

 

Give it a Burl

Give it a try. Try it, give it a go.
Give It A Burl

 

Gobsmacked

Arguably the goofiest (and most fun) word after “digeridoo,” “gobsmacked” means astounded or surprised.
Gobsmacked

 

Hotel. Not what you’re thinking. It can mean “hotel” in the American sense, but often refers to a pub alone.
Hotel

 

Hottie

This means “hot water bottle.” So you can get yourself a bunch of those while in Australia, and then come home and tell you friends how many “hotties” you picked up on vacation.
Hottie

 

Mob

Just any old group of people. A mob in Australia isn’t necessarily bad news.
Mob

 

Pommy

An English person. “Pommy’s shower” is a term that refers to putting on deodorant instead of actually showering. I suppose you can gather what Australians think about English bathing habits!
Pommy

 

Port

A suitcase. Make sure your ports make it on the plane!
Port

 

Sunbake

Sunbathe. “Bake” is definitely more accurate when you’re talking about laying out under the hot Australian sun.
Sunbake

 

There you have it: a crash course in Australian slang. See how many you can use while in Australia! You’ll sound like a local in no time.

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