Australian slang tips with Mariana

Are you always curious about some of the slang that Australians use? The Director of Studies at GV Brisbane, Mariana, has provided some helpful information this week on Australian slang.

GV Brisbane's Director of Studies, Mariana, with Edson from Brazil

Australian English is an accent that is full of lively colourful phrases. Some of the words and expressions used are taken from British slang (very informal vocabulary items).

Some words have a completely different meaning in Australia than they do in other English-speaking countries. Other words are indigenous to Australia and derived from Aboriginal terms, such as ‘boomerang’ and ‘kangaroo’. But the most characteristic aspect of the Australian accent is that common words and expressions have been shortened considerably, turning three- or four-syllable words into two-syllable ones.

It is important to notice that Australian slang exists primarily because Australians take the English language as a game to play, and they love to have fun with words.

Here are some of those everyday words and their shortened Aussie versions for you to use to sound more Australian, but more importantly, to understand natives when you talk to them! Use them whenever you can, and enjoy the language!

  • Breakfast – Brekkie
  • Afternoon – Arvo
  • Australian – Aussie (pronounced ‘Ozzie’)
  • Australia – Oz, as in Oz-tralia.
  • Barbecue (BBQ) – Barbie
  • Bring Your Own (meat and drinks) – BYO
  • Aggressive – Aggro
  • Motorcyclists – Bikies
  • Chicken – Chook
  • Delicatessen – Deli
  • Eskimo box – Esky (Large insulated box for keeping beer etc. cold)
  • Garbage collector – Garbo
  • Journalist – Journo
  • Mosquitoes – Mozzies
  • Poker machine – Pokies (Slot machine or fruit machine with playing card pips. Found in clubs or casinos)
  • Postman – Postie
  • Registration (car registration) – Rego
  • KangarooRoo
  • Member of the Salvation Army – Salvo
  • Day off work pretending to be sick Sickie
  • Coffee or cigarette break – Smoko
  • Sausage – Snag
  • The television – Telly
  • Thing Thingo
  • Truck driver – Trucky
  • University – Uni
  • Utility truck or vehicle – Ute
  • Cold beer – Coldie
  • Petrol Station – Servo
  • Present – Prezzy
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