travel Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know  

Duke Harten
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Ah, Australian slang. A lexicon unto itself, slang in Australia puts Cockney rhyming to shame. The country's jaw-gritting determination to abbreviate even the shortest of words is a point of national pride. If you find yourself in the land down under during your travels, fear not: this list of Aussie slang will have you fluent in localese before the afternoon arvo is over.

Everything from body parts to gas stations is fair game for slang in Oz: abbreviation (or outright recoining) is a way of life here. As one Aussie pal put it: "The trick is in shortening anything that's already been shortened and then giving it a longer nickname." Makes sense, no? Check out the Australian words below for a quick taste of the continent's flavorful slang.

 

 
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As


As is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Photo: Azri/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Keen as. Sick as. Drunk as. Cool as.

The implication, of course, being that these things are "as something" (as heck, presumably). But Australians, and their penchant for abbreviation, don't have time to get around to the actual comparison. They're lazy as.
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Sheila


Sheila is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Photo: Mary Watkin/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
A woman.
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Scull


Scull is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Photo: Universal Pictures/Focus Features

To "scull down" a drink is to chug it. There's some controversy as to whether it's "scull" or "skol," but most Australians seem to agree on the former. The Aussies love sculling so much they've even got a song for it: 

Here's to [insert drinker's name], he's true blue.
He's a piss pot through and through.
He's a bastard so they say,
Should have gone to heaven but he went the other way!
He went down, down, down, down, down!

The crowd won't stop singing until the piss pot in question sculls down his drink.
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Mate


Mate is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Photo: Buena Vista Distribution
Where to begin? It's a term for friend, sure, but it's so much more. Mate can mean any of the following in Australia, depending on the context: yeah, nah, you serious?, I'm serious, come on, awesome, don't try me. (With the proper inflection, you can make "mate" work for you however you want.)