Australia, officially referred to as The Commonwealth of Australia, has no official language. Its de facto national language is English and it has a number of Aboriginal languages as well. What is interesting when it comes to language from the land down under is their special brand of English.
The Australian slang
You may think that Australians are speaking in codes when you hear them on television, in movies or up close. But they are speaking nothing more than Australian slang. This is often referred to as “Strine.” Generations of Australians have made-up words, phrases and expressions that they incorporated into English. Australian slang is spoken in all levels of society.
Listening to Australians speak their slang will leave you both perplexed and mesmerized at the same time. Their vocabulary is quite colorful and their accent can make you smile. It’s both funny and.
Examples of Australian slang words and phrases
There are hundreds of words and phrases considered as Australian slang. Only a few of them are listed below. But before you start memorizing them and using them in your next conversation with Australians, remember that some of what you will find below can take on a different meaning between cities and towns. After all, these are words and phrases handed down from one Aussie generation to the next. If you are unsure of how to use the words and phrases below, it may be best to stick to English and let the Australians do the talking. You will surely be entertained by their slang.
avago (have a go)
Have a go mate!
Let’s have a barbie on Sunday.
ankle biter (young child)
Her ankle biter’s three today.
What a beaut! (referring to something beautiful)
Care for a bickie?
bite ya bum (shut up)
If you don’t like her, bite ya bum.
That bloke stole my girl!
What a bloody bad song.
Did you see the bushranger’s picture?
We are having chook for lunch.
Crissie is my favorite holiday.
My daks are too short.
dinky dy (genuine)
It’s dinky dy, I promise!
Use the dunny on the left.
give it a burl (try it)
Ride the bike and give it a burl.
good on ya (good for you)
Good on ya mate!
having a blue (having a fight)
The lovebirds are having a blue.
A mozzie bit me!
ratbag (trouble maker)
Don’t be a ratbag now.
She’ll be apples (She will be ok)
Don’t worry about her. She’ll be apples.
English speakers are often surprised when they hear Aussies talk. Australian slang can leave a person dazed and confused. If you ever plan to visit Australia, you may want to bring an Australian slang dictionary along. Make sure to ask locals to kindly repeat what they said or to speak at a slower pace. You don’t need an interpreter to talk to an Australian. You just need patient, a respectful attitude and a sense of humor to survive an Aussie conversation.