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  /  Business   /  The Backpacker’s Guide to Aussie Slang

The Backpacker’s Guide to Aussie Slang

Australia or “Straya”, as it is also known, is one of the oldest cultures in the world, with one of the most diverse dialects. At Happy Travels we decided that we wanted to make sure that we help backpackers and especially non-native speakers fit in and be able to communicate effectively with locals. So we decided to come up with the ultimate “Backpacker’s Guide to Aussie Slang”.

  • A Cold One – A cold beer.
  • Ambo – Ambulance.
  • Arvo – Afternoon.
  • Ankle Biter – Small Child.
  • Aussie – Australian (pronounced “Ozzie”).
  • Avo – Avocado, the staple diet of Australian Hipster.
  • Bail – To leave or cancel plans – “Time to Bail mate”
  • Bag / Baggies  – Small ziplock bags that are used to hold  Rack or Pingas    ” How much is in that bag of Rack?
  • Barbie – Barbecue – “What do you mean shrimps? Na we chuck snags on the barbie” (see snags below).
  • Barrelled, Get –  Technical surf manoeuvre, to ride a wave that curls over your head like a barrel. Shakas must be thrown after a successful barrel ride.
  • Beeer – Beer – (pronounced “Beeeeeeer” )  “Oooooi grab us another beeeer!”
  • Beaut! / Beauty! – Fantastic!
  • Billabong – A waterhole, found in the desert formed from a dried up river.
  • Billy – Teapot (In the Outback on the fire) / Pipe or Bong (In someones backyard and being used to smoke cannabis).
  • Bloke – A man or a man’s man.
  • Bloody – Very / Totally . Used to to put emphasis on a point. “That wave he caught was Bloody huge!”
  • Bloody Oath – I agree with the point you just made.
  • Blowie – Oral Sex performed on a bloke.
  • Bogan – Australian country folk or ‘redneck’, often seen wearing a Singlet, driving a Ute and drinking a pre-mixed Bundy & Coke.
  • Bottle-O – A shop that sells alcohol including Beeers, goon, tinnies and Bundy rum.
  • Bundy / Bundy & Coke – Traditional rum drink, from the Bundaberg region of Queensland. Generally drunk by Bogans.
  • Blue – a fight. “Did you see big naughty Charles trying to have a blue with the bouncers at Cheeky Monkeys last night? What a Yobbo!
  • Bowlo – Bowling club, great place to buy some cheap schooners.
  • Brekky – Breakfast.
  • Brolly – Umbrella.
  • BYO – The three magic letters that spells out ‘Bring Your Own’ booze.
  • C*nt  / the “C” word – A word used as a term of endearment between mates. “Hey Toby, don’t listen to what anyone says, I think you’re a good c*nt”.
  • Cab Sav – Cabernet Sauvignon, best drunk out of a 4 litre box (see ‘Goon’ below).
  • Cheeky Monkeys – Australia’s most famous backpacker bar. Tables as the dancefloor and bikini or wet t-shirt competitions most nights of the week.
  • Choc A Bloc – Full.
  • Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit.
  • Chrissie – Christmas.
  • Ciggy – A Cigarette. Also known as a Durrie.
  • Cobber – Very good friend.
  • Coppers – Policemen.
  • Crack on to Somebody – To pursue someone in hopes of getting a root (see ‘Root’ below).
  • Crook – Being ill.
  • Dead-set – True.
  • Devo – Devastated.
  • Derro – Derelict.  “Did you see that car Shane’s driving he looks heaps derro!”
  • DOOF – Australian bush party / rave / outdoor festival. Home of Psytrance  music and lots of young Australians taking terrible, expensive  Pingas.
  • Durries – Cigarettes.
  • Dunny – Toilet.
  • Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers). Essential for anyone going to a Doof.
  • F*ck Me Dead – that’s unfortunate, that surprises me.
  • Fair dinkum – True, definitely.
  • Flat out like a Lizard drinking / Flat out – Very busy. “People think that Teumsy just sits on facebook at work but he always says he’s flat out like a lizard drinking.”
  • Franger – Condom.
  • Frothy – Beer.
  • Frothing – To be very excited: “Oii the waves were 6ft down at Lennox  yesterday, I was frothing!”
  • Fruity Leg Opener – Fruity Lexia wine – the best variety of goon, known for the vitality it gives backpackers.
  • G’day – Hello.
  • Going off – Busy, lots of people. “That Doof was going off last night!”
  • Good On Ya / ‘On Ya – Good work.
  • Goon – The first and last drink that you will drink in Australia. Goon is a cheap, boxed wine that is ubiquitous to backpacking in Australia.
  • Green room, In the – Where you are when you are getting barelled.
  • Hard yakka – Hard work.
  • Heaps – Loads, lots, many.
  • Knickers – Female underwear. Not to be confused with Thongs.
  • Legless – Someone who is really drunk.
  • Lollies – Any gummy sweets / candy.
  • Long Neck – A big bottle of beer.
  • Maccas – McDonalds.
  • Middy  – A 285ml glass of beer, also known as a Pot or Schooner depending on what part of the country you are in.
  • No Worries – It’s Ok.
  • Nuddy – Naked.
  • Oooii – Hey.
  • Old Mate – A term for just about anyone!
  • Pash – To kiss.
  • Piece of Piss – Easy.
  • Pingas – Ecstacy / Molly – highly illegal, expensive and often impure narcotics taken at DOOFS across the country.
  • Piss Off – Go away, get lost.
  • Piss Up – A party, a get together and in Australia – “Any excuse for a piss-up!”
  • Piss – To urinate.
  • Pissed – Intoxicated, Drunk –  I was so pissed last night, I drank nearly a whole bag of Goon.
  • Pokies – Gambling machines often found in bowlos.
  • Psy / Psytrance – Fast and heavy electronic music that gets played 24/7 at Doofs. Sounds terrible to anyone that isn’t on Pingas.
  • Rack, Bag of – A bag of something pretending to be cocaine that costs the same as a small car.
  • Reckon, I – For sure.
  • Rooted – Tired.
  • Root / Rooting – “The bloke from the Happy Travels in Byron Bay was the best root I’ve ever had.”
  • Runners – Trainers, sneakers.
  • Sausage Sizzle –  Community barbie generally cooking snags to raise money for schools or charity.
  • Schooner – A 285ml glass of beer, also known as a Pot or Middy depending on where you are. Much too small.
  • Servo – Service Station / Petrol Station.
  • Shakas – A hang gesture used by surfers. Made by making a fist while extending the thumb and pinky and saying “Yewwwwww!”.
  • Sickie, Chuck a  – A sick day off work – “Oi Damo get another couple scooners in, I’ve decided to chuck a sickie tomorrow”.
  • Singlet – A cotton vest. Usually bogans will wear a ‘Bintang’ or ‘Bundaberg’ branded one.
  • Slab – A carton of beers. Massively overpriced.
  • Snag – Sausage, usually cooked on a Barbie.
  • Spewin‘ – When you’re really annoyed about something. “I lost my wallet last night when I was out on the piss, I’m Spewin!”
  • Stiffy – Erection.
  • Stoked – Happy, Pleased.
  • Stonie – Stone and Wood, Australia’s best beer, brewed in Byron Bay, famous for their “Pacific Ale”. Best drunk at the “Rails” behind Happy travels in Byron.
  • Straya – Australia, the greatest country in the world!
  • Stubbie – A small bottle of Beer.
  • Stuffed – Tired.
  • Swag – All in one sleeping bag / mattress tent.
  • Tea – Dinner.
  • Tinny  / Tinnies – Tin(s) of beer / A small aluminium boat often used for fishing.
  • Thongs – Flip Flops  “What do you think of Connor?”  “He’s pretty cool but he always steals my thongs to wear to the beach”
  • Tradie –  A tradesman, electrician, carpenter etc. generally seen driving a Ute.
  • Tucker – Food.
  • Ute – The tradie / bogan / queenslanders vehicle of choice, a 2/3 seater pickup truck.
  • VB –  Victoria Bitter – One of the cheapest beers in Straya, must be drunk as close to freezing as possible for any enjoyment.
  • Wombat – Somebody that eats, roots and leaves (see also  Root).
  • Wobbly, threw a  – to get upset or angry. “I chucked a sickie yesterday and the boss threw a wobbly”.
  • XXXX Gold – Piss weak mid-strength beer.
  • Ya – You.
  • Yeah, na. – No.
  • Yewie – To take a U-Turn when driving.
  • Yeeeewwwwwww –  Typical exclamation from surfers that are frothing and throwing shakas. 
  • Yobbo – An Uncouth person.


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