The Ultimate Guide To Australian Phrases

Australian phrases can be difficult for students arriving there for the first time to study – mainly because there are just so many! That’s why we’ve created this guide which covers everything from commonly used to simply bizarre Australian phrases.

When you first arrive to start your studies Down Under, you’ll probably find that your new Aussie friends use lots of words and phrases you haven’t ever heard before. We know it can be hard to learn slang and everyday words in the classroom, so we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide to Australian Phrases to help you impress the locals. ‘She’ll be right’ as soon as you’ve read this article!

Everyday Australian phrases

When you’re studying in Australia, you’re bound to hear all of these very common words and phrases everywhere you go, so it will be really useful to know them in advance – everyone from your classmates to the supermarket cashier will be using them!

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Greetings and expressions

Ultimate Guide to Australian Language_G'day
  • G’day (Hello)
  • How you doing? (You alright?)
  • How ya going? (How are you?)
  • Going off (Really good – ‘The surf is going off today!’)
  • She’ll be right (It’ll be OK)
  • ‘Avago (Have a go)
  • Good on ya! (Good job)
  • No worries (No problem)
  • No dramas (No problem)
  • Pay out (To make fun of – ‘You can’t pay me out just because I have a different accent to you!’)
  • Chuck a sickie (To take a day off from school/university/work pretending to be ill when you’re not)

Items of clothing

Ultimate Guide to Australian Language_thongs
  • Boardies (Boardshorts/swim shorts)
  • Budgie smugglers/DTs (Tight-fitting male swimwear resembling underwear, rather than shorts)
  • Joggers (Trainers not jogging bottoms)
  • Singlet (Vest)
  • Sunnies (Sunglasses)
  • Thongs (Flip flops, not underwear)
  • Togs (Swimming costume/trunks)
  • Trackies and trackadacks (Tracksuit pants/jogging bottoms)
  • Pants (Means trousers not underwear)
  • Underpants (Pants, underwear)

Food and drink

Ultimate Guide to Australian Language_esky
  • Avo (Avocado)
  • Barbie (Barbecue)
  • Bevvies (Drinks)
  • Bikkies (Biscuits)
  • Bottle-O (Alcohol shop)
  • Brekkie (Breakfast)
  • BYO (Bring Your Own restaurant, unlicensed to sell alcohol)
  • Chewie (Chewing gum)
  • Esky (Cool box)
  • Goon (Boxed wine)
  • Lollies (Sweets)
  • Maccas (McDonald’s)
  • Sangers (Sandwiches)
  • Snag (Sausage)
  • Stubby (Bottle of beer)
  • Tinny (Can of beer)
  • Tucker (Food)
  • Veggies (Vegetables)
  • Woolies (Abbreviation of ‘Woolworths’, an Australian grocery shop)

People and places

Ultimate Guide to Australian Language_Brisvegas
  • Cane toads/Banana benders (People from Queensland)
  • Cockroaches (People from New South Wales)
  • Crow Eaters (People from South Australia)
  • Gum suckers/Mexicans (People from Victoria)
  • Sand Gropers (People from Western Australia)
  • Top enders/Territorians (People from Northern Territory)
  • Two headers/Taswegians (Tasmania)
  • Brizzie/BrisVegas (Brisbane, Qld.)
  • Parra (Parramatta, NSW)
  • Freo (Fremantle, WA)
  • Brunny (Brunswick, Vic.)
  • Erko (Erskinville, NSW)
  • The Riff (Penrith, NSW)
  • The Gong (Wollongong, NSW)
  • Penno (Pennant Hills, NSW)
  • Tulla (Tullamarine, Vic.)
  • Straddie (Stradbroke Island, Qld.)
  • The G (Melbourne Cricket Ground)
  • The Gabba (Cricket stadium in Woolloongabba, Qld.)


Ultimate Guide to Australian Language_ute
  • Acca (Academic)
  • Aggro (Aggravated – ‘Don’t get aggro with me!)
  • Ant’s pants (Great – ‘My room is the ant’s pants’)
  • Arvo (Afternoon)
  • Barrack for (To support or encourage, e.g. sports teams)
  • Buckley’s chance (Impossible/unlikely – ‘You’ve got Buckley’s chance of going to the library tomorrow if you go out tonight’)
  • Bung (Broken, exhausted – ‘My laptop’s bung’)
  • Chock-a-block (Completely full – ‘The beach car park is chock-a-block today’)
  • Chunder (To vomit)
  • Down Under (Australia)
  • Drop bear (Imaginary, non-existent animal, supposedly like a koala but with big, sharp teeth)
  • EFTPOS (Acronym of ‘Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale’, ‘can I put this on EFTPOS’ is can I pay by card)
  • Exy (Expensive)
  • Fair dinkum (True, real, genuine)
  • Game (Up for it – ‘Who’s game for a road trip this weekend?)
  • Heaps (Lots)
  • Iffy (Uncertain, unreliable)
  • Jelly (Jealous – ‘Oh I’m so jelly of his new car’)
  • Mozzies (Mosquitos)
  • Old mate (This can refer to anyone, literally anyone)
  • Outback (Remote location in interior Australia)
  • Out in the bush (Far away from civilisation)
  • Rellies (Relatives)
  • Servo (Service station – ‘I’ll just pop into the servo first’)
  • Shout (A person’s turn to buy the drinks – ‘It’s my shout, mate’)
  • Spewin’ (Disappointed – ‘He must be spewin’ over the results from the game earlier’)
  • Spit the dummy (Throw a tantrum)
  • Stoked (Excited, really pleased – ‘I’m stoked to be living in Australia’)
  • Straya (Australia)
  • To go walkabout (To go missing – ‘Have you seen my keys? They’ve gone walkabout’)
  • True blue (The real thing)
  • U-ey (Pronounced ‘you-we’ and means U-turn – ‘We’ve gone the wrong way mate, chuck a u-ey and we’ll be back on track)
  • Ute (Utility vehicle/pick-up truck)
  • Wombat (A large marsupial native to Australia, and another word for a stupid person)

Bizarre Australian phrases

You could probably get by without knowing these weird words that are only found in Aussie-land, but why risk it? These are exclusive to Australia, so be warned if you try and take these words back home with you — they’re so bizarre, no one outside of the country has ever heard of them.
Ultimate Guide to Australian Language_chook

  • Bogan (Unsophisticated person)
  • Chook (Chicken)
  • Couldn’t find a grand piano in a one-roomed house/Couldn’t blow the froth off a glass of beer (Useless person – insulting)
  • A chop short of a barbie/A stubby short of a six-pack (An odd person, a bit mad, ‘not all there’)
  • Don’t come the raw prawn! (Don’t treat me like a fool)
  • Feral (Gross, disgusting)
  • Flat out like a lizard drinking (Really busy)
  • Galah (Fool, idiot – a type of Australian bird)
  • Gonny news? (Have you got any news?)
  • Happy little Vegemite (A cheerful person – ‘She’s a happy little Vegemite after getting top marks on that essay!)
  • Jeer that? (Did you hear that?)
  • Not a brass razoo (No money at all)
  • Pash (A long, passionate kiss)
  • To get the rough end of the pineapple (To get a raw deal/be treated badly)
  • Woop woop (Middle of nowhere, remote or backward place – ‘I booked my accommodation with because I didn’t want to live out in woop woop’)

Just plain confusing Australian phrases

To a lot of international students, Australia is literally on the other side of the world, so it’s no wonder they seem to do things a bit differently. But, really Australia, are you just trying to make things difficult?

Ultimate Guide to Australian Language_footy
  • Yeah na (No – ‘Are you coming to the party?’ ‘Yeah na, I don’t feel like it tonight’)
  • Na yeah (Yes – ‘Do you fancy catching a film later?’ ‘Na yeah, that would be great!’)
  • Too right! (Yes – ‘Coming to the pool?’ ‘Too right I am!’)
  • You little beauty! (Exclamation of delight, just remember that the ‘you’ can refer to anyone or anything)
  • Footy (Can be used to refer to many sports, such as Australian Rules in Vic./SA, Rugby League in NSW/Qld., Rugby Union and even Soccer)

And if you go out to a restaurant, remember that:

  • Entrée (Appetizer – the first course you eat)
  • Main (Entrée – the second course)

We think we’ve covered just about everything there is to know about the awesome Australian language. If you think we’ve missed something, get in touch with us on Facebook or comment below!

Have you booked your accommodation in Australia yet? has fantastic student accommodation still available in Melbourne, Sydney and many more cities.

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