10 Australian Slang Phrases that Will Help you Sound Like an Aussie

G’day cobbers! I mean… Hello, friends. Today, we are going to talk about Australian slang phrases. Thanks to popular TV series such as Please Like me or Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, a lot of people know a few Aussie words, whether it’s brekkie (breakfast) or barbie (barbecue).

Today, we are going to go beyond the basics and give you a comprehensive guide to understanding (and using) the most original, creative, and bonkers Australian slang phrases like a pro.

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1. A Bottle-o

Have you ever received an unexpected visit from a friend or family member and offered them a drink, only to realise that you’re all out of beer/wine? If this happened to you while you are in Australia, your Australian guests could either decide to cut the visit short, or say “No worries, mate!”, and ask if there is a Bottle-o nearby. A what!?, you may ask.

Well, in Australia, a Bottle-o is a place where you can purchase alcohol (usually wine or beer). So, if an Aussie asks you if there’s a Bottle-o close by, they are simply asking if there’s a liquor store where they can buy some drinks. Which, by the, way means they have no intention of leaving any time soon.

2. Snags on the barbie

Now that your guests have made sure there’s enough liquor to sustain you through the week night, why not offer something to eat? No worries, we are not talking about elaborate food here. You can just throw some snags on the barbie!

australian slang phrases: snags on the barbie

If you’re not familiar with Australian slang phrases, pay attention: a snag is simply a sausage, and barbie, of course, is short for barbecue. So putting snags on the barbie just means grilling sausages on a barbecue. Simple, delicious, and very Aussie.

3. Maccas

Not in the mood to cook? Just take your guests to Maccas! No, it’s not a fancy Mediterranean restaurant.

Maccas is just the Australian colloquialism for McDonald’s. And, weird as it may sound to you, it’s just one of the many Australian slang phrases related to food and eating out.

For example, if your friends say they want an avo, they are probably asking for an avocado. And, if they say they are going for a feed, it just means they’re going to have a meal. Do you see? Australian English is full of food-related slang terms.

4. Fair dinkum

Knowing how to name your food in Australian English is all very good. But if you want to sound like a true blue Aussie, then you need to start using the phrase “fair dinkum”. This is one of those quintessential Australian slang phrases that has a variety of meanings and uses.

You can use it to express agreement (“Fair dinkum, I’d love some snags!”), to show that you’re impressed (“That new house is fair dinkum!”), or to comment on the genuineness or truth of something (“Todd is a fair dinkum magician”).

This blog, for example, is fair dinkum helpful if you want to expand your repertoire of Australian slang phrases.

5. Drongo

If someone calls you a drongo, you should know it’s not exactly a compliment. In fact, this Australian slang word is used to describe someone who is silly, incompetent or stupid. But, though it’s not exactly flattering, you shouldn’t take it too seriously either.

australian slang phrases: drongo

If you do something foolish and your mates start calling you a drongo, just laugh it off and join in the fun. At the end of the day, being called a drongo is just another way for your friends to say they love and appreciate you – in their own special, Aussie way.

6. Arvo

Arvo is the Australian abbreviation for “afternoon”. So, if you’re ever asked what you’re doing this arvo, just say what you’re doing later on in the day. For example, you could say “I’m going to binge-watch Neighbours” or “I’m going to play footy”.

This word is also frequently used next to the expression “See you”, as in “See you this arvo” or “I’ll see you tomorrow arvo”.

Don’t you just Australian slang phrases? And there’s more!

7. Ripper, you little!

Are you looking for the perfect Aussie response to a good piece of news? Look no further.

This Australian slang expression is used to express excitement or approval, and it’s often seen as a more light-hearted alternative to phrases such as

“Excellent!” or “Great job!”. So, next time your friends tell you they passed an exam or met a sexy bloke or sheila, make sure to give them a hearty “Ripper, you little!”.

8. No wuckers

This is one of the most Australian of all Australian slang phrases, and it’s often used as an alternative to “No problem”, “Nevermind” or “It’s okay”.

For example, if someone accidentally steps on your foot, you could say “No wuckers” to let them know you’re not angry and that it’s all good (even though there is a visible tear in your eye!).

9. Ta

This Australian slang word is the abbreviated form of “thank you”. So, if someone does something nice for you and you want to show your appreciation, just say “Ta!”

In addition, “Ta” is commonly used as a response to someone saying goodbye. For example, if your friends are leaving and they say “See you later!”, you could say “Goodbye” and sound like a boring person or you could opt for Australian slang phrases and reply with a nice “Ta! See you soon.”

10. Mickey Mouse

Do you remember Mickey, the Disney cartoon that somehow managed to have a dog as a pet? Well, this Australian slang phrase has nothing to do with him.

australian slang phrases: mickey mouse

In Australia, if someone reacts with a loud “Mickey Mouse!” to an idea or a piece of news, they just mean  “Great”, “Excellent” or “Very good”.

Isn’t Australian English just the best? They really do have a way with words.

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Now you know some essential Australian slang phrases and expressions, you’ll be able to hold your own in any conversation Down Under. Just remember to use them sparingly – otherwise, Aussies may think you’re trying too hard!

Would you like to practise the Australian slang phrases above with a native Australian English teacher? At Language Trainers, we offer customised language courses, which means we will design a learning program specifically for you, based on your level, needs and goals.

Contact us today, we will be more than happy to help you expand your vocabulary and, of course, learn more Australian slang phrases!