Culture

Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know 

Duke Harten
Updated December 27, 2018 2.2k votes 290 voters 26.2k views 22 items

List Rules Aussies 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.

 

 
Mate is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
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.)
Is this legit slang down under?
Brekkie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Photo: Rain Rabbit/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
2
Brekkie
Breakfast. Not too exciting, but an absolute must-know if traveling with hard-partying Australians.
Is this legit slang down under?
Bogan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Photo: Columbia Pictures
3
Bogan
An Australian redneck. Often found in remote parts of the country, or, if on holiday, getting maggot in Bali.
Is this legit slang down under?
Thongs is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Photo: grooble/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
4
Thongs
Sandals, not underwear. This is useful if someone tells you the dog is chewing on your thongs.
Is this legit slang down under?