Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know

Over 400 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Australian Slang Words You Probably Don't Know
Voting 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.


Most divisive: Maggot

  • Mate
    Photo: Buena Vista Distribution
    251 VOTES


    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.)
    251 votes
  • Thongs
    Photo: grooble / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    230 VOTES


    Sandals, not underwear. This is useful if someone tells you the dog is chewing on your thongs.
    230 votes
  • Brekkie
    Photo: Rain Rabbit / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    234 VOTES


    Breakfast. Not too exciting, but an absolute must-know if traveling with hard-partying Australians.
    234 votes
  • Servo
    Photo: Benedict Benedict / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    215 VOTES


    A gas station.
    215 votes
  • Bogan
    Photo: Columbia Pictures
    225 VOTES


    An Australian redneck. Often found in remote parts of the country, or, if on holiday, getting maggot in Bali.
    225 votes
  • Scull
    Photo: Universal Pictures/Focus Features
    211 VOTES


    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.
    211 votes