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The Backpacker’s Guide to Aussie Slang

By: Abbie Brooks July 29, 2022
Australia or “Straya”, as it is also known, is one of the biggest melting pots in the world, with some of the most diverse dialects from far and wide, but let’s talk about some of the wordy slang this country has developed. 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”.

Your Lesson

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”
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.
Bloke – A man or a man’s man.
Bloody – Very / Totally . Used to put emphasis on a point. “That wave he caught was bloody huge!”
Bloody Oath – I agree with the point you just made.
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 spell out ‘Bring Your Own’ booze.
C*nt / the “C” word – A word used as a term of endearment between mates. “Hey Marky, 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).
Choc A Bloc – Full.
Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit.
Chrissie – Christmas.
Ciggy – A Cigarette. Also known as a Durrie.
Cobber – Very good friend.
Coppers – Policemen.
Crook – Being ill.
Dead-set – True.
Devo – Devastated.
DOOF – Australian bush party / rave / outdoor festival.
Dunny – Toilet.
Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers).
Fair dinkum – True, definitely.
Frothy – Beer.
Frothing – To be very excited: “Oii the waves were 6ft down at Lennox yesterday, I was frothing!”
G’day – Hello.
Going off – Busy, lots of people. “That party 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.
Hard yakka – Hard work.
Heaps – Loads, lots, many.
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.
Pokies – Gambling machines often found in bowlos.
Reckon, I – For sure.
Rooted – Tired.
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!”
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.
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.