• Culture

Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know

List RulesAussies only: vote up the slang terms you really use or hear used in Australia.

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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  • Photo: Buena Vista Distribution
    1

    Mate

    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.)
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    12
    Is this legit slang down under?
  • Photo: grooble / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    2

    Thongs

    Sandals, not underwear. This is useful if someone tells you the dog is chewing on your thongs.
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    Is this legit slang down under?
  • Photo: Rain Rabbit / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    3

    Brekkie

    Breakfast. Not too exciting, but an absolute must-know if traveling with hard-partying Australians.
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    Is this legit slang down under?
  • Photo: Benedict Benedict / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    4

    Servo

    A gas station.
    174
    12
    Is this legit slang down under?