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!” 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.
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.
Apples, She’ll Be
This is the Australian version of “Hakuna Matata.” It means, “It’s going to be just fine.”
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.
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,”
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.
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.
Someone who lives in the bush. Note that this is different than someone who lives in a bush.
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?
Coathanger. You’d never guess what this means. It refers to Sydney Harbor Bridge. Why? I have no idea.
This can refer to a farmer, a cockatoo, or a cockroach. A “cockroach,” however, is a person from New South Whales.
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.
This isn’t as violent as it sounds. “Earbashing” is constant nagging.
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.
Give it a Burl
Give it a try. Try it, give it a go.
Arguably the goofiest (and most fun) word after “digeridoo,” “gobsmacked” means astounded or surprised.
Hotel. Not what you’re thinking. It can mean “hotel” in the American sense, but often refers to a pub alone.
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.
Just any old group of people. A mob in Australia isn’t necessarily bad news.
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!
A suitcase. Make sure your ports make it on the plane!
Sunbathe. “Bake” is definitely more accurate when you’re talking about laying out under the hot Australian sun.
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.