The Top 8 Slang Words to Listen for in Sydney, Australia

Sydney is one of the largest cities in the world containing an enormous mix of different nationalities including Chinese, Lebanese, Indian, and more, all with their own unique sub-cultures. It would not be an understatement to say it might be one of the most multicultural locales worldwide.



This mishmash of different people coming together has spurred a coining of many different slang words unique to both large parts of Australia and the city of Sydney. Even as a local of the city, I find it difficult sometimes to remember all the different phrases we use sometimes! Check out this list of some of today’s top-used Australian/Sydney slang and brace yourself to not get tongue-tied with a local!

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1. Bottle-o

Have you any idea what this means?

Maybe someone getting in a fight with a bottle? Wrong.

Someone trying to imitate Spanish? Wrong again.

It’s in fact much simpler: it just means a liquor store in which they sell ‘bottles o’ alcohol’. It does make a bit of sense once you think about it and it rolls off the tongue quite nicely as well.

2. Bogan

Ever heard of a redneck before? It’s pretty much like that, except the Australian version. Bogans are probably the lowest of the low in the social ladder and are usually smelly-looking alcoholics. However, I would be careful throwing around the phrase to people you don’t know, as you might get a whack in the face.

3. Keen

The exact same as how the Brits use it, basically it just means you’re eager to do something. Although this is British slang, too, it’s much more Aussie than you think.

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4. Munted

What do you think this word refers to?

Imagine something completely destroyed, wrecked, messed up to the point of no end and you’ll get the definition for munted. There are two meanings: one, you’ve pretty much means you’ve drank way over your limit, to the point of no return. You’ll probably hear this most on a night out in Sydney. And, two, something that’s totally gone awry, whether it be your boat or a situation.

5. Root

Watch out for this one, ‘root’ is another word for sexual intercourse in Sydney and can be very entertaining when tourists say something with that particular word in the sentence. But seriously, please watch out when using this word or you may get some very awkward stares which may make you never want to come back to the city ever again. So, not rooting for anyone.

6. Sheila

This one’s an oldie, one you may have heard in Crocodile Dundee or something akin to that. We actually stopped using this word around 30 years ago, but it’s fun to throw around in casual conversation. Basically, it just means a beautiful girl.

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7. Sook

A ‘sook’ is someone who can’t stop crying and complaining. The word’s got a real hard tinge to the end of it. It’s quite effective when you want to insult a crybaby. This slang word is usually accompanied by a few obscenities for full effectiveness.

8. Tradie

Short for tradesmen, tradies are a group of people that specialise in a trade, for example, electricians, carpenters, plumbers and other related fields. Not one of the most convoluted slang words in Australia, they’re usually wearing an easily identifiable green jacket, hard hat, or something close to that.

So there you go, there’s eight slang words that will hopefully make your trip to Sydney a little more comprehensible. When in doubt with Aussie slang, don’t be afraid to ask!