This is Aussie Slang, Mate – and Here’s What it Means

G’day readers! What better to write a blog on Aussie slang than the week of Australia Day?

Did you know that slang is short for ‘shortened language’? It comes in handy when you’re out and about in another country with its locals, trying to understand what they’re saying.

This reminds me of the movie, My Life in Ruins, where at the beginning the tour guide, Georgia, gathers her group where everyone’s adding to the conversation pile. Among this group is an Aussie couple, and this is the first thing they say before Georgia and another tourist, Irv, begin to be bamboozled:

Ken: You know, we left Adelaide last night with 17 pounds of frozen flake. Thirty hours later, she’s right on the bugle.

Sue: It was a shocker, Barry.

Irv: Are they speaking English?

Georgia: Australians are the nicest people, but you can only understand about half of what they say.

Although paying tribute to classic stereotypes, Aussie slang pops up more and more in everyday writing. So if we’re going to be seeing a lot more of it, how can we understand it better? The best way to learn the local language is to get amongst it. And asking a lot of follow-up questions of what someone meant when they said: “How many bells have you got on the old dickory?” (Translation: Could you please tell me what time it is?)

The more you practice the more you’ll pick up the lingo from down under. In the meantime, here’s some of the top Aussie slang words and what they translate to for you to add to your

personal dictionary:

Cuppa = cup of tea

Pav = pavlova (a meringue and fruit cake)

Yakka = hard work

Plonk and goon = cheap wine

Sunnies = sunglasses

Pollie = politician

Mozzies = mosquitoes

Arvo = afternoon

Avo = avocado (don’t get arvo and this one mixed up!)

Barbie = barbeque or BBQ

Footy = football or AFL

Another way to test if you understand our Aussie lingo is to take a quiz. Here’s a quick and fun one from the SBS website you can check out. Let us know how you go – I scored 100%.

Fair dinkum!


Ewelina works in marketing and communications, but on the weekends she loves to explore more of Perth. She’s originally from Germany (a country with its own set of far-out slang!), and you can follower her on Instagram here: @evvelina.marek


Thanks to,, and for the slang and translations.

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