Australian English

Source: The Rough Guide

The colourful variant of Australian English, or strine (which is how Australian is pronounced with a very heavy Australian accent), has its origins in the archaic cockney and Irish of the colony's early convicts as well as the adoption of words from the many Aboriginal languages. For such a vast country, the accent barely varies to the untutored ear - from Tasmania to the Northwest you`ll find little variation in the national drawl, with its curious, interrogative ending to sentences - although Queenslanders are noted for their slow delivery. One of the most consistent tendencies of strine is to abbreviate words and then stick an "-o" or, more commonly, an "-ie" on the end: as in "bring your cozzie to the barbie this arvo" (bring your swimming costume to the barbecue this afternoon). This informality extends to the frequent use of "bloody", "bugger" and "bastard", the latter two used affectionately. Attempting to abuse someone by calling them a bastard will most likely end up in an offer of a beer. There's also an endearing tendency to genderize inanimate objects as, for example, "she`s buggered, mate" (your inanimate object is beyond repair) or "do 'im up nice and tight" (be certain that your inanimate object is well affixed). The popularity of dire Australian TV soap operas has seen strine spread overseas, much as Americanisms have pervaded the English-speaking world. Popular strinisms like "hang a U-ey" (make a U-turn) and the versatile and agreeable "no worries" are now commonly used outside Australia.

Anzac Australia and New Zealand Army Corps; every town has a memorial to Anzac casualties from both World Wars.

Arvo Afternoon.

Back o' Bourke Outback.

Banana bender Resident of Queensland.

Barbie Barbecue.

You beauty! or beaut Exclamation of delight.

Beg yours? Excuse me, say again?

Beyond the Black Stump Outback, back of beyond.

Billabong Waterhole in dry river bed.

Billy Cooking pot.

Bitumen Sealed road as opposed to dirt road.

Blowies Blow flies.

Bludger Someone who does not pull their weight or a scrounger as in "dole bludger".

Blue Fight, also a red-haired person.

Bottle shop Off-licence or liquor store.

Brumby Feral horse.

Buckley's No chance; as in "hasn't got a Buckley's".

Bugs Moreton Bay bug - type of crayfish indigenous to southern Queensland.

Bunyip Monster of Aboriginal legend; bogeyman.

Burl Give it a go; as in "give it a burl".

Bush Unsettled country area.

Bushranger Runaway convict, outlaw from the nineteenth century.

Bushwhacker Someone lacking in social graces, a hick.

BYO Bring your own. Restaurant which allows you to bring your own alcohol.

Chook Chicken.

Chunder Vomit.

Cocky Small farmer Cow cocky Dairy farmer.

To come the raw prawn To try and decieve or make a fool of someone.

Coo-eee! Aboriginal long-distance greeting now widely adopted as a kind of "yoo hoo!".

Cozzies, bathers, swimmers, togs Swimming costume.

Crim Criminal.

Crook Sick or broken.

Crow eater Resident of South Australia.

Cut lunch Sandwiches.

Dag Nerd Daggy unattractive.

Daks, strides Trousers/pants.

Dam A man-made body of water or reservoir; not just the dam itself.

Damper Soda bread cooked in a pot on embers.

Dekko To look at, as in "take a dekko at this".

Deli Delicatessen, corner shop or sandwich bar.

Derro Derelict or destitute person.

Didgeridoo Droning musical instrument made from a termite-hollowed branch.

Digger Old timer, especially an old soldier.

Dill Idiot.

Dob in To tell on someone, as in "she dobbed him in".

Drongo Fool.

Drover Cowboy or station hand.

Dunny Outside pit toilet.

Esky Portable, insulated box to keep food or beer cold.

Fair dinkum, Dinky di Honestly, truly.

Fossick To search for gold or gems in abandoned diggings.

Galah Noisy or garrulous person.

Garbo Garbage or refuse collector.

G'day Hello, hi.

Give away To give up or resign, as in "I used to be a garbo but I gave it away".

Grog Alcoholic drink, usually beer.

Gub, Gubbah Aboriginal terms for a white person.

Gutless wonder Coward.

Hoon A yob, delinquent.

Humpy Temporary shelter used by Aborigines and early pioneers.

Jackeroo Male station hand.

Jilleroo Female station hand.

Joey Baby kangaroo still in the pouch.

Koorie Collective name for Aboriginal people from southeastern Australia.

Larrikin Mischievous youth.

Lay by Practice of putting a deposit on goods until they can be fully paid for.

Lollies Sweets or candy.

Manchester Linen goods.

Mexicans Residents of NSW and Victoria.

Milk bar Corner shop and often small cafe.

Never Never Outback, wilderness.

New Australian Recent immigrants, often a euphemism for Australians of non-British descent.

No worries That's okay, It doesn't matter, Don't mention it.

Ocker Uncultivated Australian male.

Outback Remote, unsettled regions of Australia.

Paddock Field.

Panel van Van with no rear windows and front seating only.

Pashing Kissing or snogging.

Perve To leer or act as a voyeur, as in "What are you perving at?"

Piss Beer.

Pissed Drunk.

Piss head Drunkard.

Pokies One-armed bandits, gambling machines.

Pommie, Pom Person of English descent - not necessarily abusive.

Rapt Very pleased, delighted.

Ratbag An eccentric person, also term of mild abuse.

Ratshit or Shithouse How you feel after a night on the piss.

Rego Vehicle registration document.

Ridji Didge The real thing or genuine article.

Ripper! Rather old-fashioned exclamation of enthusiasm.

Rollies Roll up cigarettes.

Root Vulgar term for sexual congress.

Rooted To be very tired or to be beyond repair; as in "she's rooted, mate" - your [car] is irreparable.

Ropable Furious to the point of requiring restraint.

Sandgroper Resident of WA.

She'll be right or She'll be apples Everything will work out fine.

Shoot through To pass through or leave hurriedly.

Shout To pay for someone or to buy a round of drinks; as in "it's your shout, mate".

Sickie To take a day off work due to (sometimes alleged) illness; as in "to pull a sickie".

Singlet Sleeveless vest.

Skivvy Polo neck.

Smoko Tea break.

Snag Sausage.

Spunk Attractive or sexy person of either gender; as in "what a spunk!"

Squatter Historical term for early settlers who took up public land as their own.

Station Very large pastoral property or ranch.

Sticky beak Nosey person or to be nosey as in "let`s have a sticky beak".

Stockman Cowboy or station hand.

Stubby Small bottle of beer.

Swag Large bedroll or one's belongings.

Tall poppy Someone who excels or is eminent. "Cutting down tall poppies" is to bring over-achievers back to earth - a national pastime.

Thongs Flip-flops or sandals.

Throw a wobbly Lose your temper.

Tinnie Can of beer or small aluminium boat.

Ute Short for "utility" vehicle; pick-up truck.

Wacko! Exclamation of enthusiasm.

Walkabout Temporary migration undertaken by Aborigines; also has the wider meaning of a journey.

Gone walkabout To go missing.

Warm fuzzies Feeling of contentment.

Waxhead Surfer.

Weatherboard Wooden house.

Whinger Someone who complains - allegedly common among Poms.

Wog Derogatory description for those of Mediterranean descent.

Wowser Killjoy.

Yabber To talk or chat.

Yabbie Freshwater crayfish.

Yakka Work, as in "hard yakka".

Yobbo Uncouth person.

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