35 Local Expressions You’ll Hear When in Australia

35 Local Expressions You’ll Hear When in Australia


Australians have a colourful vocabulary, as you can tell by how they endearingly shorten words and get creative with their friendly jabs. 
 
When out on an Outback road trip or a night out downtown, you might hear the following slang and phrases from your new Aussie friends. 
 
Read along to find out what your mates mean and pick up some new expressions to help you get around.
 
  1. Arvo – Afternoon
“We’re going to the docks this arvo. Wanna tag along?”
 
  1. Back o’ Bourke/back of beyond – Very far, isolated place
“You sure you want to go there? That’s way back o’ Bourke.”
 
  1. Barbie – Barbeque
“This weather is perfect for a barbie!".”
 
  1. Bottle shop/bottle-O – Liquor store; shop that sells cigarettes and alcohol
“That bottle shop has a wide selection of spirits.”
 
  1. Brekky – Breakfast
“We had toast and eggs for brekky.”
 
  1. Bushland/the Bush – Remote, underdeveloped land
“Better bring enough water when spending a day out in the bush.”
 
  1. Choc a block/chockers – Completely full; no space left
“The bar’s totally chockers; let’s head out someplace else.”
 
  1. Chuck a leftie – Turn left; chuck a rightie conversely means to turn right; chuck a U-ey means to make a U-turn.
“Chuck a leftie when you reach the billboard.”
 
  1. Cozzie – Swimming attire; also known as togs and bathers (depending on state) 
“There’s a lake by the cabin, so don’t forget your cozzie.”
 
  1. Crust – Livelihood; income; means of living
“What do you do for a crust?”
 
  1. Donkey showers/donkey-run showers – Warm bath water heated with lit fire
“The trail was all muddy. Good thing the camp has donkey showers.”
 
  1. Dunny/Loo – Toilet
“The dunny’s at the back, first door to your right.”
"The loo's down the hall; first door on your left."
 
  1. Esky – Insulated box that keeps drinks cold; an ice box or a cooler
“Fill the esky! We’re going to the beach.”
 
  1. Go to the pictures – Go to the cinema to see a movie
“Snacks this arvo or go to the pictures first?”
 
  1. Go walkabout – Disappear without notice; go somewhere without telling anyone where you’re going
“I don't know where Ted is; he seems to have gone walkabout.”
 
  1. Grog – Alcoholic drink, mostly beer; beer in a can is also known as tinnie.
“Pick up some grog from the bottle shop.”
 
  1. Hit the turps – A night out with drinking; go out for drinks at night
“They hit the turps after work.”
 
  1. Lob in – To visit someone
“I’ll lob in for lunch this Saturday.”
 
  1. Maccas – McDonalds restaurant
“Maccas is the only place open at this time of the night.”
 
  1. Mozzies – Mosquitoes
“Who knew that lavenders make good mozzie repellant?”
 
  1. Ooroo – Bye; see you later
“It’s too early to say ooroo! Sit and have another round.”
 
  1. Pat Malone – Alone; on your own
“Everyone’s going there for the weekend, so you won’t be driving Pat Malone.”
 
  1. Sanger/sambo – Sandwich
“This café makes the best chicken sambo in town.”
 
  1. Servo – Gas and service station for vehicles
“Stop by the servo to fill up.”
 
  1. Shoot through – To leave or go somewhere
“Just dropping by to say thanks before I shoot through.”
 
  1. Shout – my treat/I'm paying
“Wanna grab lunch? my shout.”
 
  1. Snag – Sausage
“Put a snag on the barbie.”
 
  1. Takeaway – Takeout; food-to-go
“Let’s grab some takeaway for dinner tonight.”
 
  1. Tart yourself up – Dress up nicely; be presentable
“We have enough time to go tart ourselves up for the party.”
 
  1. Thongs – Flip-flops
“The sand is hot, and I don’t have my thongs with me!”
 
  1. Traino – Train station
“I’m on my way to the traino.”
 
  1. Tucker – Food
“Nothing like fresh, homemade tucker after an eight-hour trip.”
 
  1. Ute – Utility vehicle such as a pick-up truck
“Take the ute. You can’t carry that box all the way there.”
 
  1. Veg out – Relax; lie around and do nothing
“What are you doing this weekend?”
"not much, might just veg out on the couch."
 
  1. Whoop whoop – Outback Australia; place away from the city
“Can you survive on your own in whoop whoop?”


Have anything to add? Share your favourite Aussie word in the comments section!


 

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