English is the primary language in Australia; however, the Aussie slang is a language unto itself! When we first moved to Perth, I had a lot of trouble understanding many of the fast-talking Australians – the accent was one hurdle, but the slang terms used here is a whole other hurdle that I was not anticipating!
Here’s a list of some of my personal faves:
- Bogan, most often preceeded with the other slang term of “cashed up“: roughly translated to “new money redneck”. Used a lot here in WA to describe those who made quite a bit [quickly] in the region’s mining boom. Often derogatory and/or self-depracating. You can read more here.
- Arvo: an abbreviation of afternoon
- Brekkie: an abbreviation of breakfast
- Maccas (pronounced “mackers”): McDonald’s
- Fair suck of the sav/fair shake of a sauce bottle: an exclamation of awe; you gave it a good shot/try. I.e., “Better luck next time – you gave it a fair suck of the sav!”
- Lollies: sweets, candies local to Australia – does not typically refer to lollypops
- Ta: Not slang for good bye, like I thought – rather, “thank you”
- Chook: a chicken (there are a slew of different words for foods or abbreviations – they deserve their own post!)
- Bub: a baby (ankle biter is also used interchangeably)
- Fair dinkum: true, genuine. I.e., “I am a fair dinkum expat”
- Good on ya: job well done
And Bob’s your uncle! (Mine actually is named Bob – ha!)
Now, this is a short list – there are so many other terms and festive abbreviations (abbrevos?) that Australians use all the time. And yes, they do actually say “G’day, mate” or usually just “G’day”. There’s even a book (and I’m sure multiple books) on the topic:
If you’ve visited Australia, are Australian, or live here, what are some of your faves? I love trying to use them in my vernacular (even though I mostly think I sound absurd trying to say them without the cute accent). 🙂 Until next time…