Every language has its own features, and English is no exception. However, the way English is spoken in different countries can vary a great deal.
Even people from English-speaking countries sometimes say they find it hard to understand what Australians are talking about.
Some words vary from state to state. For example, a standard glass of beer is called a “pot” in Victoria, a “middy” in NSW, and a “schooner” in SA. In the eastern states, a “schooner” is a much larger glass.
We hope this guide will help you understand some of the more common slang words you may hear in Australia.
Arvo - Afternoon
Barbie - BBQ or barbecue. Australian men traditionally take charge of cooking a barbie.
Bikkie - Biscuit
Bingle - Motor vehicle accident
Bloke - Man, guy
Chewy - Chewing gum
Chook - Chicken, usually a hen. The word rhymes with “look”.
Cuppa - Cup of tea or coffee
Footy - Australian Rules Football, not soccer or rugby.
Flat out - To be very busy
G’day - Hello, short for "good day"
Garbo - Garbage collector
Knock - Criticise something. The person who does this is a “knocker”.
Mozzies - Mosquitoes
Op shop – or opp shop, short for Opportunity shop or thrift store, where second-hand goods can be bought.
Postie - Postman
Rego – Car registration
Shout – Pay for someone else’s drink or meal
Smoko - Cigarette or coffee break
Sook – a weak complaining person. The word rhymes with “look”.
Sunnies – Sunglasses
Ute - Utility vehicle, what Americans call a pick up truck.