Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Sorry mum

My daughter Briony took me on a little trip away on the weekend and we had a lot of fun even in the 37 degree temperatures. I'll tell you more about that when I get her to send me the photos.

In the meantime, over at Rhymes With Plague, I mentioned that when my most ocker Aussie incarnation surfaces I can be unintelligible to anyone who isn't  an Aussie themselves so Robert  requested a post on Australian slang.

Let me start by saying that although "cobber" is often quoted as slang for a friend or mate, Australian's don't actually say it. They might have once upon a time but even the oldest people I  know don't use "cobber"

Let me also say that while we like to think we use rhyming slang, we mostly don't. There might be more rhyming slang used in very male dominated professions but it's not really standard language.

The rhyming slang that might make it into my vocabulary is limited:

Billy lids = kids
Butchers hook = look eg. Let's have a butchers at that cut foot
Reg Grundy's = Undies (underwear)

Regular slang that I use or wouldn't feel stupid using:

Accadacca – How Aussies refer to Australian band ACDC
Arvo – Afternoon S’Arvo – this afternoon!
Avo – Avocado
Bail – To cancel plans. ‘Bruce bailed’ = Bruce isn’t going to turn up.
Barbie – Barbecue
Bathers – Swimsuit
Beauty! – Great! Most often exclaimed as “You Beauty”
Bloody – Very. Used to extenuate a point 

Bludger – Someone who’s lazy, generally also who relies on others
Bogan –  rednecks. 
Booze Bus – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers
Bottle-O – Bottle Shop, a place to buy alcohol
Budgie Smugglers – Speedos
Bush – “Out in the bush” – “he’s gone bush” In the countryside away from civilisation
Cactus – Dead, Broken
Choc A Bloc – Full
Chook – Chicken
Chrissie – Christmas
Ciggy – a Cigarette
Clucky – feeling maternal
Coppers – Policemen
Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook
Dag – Someone who’s a bit of a nerd or geek.
Daks – Trousers. ‘Tracky daks’ = sweatpants (tracksuit pants)
Deadset – True
Defo – Definitely
Dunny – Toilet
Durry – Cigarette
Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold 
Facey – Facebook
Fair Dinkum – genuine
Flannie / Flanno – flannelette shirt
Flat out – Really busy 
F*ck Me Dead – that’s unfortunate, that surprises me
Furphy – rumours or stories that are improbable or absurd
G’day – Hello
Going off – busy, lots of people / angry person “he’s going off”
Good On Ya – well done
Hard yakka – Hard work
Heaps – loads, lots, many
Iffy – bit risky or unreasonable
Knickers – female underwear
Larrikin – Someone who’s always up for a laugh, bit of a harmless prankster
Legless – really drunk
Lollies – Sweets
Mongrel – Someone who’s a bit of a dick
Mozzie – Mosquito
No Drama – you're welcome
Nuddy – Naked
Outback – The interior of Australia, “The Outback” is more remote than those areas named “the bush”
Pash – to kiss
Piece of Piss – easy
Piss Off – go away, get lost
Piss Up – a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions
Piss – (To Piss) to urinate
Pissed – Intoxicated, Drunk
Pissed Off – Annoyed
Rack Off – The less offensive way to tell someone to ‘F Off’!
Rapt – Very happy
Rellie / Rello – Relatives
Ripper – ‘You little ripper’ = That’s fantastic mate!
Rooted / buggered / shattered –  very tired
Runners – Trainers, Sneakers
Skull – To down a drink
Slab – A carton of beers
Snag – Sausage
Stiffy – Erection
Stoked – Happy, Pleased
Stubby – a bottle of beer
Stuffed – Tired
Sunnies – Sunglasses
Swag – Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag.
Tea – Dinner
Tinny – Can of beer or small boat
Thongs – Flip Flops. Do not be alarmed if your new found Australian friend asks you to wear thongs to the beach. They are most likely expressing their concern of the hot sand on your delicate feet.
Tucker – Food. 
U-IE – to take a U-Turn when driving
Woop Woop – middle of nowhere “he lives out woop woop” or the back of woop woop
Ya – You
Yous – (youse) plural of you!

Here's a couple of blokes to explain in the correct accent. Enjoy.


  1. I am glad you had a good time away despite the heat.
    Other slang words might include dog's breakfast, checkout chick, ankle-biters, sucked in, slacker and sickie.

  2. "F*ck Me Dead" made me laugh, I haven't heard that one before. We Brits like a bit of slang too, but as I've just returned from the States I'm too knackered to think of any ;)

    1. I learnt loads from watching British TV!

  3. Ha Ha! Yes, I use a lot of that slang too! Although thongs will always be G-string knickers in my book. I refuse to wear them on my feet!

    1. I don't wear thongs OR g-strings on my feet!!

  4. I had a butchers at the list and there's a good number of those words that I've used much of my life. Obviously some are more recent acquisitions from my life in New Zealand. Why on earth flipflops and thongs can't be called by their proper name of jandals I just don't understand!

    1. I adopt "jandals" for the benefit of my Kiwi rellos but it doesn't come naturally!

      I think a lot of Aussie slang is British in origin so I'm not surprised you are familiar!

  5. At last you know your slang. Many of us don't recognize our own slang ...just the other guy's slang. Anyway interesting post. My "concern" is that you have your vowels mixed up!!!

    1. You might be mixing up vowels, Red, but not me!

    2. This could really get us into a lively discussion!!!

  6. Some of these I know from Ireland and Newfoundland tho I have a fondness for f*ck me stupid rather than dead.

    My Oz friend here has taught me a lot too :)


  7. What an interesting list! I was surprised to see that quite a few of these are common around here, too (bail, bloody, flat out, good on ya, iffy, piss off, pissed off, stoked, u-ie). I hadn't heard of woop woop but love it and want to start making it feel at home in Canada :)

  8. The great thing about woop woop is, it doesn't have to be rural, just a long way and somewhere forgettable!

  9. Coming as it does when we are full of our cricket team's activities in Australia, this is a welcome addition to my knowledge. Thank you.

    1. I don't follow cricket at all, I hope you're enjoying it!

  10. I wonder what the origin of woop woop is. When our now-21-year-old grandson was a little tyke in Alabama and didn't say very much, when out riding in a car he would say "Big truck" as one passed by. But if he saw a police car or a fire truck, he would say "woo woo truck" instead, referring to the sound a siren makes. Could it possibly be that woop woop means out in the middle of nowhere because one can hear the sound of approaching sirens at a great distance? I'm just speculating.

    Thank you for the awesome post, but I still don't know what ocker means.

    1. Ooops! What an oversight! Ocker refers to a specific type of Australian, Google says an ocker is blokey but I just think they are working class and with a broad accent. Ocker might include redneck but doesn't have to

  11. Hilarious! A few of those have been adopted by Canadians (who absolutely adore Australia!!) such as stubby, yous, runners etc. Great list, thanks for sharing!

    1. I'm sure there is lots of cross over! maybe we even claim slang that is not truly our own

  12. A number of these terms are used in exactly the same way in England including all the "piss" terminology. It's very disappointing that Australians no longer use the word "cobber" cobber. I think it should be resurrected cobber.

    1. Hey cobber!
      The use of piss here is becoming so Americanised that I suspect some young people don't actually know the proper usage

  13. There's still quite a bit of cockney rhyming slang used in Britain even today. We certainly grew up with it even though we're not from London. I do remember saying to my American neighbour once to "let's have a butcher's" and she thought I was mad!

  14. We grew up with rhyming slang even though we aren't from London, although I do remember my American neighbour once looking at me like I was mad when I asked if I could "have a butcher's"!

    1. haha! it's a bit obscure for someone who didn't grow up with it!

  15. And how could I have forgotten. The 'drop bear' is quintessentially Australian.


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